We are a team of
former federal prosecutors


Meet the Team
Oberheiden Attorneys

Health Care Fraud Legal Defense Team Serving the New Orleans Area

The Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a health care law defense firm with significant experience in the areas of regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, litigation, government investigations, and criminal defense. Among our attorneys are the former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, former senior Department of Justice trial attorneys, former lead prosecutors of the elite Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and other talented attorneys with years of relevant experience and education from the country’s elite schools such as Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Our attorneys serve clients in New Orleans as well as throughout Louisiana State.

If you’re facing accusations of health care fraud defense in New Orleans, Louisiana, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP now. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has extensive legal experience in health care fraud defense, OIG and grand jury subpoenas, Medicare and Tricare audits, fraud allegation defense, internal investigations, compliance programs, qui tam defense, protection of assets, criminal defense, and jury trials. Our Health Care Fraud Defense Team includes a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, several former health care fraud prosecutors, elite former lead prosecutors of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and accomplished lawyers with educations from the country’s preeminent law schools, including Yale and Harvard.

If you would like to learn how we can help, call now and ask to speak with a member of our Health Care Fraud Defense Team. Initial consultations are free and confidential.

New Orleans, Louisiana is Closely Watched for Health Care Fraud

New Orleans, Louisiana is closely watched for health care fraud by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is an elite team of prosecutors and investigators from various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, this list isn’t all-inclusive. Other agencies may have a presence in the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.

New Orleans and the surrounding areas are watched closely, because many of its citizens rely on a federal health care program. This increases the number of claims filed with the federal government for reimbursement. This leads the government to aggressively monitor, investigate, and prosecute allegations of health care fraud. In 2016, the Department of Justice investigated more than 300 cases. Around 80 of those investigations centered on individual health care providers. The rest involved a health care entity or business. The agency reported that it recovered more than $900 million in fraudulently paid out claims.

What Is Health Care Fraud?

Federal health care fraud is an attempt to obtain reimbursement for medical services or equipment through a government health care program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or federal workers’ compensation, by filing one or more fraudulent claims. It includes a violation of at least one of the following:

  • The Anti-Kickback Statute. Federal health care law prohibits kickbacks in exchange for referrals. Any individual (including doctors, marketing representatives, and business owners) may face prosecution for violating the Anti-Kickback statute for offering or providing payment or other valuables in return for patient referrals.
  • Stark Law. Stark Law is also known as the Self-Referral Law. It prohibits doctors from referring patients to specific health care service entities if the doctor (or a member of the doctor’s immediate family) has an ownership or investment interest, or if there is a compensation arrangement. However, there are statutory exceptions to this law.
  • False Claims Act. If you submit a claim to Medicare or any other federal health care program, you must abide by the False Claims Act. If the claim submitted to the federal government is inaccurate, the federal government may launch an investigation into your billing practices under the criminal provisions of the False Claims Act.
  • Prescription Fraud. The federal government keeps a close eye on health care practices that have an unusually high number of narcotic prescriptions. If you’re suspected of running a “pill mill,” you may be investigated for insurance fraud and for violating DEA dispensing rules.
  • Billing Fraud. The federal government investigates the upcoding of claims. Upcoding means that the next higher code is used for a service when the billing is done. The federal government will also investigate phantom billing (billing for services not provided), billing for patients who don’t exist (referred to as ghost patients), and billing for equipment or services that are not medically necessary.
  • Certification Errors. The federal government closely watches the home health care and hospice industry. The most common allegation includes fraudulent certification for home health care and hospice care.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has a track record of success in helping New Orleans clients avoid criminal charges. If you or your health care practice or business are being investigated for health care fraud in New Orleans or the surrounding area, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP now. Calls are free and confidential.

Health Care Fraud Carries Harsh Penalties

Health care fraud is a serious matter. You may be subject to civil repayment of claims, non-payment of future claims, and you may be excluded from federal health care programs. You may also face the state disciplinary board, lose your license, and be stripped of your hospital privileges. Criminal penalties include prosecution, prison time, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you are found guilty of criminal health care fraud, you may receive a prison sentence:

  • Up to 10 years for each count of health care fraud
  • Up to 20 years for each count of fraud that resulted in serious bodily injury to the patient
  • Life sentence if the health care fraud resulted in the death of a patient

We’re often asked about the worst-case scenario for health care fraud in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether someone will face criminal prosecution or go to prison depends on several factors, such as the severity of any injury suffered by the patients, whether the prosecutor is interested in criminal prosecution, and the reason that started the investigation.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is prepared to handle New Orleans health care fraud defense cases because of our dual experience as former health care prosecutors and defense attorneys. If you’re notified that you’re being investigated for health care fraud or if you’d like to discuss your legal options, call us right away. Initial consultations are free of charge and confidential.

Signs That the Investigation Has Become a Criminal Matter

Health care fraud cases can be civil or criminal. With early intervention and compelling defense strategies, Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP fights criminal charges. Call us right away if you’re being investigated for health care fraud in New Orleans, Louisiana or the surrounding area so that we may begin to develop your custom defense strategies.

Being contacted by a prosecutor is not a good indicator that you’re being investigated for criminal charges. All federal agencies that have prosecutors have both a civil and a criminal division. This is why you cannot necessarily rely on the fact that a prosecutor has contacted you. Determining whether the investigation is criminal in nature can depend on the legal interpretation of many things, such as OIG subpoenas, the manner in which the inquiry is made or in the way in which the allegations are made, and other indicators of criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution may be signaled by search warrants, seizure warrants, arrest warrants, target letters, involvement of federal criminal prosecutors, IRS involvement, or grand jury subpoenas.

If you have questions about whether you are facing criminal or civil charges, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP right away. We represent individual providers, entire health care systems, and other related businesses. We provide health care defense services to individuals, businesses, and entities in and around New Orleans that are being investigated by the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Inspector General, Medicare Fraud Control unit, New Orleans or Louisiana state law enforcement, or the IRS.

Health Care Fraud Defense

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a health care fraud defense law firm providing services in New Orleans, Louisiana and in the surrounding area. Many of our lawyers have previous experience as health care auditors and health care fraud prosecutors with the Department of Justice. We provide our extraordinary insight directly to our clients.

Advocacy begins immediately for our clients. Our main objective in each New Orleans case is to help our clients avoid criminal charges. Our experience and track record prove that the best way to defend against criminal prosecution is to intervene early and not give the government a lot of uninterrupted time to build their case against you. We constantly work to protect your freedom and your professional aspirations. We begin to advocate for you immediately by getting into contact with federal prosecutors. Usually, we can get answers to the most important questions within just a few hours:

  • What is the investigation about?
  • What is the purpose of it?
  • How long will the investigation take?
  • What is the most likely outcome?

Testing the standards. The Constitution requires the federal government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime and acted with criminal intent. We test this high standard in each and every New Orleans case where the federal government indicates that there may be criminal charges involved. Prosecutors often point to billing inaccuracies to attempt to prove criminal intent. However, we know from experience that mistakes happen and that those mistakes do not and should not equate to fraudulent activity. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has provided successful legal defense for clients across the United States by proving that the inaccuracies in billing are results of organization or human error and did not happen because of an intent to defraud the government. In our experience, we’ve noted that the use of unqualified workers, delegation errors, outsourcing errors, lack of oversight, insufficient supervision, and the constantly changing laws and rules that are involved in health care are the most common errors that cause these investigations. Although these issues should be corrected, they should not lead to criminal liability.

The use of strategic defenses. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has the experience that you need to develop strategic defenses, including locating applicable defenses and statutory loopholes. Many of our cases have been successful because of our use of legal exceptions. For instance, in the context of Stark Law which involves medical necessity certifications, we’ve been able to use exceptions to either mitigate or entirely resolve a health care fraud case.

Protecting your professional reputation. We are committed not just to defending you in court. We are also committed to protecting your professional reputation. Allegations of health care fraud can be extremely damaging to your career. Rightfully, many of our clients are concerned about how these allegations will affect their future. The media has the power to tarnish someone’s image or spread rumors. Reports are often biased and don’t always include the whole story. Our attorneys routinely address concerns about slander, and book news spots and other opportunities to correct misinformation about our clients.

Contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP right away to discuss your case. Initial calls are free and confidential.

Our Track Record

The commitment of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is to avoid criminal charges and to shield our client’s medical business from government intrusion. Our team of former health care prosecutors and experienced defense attorneys have a distinguished history of protecting business owners, executives, lawyers, physicians, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, home health care entities, and many other health care organizations against any form of alleged health care fraud. Here are some recent examples of our case outcomes.

  • Representation of a Pharmacy Investigated by the Department of Defense and the Office of Inspector General for Tricare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of a Marketing Group Investigated by the Department of Defense and the Office of Inspector General for Tricare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Physicians Investigated by the Department of Defense and the Office of Inspector General for Tricare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Laboratory against an Investigation by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Alleged Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Laboratory against an Investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Alleged Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Laboratory against an Investigation by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for alleged Tricare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of a Health Care Services Company against an Investigation by the Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services for Alleged False Claims Act and Stark Law Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of a Health Care Marketing Group Against an Investigation by the Office of Inspector General for Alleged Health Care Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of a Physician against an Investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Alleged Medicare Fraud, Stark Law Violations, and Anti-Kickbacks.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Laboratory against an Investigation by the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General for Alleged False Claims Act and Medicare Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Physician Investigated by the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General for Medicare Fraud and False Claims Act Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Physician Investigated by the Office of Inspector General for Medicaid Fraud and Stark Law Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Health Care Organization Investigated by the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General for Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Physician Group Investigated by the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General for Medicare Fraud, Stark Law Violations, and False Claims Act Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Physician Group Investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General for False Claims Act Violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of a Physician Investigated by the Department of Defense and the Office of Inspector General for Tricare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Representation of Pharmacy Investigated by the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General for Department of Labor Program Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.

Health Care Fraud Defense Attorneys Serving New Orleans, Louisiana
Nick OberheidenNick Oberheiden has successfully represented health care executives, business owners, public officials, physicians, and lawyers in high profile prosecutions, during accusations of political corruption, government investigations, and directed media campaigns, including 60 Minutes. In addition to his health care defense practice, Dr. Oberheiden leads internal investigations, implements corporate compliance programs, and teaches U.S. criminal law and federal litigation in the United States and abroad.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s experience from the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, False Claims Act, and Stark violations on behalf of the United States. Ms. Byrd has immense experience with health care law enforcement, and she regularly argues federal matters for her clients.

We are available every day of the year. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by emailing us directly.

800-810-0259
Including Weekends
Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
Serving New Orleans, Louisiana and Surrounding Areas
www.federal-lawyer.com
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.

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