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Oberheiden Attorneys

Experienced Medicare Fraud Defense Lawyers Serving the Ft. Lauderdale Area

Ft. Lauderdale doctors and clinics face a high risk of being investigated for Medicare fraud. If you’re a health care provider, entity, or business and you’re being investigated for Medicare fraud, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP immediately. We are a law firm that provides representation to Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas during federal investigations and federal audits. Additionally, we can help you protect your assets and set up a federal compliance program. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP provides legal representation during qui tam and jury trials. We also help clients who received a grand jury or an OIG subpoena. Our defense group includes lawyers with legal backgrounds and with knowledge as federal health care prosecutors and federal trial attorneys. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is managed by a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator from a U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Medicare Fraud Is a Federal Violation

Medicare fraud is a violation of federal law. It often results in civil and criminal penalties. Medicare fraud occurs when one or more claims are filed with a federal health care program for reimbursement. The claim includes an inaccuracy. However, Medicare fraud also includes Medicaid, Tricare, and federal workers’ compensation. Medicare fraud allegations mean that the federal government is investigating you for violating at least one of the following laws or statutes:

  • Anti-Kickback Statute;
  • False Claims Act;
  • Stark Law;
  • Social Security Act;
  • S. Criminal Code

Pharmacists, nurses, doctors, clinics, and hospitals in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida are investigated for Medicare fraud more often than in cities of similar size in other states. This is because Ft. Lauderdale is one of nine areas in the nation that is constantly monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This happens because a majority of the citizens in Ft. Lauderdale rely on a federal health care program. The government receives more claims from the area which leads them to believe that there is a higher risk of fraud.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is an investigative team of federal agency members. The members are representatives of the DOJ, DEA, DOD, Department of Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the IRS. However, other federal agencies can be involved. If you’re being investigated by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force or if you’re contacted by a member from a federal agency, contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP right away. Initial consultations are free.

Medicare Fraud Investigations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Medicare fraud investigations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and the surrounding areas are triggered when an inaccurate claim is received by a federal health care program. When claims are filed, the federal health care program reviews it. When an inaccuracy is noticed, an investigation may be started. Usually, the claim includes a charge for a medical service or piece of medical equipment that wasn’t authorized, includes an incorrect charge, or includes an excessive charge. In Ft. Lauderdale, the main triggers for a Medicare fraud investigation are:

  • Phantom billing – billing for services that were never performed;
  • Double billing for medical equipment or services;
  • Submitting a claim for medically unnecessary medical services or equipment;
  • Submitting a claim for medically unnecessary medical supplies;
  • Submitting a claim for a medically unnecessary certification (including a claim for hospice or home health care );
  • Inflating charges;
  • Up-coding;
  • The overuse of medical equipment of services;
  • Providing or accepting kickbacks.

Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physician-owned companies, nursing homes, and hospitals in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida are the most commonly targeted people and entities for these investigations. Yet, any person or business that is part of the health care field may face this allegation if they file claims with a federal health care program.

Civil and Criminal Penalties of Medicare Fraud

Medicare fraud allegations often result in civil or criminal charges against the target. Possible civil penalties are:

  • Repayment of claims in questions;
  • Future claims aren’t paid;
  • A fine of up to $11,000 per false claim;
  • Exclusion from federal health care programs;
  • Assignment of treble damages;
  • Attorney fees

You could lose your license to practice and you could also lose your hospital privileges.

Criminal penalties could result in:

  • Fines that cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, even for a misdemeanor;
  • A criminal record;
  • A federal prison sentence of up to 10 years for each count of Medicare fraud for which you are convicted;
  • Federal prison sentence of up to 20 years for each count of Medicare fraud that resulted in serious bodily harm to the patient or patients;
  • A life sentence in federal prison for Medicare fraud that results in the death of a patient.

Qualities in the Right Medicare Fraud Defense Attorney

If you’re facing an allegation of Medicare fraud, you must find a Medicare fraud defense attorney who serves clients in Ft. Lauderdale. The lawyer you need for this allegation is a health care fraud lawyer. A health care fraud lawyer can help you both with the health care law aspect of the case and the possible federal criminal charges that you may face. Those charges include tax fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Look for these four qualities when researching Ft. Lauderdale health care fraud defense attorneys:

  1. A successful record when handling Medicare fraud cases;
  2. Knowledge of the Medicare fraud and health care fraud laws and regulations;
  3. Knowledge of statutory exceptions;
  4. Both litigation and jury trial practices.

Next, you should learn more about the skills that the health care fraud attorney has. To do this, you can ask these three questions:

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

Basic Medicare Fraud Defense Strategies

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP takes the time to review each case to choose the right Medicare defense strategies. However, we’ve also developed some basic strategies that we use. We want to protect our clients from federal criminal charges. This often involves settling with the federal government.

Immediate contact with federal investigators. Our legal team contacts federal investigators immediately on behalf of our clients. We do this to get answers to some of the most important questions:

  • What is the investigation about?
  • What prompted the investigation?
  • Is the investigation civil or criminal?
  • Which federal agencies are involved?
  • What is the ultimate goal of the government?
  • How can this matter be resolved?

We use this strategy because we’ve found that it helps reduce the likelihood that our clients will face criminal charges. We are often able to get answers in just a few hours after we are retained.

Scrutinizing federal evidence. The federal government must use evidence to show that you committed a crime. The evidence must meet a legal standard that is known as “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We scrutinize the evidence to determine if it can reach that legal standard. This strategy often results in:

  • Dismissal of charges;
  • No criminal charges;
  • Client retains professional license;
  • Civil fine with no criminal plea;
  • Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor;
  • No federal prison sentence.

No criminal intent. Federal prosecutors will try to use the billing and coding mistakes against you to show that you set out to defraud the government. Yet, most Medicare fraud investigations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida don’t start because of someone with criminal intent. They start because someone made a mistake. The most common mistakes are:

  • Using unqualified staff;
  • Inadequate supervision;
  • Inappropriate delegation and outsourcing;
  • Structural errors;
  • Human errors;
  • Oversight;
  • Employees who are overwhelmed;
  • No Medicare compliance program in place;
  • The changing health care laws and rules.

While these mistakes should definitely be corrected and plans should be put into place to prevent them from happening again, they’re not crimes. Our objective is to prove to the federal government that you made a mistake that you are willing to correct.

Using strategic Medicare fraud defenses. We analyze each case in order to locate strategic Medicare fraud defenses. Recently, one of our clients faced an accusation of providing a fraudulent certification for home health care services. We were able to prove that our client was protected by a recognized delegation exception and that the certification was compliant within the law. In another recent case, we refused to admit liability on behalf of our client. Instead, we proved to the federal prosecutor that our client acted within a safe harbor exception.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP provides Medicare fraud defense for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and the surrounding areas. We provide legal advocacy for medical providers, entities, business owners, executives, lawyers, clinics, pharmacists, pharmacies, and other related medical entities under investigation for fraudulent billing, illegal kickbacks, and allegations of medically unnecessary services, services not rendered, or unlawful joint ventures. We can help you in many areas, including:

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

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP represents both individuals and entire health care systems or businesses in Orlando, Florida and the surrounding areas. If you’re being investigated by the DOJ, Department of Defense, the FBI, the DEA, the Office of Inspector General, Medicare Fraud Control Unit, the IRS, Ft. Lauderdale or Florida law enforcement, contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP without delay. Initial consultations are free and 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.

Medicare Fraud Defense Lawyers Serving Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Nick OberheidenNick Oberheiden is a Harvard-trained and internationally educated health care fraud defense attorney. Dr. 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 knowledge 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 skills 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 Ft. Lauderdale, 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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