If you have been charged with healthcare fraud, contact our law firm today. Our attorneys can defend individuals, doctors and dentists throughout Oklahoma.
Healthcare fraud is a serious white collar crime, prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office under healthcare fraud statutes, as well as under theft or embezzlement, false statements and false claims laws. As a result, the penalties resulting from a healthcare fraud conviction are severe and can be life-changing. If you are facing healthcare fraud charges in Oklahoma, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center immediately. Our lawyers have extensive experience in this area of the law, and can help you protect your legal rights throughout your case.
Oklahoma Healthcare Fraud Charges
Fraud is defined as knowingly and willfully executing or attempting to execute a scheme intended to defraud another person or party. Healthcare fraud in particular is any act that enables financial gain through fraudulent activities associated with the healthcare industry. This type of crime is not limited to patients alone, but can include professionals such as dentists and physicians, as well as hospitals and health insurance policies. In Medicare, the most common forms of fraud include billing for services not rendered, offering or receiving kickbacks or bribes, and selling or sharing Medicare numbers so false claims can be filed.
Laws Against Healthcare Fraud
- The Anti-Kickback Law: Kickbacks occur when a medical professional refers a patient to another provider and unlawfully receives some form of compensation for the referral. Anti-Kickback Laws are criminal in nature and strictly prohibit kickbacks in the U.S. healthcare industry.
- The Stark Law: This law is intended to stop medical providers from referring patients for healthcare services from another entity that the referring physician owns. The Stark Law is civil in nature and imposes steep fines for unlawful self-referrals.
- The False Claims Act: The False Claims Act makes it unlawful to submit a false claim to the government. A false claim can include a claim for goods or services that either weren’t provided at all, or were provided at a lower service level than is being claimed (“up-coding”).
- False Certification: False certification claims occur when an organization certifies that it has complied with all applicable laws in order to be a Medicare provider, when it has actually not complied. For example, if a hospital certifies that it has complied with all the Anti-Kickback and Stark Laws, but is actually paying doctors based on how much business they bring to the hospital, then the organization has made a false certification.
Penalties for Healthcare Fraud in Oklahoma
The Justice Department is increasingly focused on the issue of fraud in the healthcare industry, and concern at the national level is reflected in the growing number of healthcare fraud cases that have been prosecuted in Oklahoma in recent years. Healthcare fraud occurs in many different segments of the industry, including medicine, psychology, dentistry, and chiropractic practices, as well as suppliers of medical equipment and prescription abuses. In response to the prevalence of healthcare fraud in the U.S. today, Congress has specifically established healthcare fraud as a federal criminal offense, punishable by up to ten years in prison, in addition to significant financial penalties.
Consult Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Healthcare fraud costs the healthcare industry an estimated $54 billion annually, and the penalties associated with this type of criminal activity are strict. In an attempt to crack down on healthcare fraud in Oklahoma and across the United States, judges and courts have even pursued civil remedies against alleged violators of healthcare fraud laws whose activities did not rise to the level of provable criminal fraud. If you have been charged with healthcare fraud in Oklahoma, consult our reputable defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center for help.