Whether you are accused of defrauding Medicaid or a private health insurer, healthcare fraud is a serious crime with some severe penalties. You must take such charges seriously and be ready to fight back. An experienced Mercer County white-collar crime lawyer from our law firm can assist you.
Could I Go to Jail for Healthcare Fraud?
To give you the simple answer, yes. It all depends on what kind of healthcare fraud is committed and how many charges are against you, but a significant prison sentence is often a possibility in a case like this. This is an especially likely possibility if you are charged with defrauding Medicaid. This is a government-run program, so you are unlikely to get off easy if convicted. Prison sentences lasting up to three years are common punishments.
Other possible penalties include hefty fines and professional consequences. In New Jersey, those convicted of healthcare fraud often have to pay damages equalling five times the value of the false claim they attempted to file. So if you are charged with defrauding a health insurer out of $50,000, you could pay a fee of up to $250,000 when convicted.
What Can Be Considered Healthcare Fraud?
There are a variety of ways to get charged for healthcare fraud. Activities that often get prosecuted include:
- Billing for medical services that were not rendered
- Billing multiple times for the same provided medical services
- Prescribing unnecessary tests and treatments in an attempt to make more money
- Using health insurance coverage that is not yours
- Lying on applications for benefits or coverage
Essentially, if a health insurer or the government thinks that you are doing something to overcharge them or take money out of their pockets, you are likely to face a healthcare fraud charge. And either one of these entities will be quite serious about coming at you with everything that they have.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
Even if you think that this charge is a mistake and that you can easily explain it away, hiring an attorney is a good idea. The lawyers at our firm have experience fighting state and federal charges. They are not going to be intimidated by the federal government and its attorneys, so you will be in good hands.
Your lawyer can communicate on your behalf so that you do not say anything incriminating. They can answer any questions that you have about the legal process. They can also help you fight for the best possible outcome, whether that is a dismissal of charges or a favorable plea deal.
Schedule Your Consultation
Now that you know the stakes, it is time to start forging your own defensive strategy with the help of an attorney. Contact the Law Office of Douglas Herring and schedule an initial consultation today. This first meeting is free, but the information you gain might just be invaluable.