Decatur, Illinois Healthcare Fraud Lawyer
Healthcare fraud has become one of the most active areas of federal law enforcement in recent years. The federal government does not consider healthcare fraud a “victimless crime.” Rather, it is treated as a serious threat to the United States economy, adding billions of dollars in unnecessary costs to an already overtaxed healthcare system.
If you are a medical provider or another person caught up in a healthcare fraud investigation, you must take swift action to assert your constitutional and legal rights. The first thing you should do is contact a qualified Decatur, Illinois healthcare fraud lawyer who has dealt with these kinds of cases before. Illinois criminal defense attorney Baku N. Patel is a former prosecutor and public defender who has represented hundreds of clients in court, and his team at Patel Law, PC, will work tirelessly in defending your rights.
What Is Healthcare Fraud?
Healthcare fraud is, to put it simply, any attempt to knowingly or willingly defraud a healthcare benefit program. Federal healthcare fraud cases usually involve attempts to defraud Medicare or Medicaid, the two largest federal health insurance programs. Investigators and prosecutors tend to focus most of the following areas:
- healthcare providers who billed for medical services that were either “medically unnecessary” or never actually provided to the patient;
- healthcare providers writing medically unnecessary drug prescriptions;
- intentionally submitting false or incorrect billing information to Medicare or Medicaid;
- falsifying patient records, e.g., allowing a patient to claim someone else’s identity for purposes of receiving insurance benefits; and
- soliciting or receiving referral fees–i.e., kickbacks–from potential patients.
In addition to charging someone directly with healthcare fraud, federal prosecutors might also pursue “conspiracy” charges against individuals believed to be associated with the fraud. A conspiracy refers to any agreement between two or more individuals to commit a specific crime, such as healthcare fraud. Because of the broad nature of conspiracy charges, a person can be charged as a conspirator even if they did not personally engage in an overt criminal act. For example, a person who simply “recruited” patients for a doctor to write false prescriptions can be deemed a conspirator.
Contact Attorney Baku N. Patel Today
Healthcare fraud investigations often take place over several months or even years. And the targets of an investigation may become aware of what is going on long before they are formally charged. Still, you should never delay in seeking legal advice or representation. If you have any reason to suspect you may be charged with healthcare fraud–or conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud–it is best to assume that you are in fact a target and act accordingly.
The most important step you can take to protect yourself is to call an experienced Decatur, Illinois healthcare fraud lawyer who can walk you through what is likely to happen next. Contact Patel Law, PC, today to schedule a free evaluation of your legal situation with attorney Baku N. Patel and his team at Patel Law, PC.