We are a team of
former federal prosecutors


Meet the Team
Oberheiden Attorneys

Medicare Fraud Defense Lawyers Serving the Tampa 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 best schools such as Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Our attorneys serve clients in Tampa as well as throughout Florida State.

Health care providers, lawyers, executives, facilities, and health care businesses face a serious risk in Tampa, Florida. They’re at a higher risk of being accused of committing Medicare fraud. Tampa, Florida is one of the areas in the United States that is more closely watched by the federal government. If you’re alerted to the fact that you’re being investigated for Medicare fraud, you need an experienced team of Medicare fraud defense attorneys to advocate on your behalf. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a health care fraud defense law firm providing legal assistance for Tampa and its surrounding areas. It is managed by Dr. Nick Oberheiden, a Harvard-trained defense attorney and negotiator.

What You Need to Know About Medicare Fraud in Tampa, Florida

If you’re being accused of Medicare fraud, you’re being accused of violating federal law. By definition, Medicare fraud occurs when a false claim is submitted for payment to the federal government. Despite the name, it includes more than Medicare. It also includes Medicaid, Tricare, and federal workers’ compensation. It includes a violation of at least one of the following federal statutes:

  • Physician Self-Referral Law (also known as Stark Law)
  • False Claims Act
  • Anti-Kickback Statute
  • U.S. Criminal code
  • Social Security Act

Tampa, Florida has more Medicare fraud investigations than most other locations in the United States. It is one of nine areas watched closely the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This occurs because of the large number of beneficiaries of federal health care benefits in Tampa and the surrounding area. There are more claims in these areas that are filed with the federal government. This leads the federal government to believe that there is a higher likelihood of Medicare fraud that will occur. The job of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force is to identify, investigate, and prosecute Medicare fraud.

This team of prosecutors and investigators is made up of members from several different federal agencies including the DOJ, DEA, DOD, Department of Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the IRS. However, those aren’t the only involved agencies. There are other federal agencies that also routinely get involved.

How Do Most Allegations Start in Tampa?

Medicare fraud investigations in Tampa, Florida often begin because of billing mistakes. These mistakes are flagged by the federal government as fraudulent billing practices and reimbursement requests. These claims often include excessive charges, fraudulent charges, and unauthorized charges. The most common billing issues include:

  • Phantom billing (billing for services that weren’t performed)
  • Billing for medically unnecessary services or equipment
  • Billing for equipment or services that weren’t ordered
  • Certifications for medically unnecessary supplies or services (such as medical devices or hospice care)
  • Charge inflation
  • Double billing for equipment, services, or treatment
  • Upcoding for equipment, services, disorders, or treatment
  • Overuse of services or equipment
  • Providing or accepting kickbacks

In Tampa, the most commonly investigated individuals and entities include doctors, nurses, hospice providers, nursing and registered care facilities, clinics, hospitals, medical device companies, pharmacies, laboratories, cancer treatment centers, and DNA centers. If you’re being investigated for Medicare fraud, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP now to book your confidential initial consultation. Initial consultations are free of charge.

Civil and Criminal Penalties

Medicare fraud in Tampa, Florida can include civil and criminal penalties. In some cases, those being investigated will face both civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties can include one or more of the following:

  • Assessment of treble damages
  • Civil fines of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • Recoupment requests
  • Non-payment of future claims
  • Exclusion from federal health care programs
  • Assessment of attorney fees
  • State disciplinary action
  • Loss of professional license
  • Loss of hospital privileges

Criminal penalties are extremely serious because they can alter the course of your entire life. You can face one or more of the following if you are convicted of criminal Medicare fraud:

  • A criminal record
  • Fines that cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • 10 years in federal prison for each count of Medicare fraud for which you are convicted
  • 20 years for each count of Medicare fraud if it resulted in serious bodily injury to the patient
  • A life sentence if the Medicare fraud resulted in the death of the patient

The Importance of Choosing the Right Tampa Defense Attorney

Medicare fraud allegations need the right Tampa defense attorney to plan and execute the best strategic defenses related to the facts involved in your case. You need a legal advocate who can help you – regardless of whether your case is civil or criminal.

Medicare fraud investigations often lead many to hire a Tampa, Florida health care attorney. Although a health care attorney does work in the industry, he or she may not have the experience or the knowledge to help you with the associated criminal charges. Did you know that Medicare fraud is often charged along with serious federal crimes, such as tax evasion? A health care attorney may not have the negotiation and defense skills that you need to settle with or to face federal prosecutors during a trial.

When criminal charges are prevalent, many seek out a Tampa criminal defense attorney. Yet, most criminal defense attorneys in the area aren’t experienced with federal criminal matters. Many criminal defense attorneys don’t have the knowledge or industry experience that you need in health care law, billing, coding, or medical utilization rules.

As you’re looking for legal help, look for someone who can provide you with both health care law advice and who has federal criminal law experience. A health care fraud defense lawyer serving Tampa and the surrounding area is the ideal choice. As you do your research, watch for these key traits:

  1. A proven track record of success in Medicare fraud cases
  2. Industry knowledge
  3. Deep familiarity with health care laws and their exceptions
  4. Litigation and trial experience

Next, you should ask the following three questions to learn more about their Medicare fraud experience:

  1. How many Medicare fraud cases have you handled during your career in law?
  2. How many of those cases resulted in no civil or criminal charges or in dismissals for your clients?
  3. How many Medicare fraud cases did you try in court?

Tampa, Florida Medicare Fraud Defenses

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP uses proven and strategic Medicare fraud defenses for our clients in Tampa, Florida and the surrounding area. We’ve developed three primary strategies that we use in each case. We’ve proven the effectiveness of these strategies time and time again.

Early contact. Our experience has taught us that early contact with the federal government on behalf of our clients is one of the best ways that we can advocate on their behalf and reduce the likelihood that our clients will face criminal charges. When federal investigators have too much time to investigate you without interruption, you’re likely to face criminal charges. Our goal is to lessen that risk. This is why we contact the federal government right away to get answers to the important questions like:

  • What is the investigation about?
  • What prompted the investigation?
  • Is this civil or criminal?
  • Which federal agencies are involved in the investigation?
  • Who all is being investigated?
  • How can the matter be resolved?

Because many of our team members previously held senior positions as federal health care fraud prosecutors with the Department of Justice, we are often able to get these questions answered within hours of our engagement. This is also a key step in forming a plan to best assist our Tampa clients.

Lack of evidence. Evidence must be presented by the federal government. This evidence must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ve committed a crime. In each case, we look at the evidence that the federal government provides, and tests whether or not it meets the legal standard. Because we use this strategy on each case, we regularly see the following results:

  • Case dismissal
  • No criminal charges
  • Clients maintain their professional license
  • Civil fine without a criminal plea
  • Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor
  • No prison time

Lack of criminal intent. The federal government must also show that you’ve acted with criminal intent. This is difficult for the federal government since most Medicare fraud cases in Tampa, Florida don’t start because someone had the intention of defrauding the government. They most often begin because of a mistake made by an individual or a business. The most commonly occurring mistakes in Tampa and the surrounding area include:

  • Relying on unqualified or untrained staff
  • Inadequate supervision of staff
  • Delegation and outsourcing of work to unqualified entities
  • Business errors
  • Human error
  • Oversight
  • Employees who are overwhelmed
  • Lack of a Medicare compliance program
  • Failure to keep up with the quickly changing health care laws and rules

Health care providers and businesses in Tampa who are accused of Medicare fraud often just accept the penalties against them, despite the lack of criminal intent. While you may ultimately need to address and correct the mistakes that were made that led to the investigation, you should not have to face criminal penalties for a mistake. Our goal is to show the federal government that our clients did not act with criminal intent.

Using strategic defenses. Each Tampa Medicare fraud case that we take on is different because they all have a distinct set of facts. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP takes the time to analyze each case to determine the best strategic defenses available that are applicable. We recently handled a Medicare fraud case where the government accused our client of fraudulently certifying home health care services. We proved to the government that our client was protected by a recognized delegation exception that rendered the certification fully compliant within the law. In another case, we refused to admit liability. We proved to federal prosecutors that our client acted within a safe harbor exception.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP serves Tampa, Florida and the surrounding area with zealous Medicare fraud defense. We’ve assisted health care businesses, executives, lawyers, individual providers, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, labs, and other health care entities under investigation for illegal kickbacks and fraudulent billing practices. We also assist with allegations of medically unnecessary services, services not rendered, and unlawful joint ventures. We can help you with:

  • Health care fraud defense
  • Compliance program creation and implementation
  • Internal investigations
  • Asset protection
  • Licensure or disciplinary proceedings
  • Jury trials

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP provides legal representation of providers, businesses, and facilities in Tampa and the surrounding areas. If you’re being investigated by the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the FBI, DEA, Office of Inspector General, Medicare Fraud Control Unit, the IRS, Tampa or Florida State law enforcement, call us right away. We provide free initial consultations that are confidential.

Our Track Record

  • Defense of Medicare laboratory against investigations by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for alleged Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense 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.
  • Defense of Medicare laboratory against investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General for alleged Health Care Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of nationally operating health care company against an investigation by the Department of Defense for alleged Tricare fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of health care marketing company against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged False Claims Act and Medicare violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a laboratory against an investigation by various branches of the federal government for alleged fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services for alleged Stark Law violations. Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged Stark Law violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged False Claims Act violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by various branches of the federal government for alleged False Claims Act, Stark Law, and Medicare violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Department of Defense for alleged Tricare fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of a physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of physician-owned entity against an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services for alleged Stark Law violations.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of health care management organization against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services for alleged Medicare Fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.
  • Defense of nationally operating laboratory against an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for alleged fraud.
    Result: No civil or criminal liability.

Tampa, Florida Medicare Fraud Defense Lawyers

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick 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. He is most known for stopping federal investigations before criminal charges can be filed. 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 Tampa, Florida 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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