There are few experiences in life that are more stressful than navigating accusations of criminal wrongdoing. If you’ve recently been accused of committing Medicare fraud, you are likely – and very understandably – panicking. It is important to understand that being accused of criminal wrongdoing doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be c
What Is Medicare Fraud?
Because Medicare is a federal program, Medicare fraud is a federal crime. This means that instead of being tried in a state court – and potentially being sentenced to serve time in state prison – you’ve been accused of a federal crime and are risking incarceration in a federal prison in the event that you’re convicted.
At its most basic, Medicare fraud involves trying to benefit from the Medicare program unlawfully. Most of the time, Medicare fraud consists of willfully submitting either false claims or misrepresentations so that one can benefit from funds to which one wouldn’t otherwise be entitled. Similarly, soliciting, offering, or receiving kickbacks for referrals reimbursed by Medicare is considered fraudulent activity. Other examples of Medicare fraud include fraudulent billing, making prohibited referrals, and even ordering supplies in a fraudulent manner could lead to accusations of this white-collar crime.
It, quite frankly, isn’t hard to make a mistake that could lead to accusations of fraudulent activity. For example, if medical office bills for appointments that patients didn’t keep due to a tech or clerical error, accusations of fraud could arise. This is one of the reasons why it is important to avoid panicking until an attorney has assessed your case. If your situation can be explained away reasonably, you may have very little to fear.
Penalties for Medicare Fraud Convictions
As an experienced Medicare fraud lawyer – including those who practice at The Morales Law Firm – can confirm, there is a popular misconception that all federal crimes are more serious than state crimes. This simply isn’t true. Medicare fraud is a white-collar crime, not a violent crime. As a result, conviction for Medicare fraud can result in significant consequences, but is not treated nearly as seriously as most violent crimes, which are often prosecuted at the state level.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t treat accusations of Medicare fraud seriously. On the contrary, Medicare fraud can be classified as a felony and can lead to serious consequences if you’re convicted of this offense. You could face fines, incarceration, and – if you’re a healthcare provider – the loss of your professional license. It is, therefore, critically important that you connect with an attorney who has extensive experience in this area of law. A skilled lawyer can help you build the strongest possible defense on your behalf. Although no lawyer can honestly promise any outcome to a legal matter, working with an attorney who understands how to get results when defending individuals against allegations of Medicare fraud should place you in the best position to minimize the risk that you’ll be convicted and face serious consequences as a result of the allegations that have been levied against you.