Medicare Fraud Defense
An Alexandria Medicare Fraud Attorney Can Protect Your Reputation and Career
Medicare is a federal “socialized” health insurance program that provides health insurance to seniors and disabled persons. Recent estimates peg Medicare participation at over 58 million individuals overall, most of which who are seniors. Given the prominent role that the Medicare program plays in American healthcare, it’s no surprise that fraud is commonplace. On an annual basis, billions of dollars are extracted from the system due to fraud — false billing and other instances of fraud — which hurts taxpayers and erodes trust in our healthcare institutions. Prosecutors are quite aggressive when it comes to litigating Medicare fraud cases, as strict legal enforcement is crucial for discouraging medical providers from engaging in similarly fraudulent activity. If you’ve been charged fraud, it’s important that you connect to an Alexandria Medicare fraud attorney who is familiar with the challenging legal landscape.
Binnall Law Group fights for doctors and clinics that face criminal investigation and prosecution. We fight disclosure of sensitive, confidential patient information and release of damaging evidence. It is often possible to even prevent charges from being filed. Our Medicare fraud lawyers are also available to defend doctors before the Virginia Board of Medicine when the investigation leads to disciplinary review.
What is Medicare Fraud?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which runs the program, is an enormous bureaucracy that relies on a cumbersome coding, billing and payment system. Mistakes can sometimes be interpreted as fraud, including:
- Upcoding. Entering a code for a more expensive service or product
- Double billing. Billing CMS twice for the same service or product
- Billing for services or products not rendered. Billing for a service or product the patient did not receive
- Unbundling services. Charging for each service or product individually rather than in a bundle as required by Medicare regulations
- Receiving kickbacks. Receiving a gift or cash for prescribing a certain drug or device to patients
- Delivering unnecessary treatment. Often considered under a subjective standard as to what services can improve a patient’s health
- Prescribing painkillers. Often subjecting legitimate pain clinics to the high scrutiny of a pill mill
When facing any of the above or similar investigations, it’s best to speak with an Alexandria Medicare fraud attorney early on in order to best prepare your defenses.
The Law Governing Medicare Fraud
Medicare fraud is an umbrella term that describes violations of various statutes. For example, a doctor or medical facility may be charged with Medicare fraud under:
- Medicare-Medicaid Anti-Fraud and Abuse Amendments
- Social Security Act (SSA)
- U.S. Criminal Code
- False Claims Act (FCA)
- Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS)
- Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law)
We are aggressive trial lawyers based in Alexandria, Virginia, but practice nationwide, who do not back down from law enforcement and prosecutors.
Elements Underlying the Medicare Fraud Charge
Medicare fraud — like other forms of fraud — involves the illegitimate collection of funds from the Medicare program, typically by an individual medical provider or healthcare organization, such as a private clinic. Stated simply, Medicare fraud occurs when a claimant uses deception to obtain or induce remuneration relating to the Medicare program.
Common examples of Medicare fraud include:
- False billing
- Excessive billing (i.e., provision of nonessential treatments)
- Patient kickbacks for fraudulent billing
- Phantom billing of patients that don’t exist
- Upcoding procedures to secure higher reimbursement
- And more
Our Alexandria Medicare Fraud Attorney Explains the Importance of Intent
If you’ve been charged with Medicare fraud, there are a number of strategies that you can utilize to avoid liability — perhaps the most common is the assertion that you did not actually intend to commit fraud. Intent is central to a fraud charge. Without intent, there is no criminal fraud.
For example, if you accidentally used a billing code for a more expensive procedure, but did not realize that you were doing so, then you could not be liable for Medicare fraud. Mistakes cannot give rise to criminal liability for Medicare fraud.
Proving intent is not an easy task for prosecutors, and as such, unless they have clear evidence linking your actions to a specific criminal intent to commit Medicare fraud, they may not be able to establish guilt. Given this inherent difficulty, your Alexandria Medicare fraud attorney is likely to have significant bargaining power during pre-litigation negotiations with prosecutors (unless the evidence is clearly unfavorable to your position).
Contact an Binall Law Group for Defense Litigation Assistance
Binnall Law Group, PLLC is a boutique white collar criminal defense and litigation firm located in Alexandria, VA and serving clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. metro area. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing defendants in various white collar criminal disputes, including those that involve allegations of Medicare fraud and other instances of healthcare fraud.
We pride ourselves on our commitment to highly-engaged, client-centered service. We work with clients to understand their case in a comprehensive manner, and to ensure that we are fully informed of relevant facts moving forward. This thorough approach to white collar criminal defense has helped us successfully defend numerous clients over the years.
We encourage you to request an appointment online to speak to an experienced Alexandria Medicare fraud lawyer at Binnall Law Group, PLLC.