Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General released a report identifying the Chicago metropolitan area as a hot spot of home health care fraud. The report identified 37 home health care providers and 257 doctors in the area as having submitted Medicare claims with “characteristics similar to those observed in cases of fraud,” according to an article from the Chicago Tribune.
Home Health Care Fraud Can Come In Many Forms
As part of the largest crackdown on Medicaid fraud in the last nine years, more than 300 suspects have been arrested nationwide. The Chicago Tribune piece describes a case involving a local physician accused of taking kickbacks in trade for sending patients to a certain home health agency, as well as a case involving a home health care provider paying kickbacks to recruiters for referral of elderly patients. Allegations may also involve taking illegal payments, making false claims and more.
Providers And Physicians Must Be On Guard
In a competitive field, well-meaning individuals and businesses may take steps that could lead to allegations of Medicaid fraud or health care fraud. Furthermore, regulations surrounding these issues are complex, and mistakes are possible. Innocent individuals and businesses may get caught up in fraud investigations and even find themselves charged with crimes, while those who made mistakes could face career- and business-ending penalties if convicted.
Home health care providers and physicians must be on guard. If you are questioned by law enforcement or you believe that you are under investigation for Medicaid fraud or health care fraud, be aware that you can enlist an attorney at this early stage in the process. Getting an attorney involved at this juncture could ultimately prevent charges from being filed against you.
If you have been charged with a fraud crime, it is critical that you work with a lawyer who understands the nuances of these large-scale, federal cases. At the Law Offices of Damon M. Cheronis, we will fight to prevent you from losing your career or your business over a coding error or some other misstep. We know how to deal with home health care fraud charges and other fraud charges.
Whether you have been charged or you are under investigation, contact us for a free consultation about your criminal defense options.