In July of 2017, federal agents arrested a number of individuals throughout the nation in connection with Medicaid and Medicare fraud allegations, including three individuals from right here in New York City.
These arrests are part of a larger shift in focus for federal law enforcement, cracking down on individuals suspected of defrauding medical subsidy programs, and there is good reason to believe that these are the first of many such potential arrests.
If you have a medical practice that operates in conjunction with Medicaid or Medicare, then you surely understand just how a person could interact with these programs in ways that might lead to charges. These programs are complex beasts and are susceptible to manipulation, but that is not the only way a person might face fraud charges. It is also possible that a poor or lopsided understanding of the moving parts within the systems could create the appearance of fraud, even if fraud is not intended.
If you have concerns about a federal investigation into your practice, it is never too soon to begin building a strong defense. Many of these arrests are at least as much about political public relations as they are about legitimate law enforcement, and you certainly don’t want to become the unintended star of a politician’s re-election campaign.
Consult with an attorney to assess your options
When the arrests on July 13 occurred, they were an intentional blindside to the suspects who received fraud charges. You have the advantage of foresight and the ability to prepare a defense before such a blindside comes for your practice, and you are wise to make the most of it.
You may believe you committed fraudulent acts, or simply carry concerns that your practice is vulnerable. Either way, now is the strongest time to assess any weaknesses in your practice and build legal defenses before trouble comes knocking.
Fraud cases generally do not rise to the level of actual charges unless an agency believes it has a significant amount of evidence to support its claims. You only stand to lose more credibility and clientele by waiting to begin addressing any issues that might possibly lead to fraud charges.
Your practice is your life, and deservingly so. You owe it to yourself to use all the tools at your disposal to protect your practice and the patients who depend on you for their day-to-day wellbeing.
With the guidance of an experienced attorney who understands the finer points of defending against fraud charges, you can honestly assess any threats and craft a personalized defense protecting your rights and the practice you sacrificed so much to build.