Tampa Healthcare Fraud Attorneys - Oberheiden, P.C.
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Tampa Healthcare Fraud Attorneys

Linda Julin McNamara
Attorney Linda Julin McNamara
Tampa Healthcare Fraud Defense Team Lead
Former Deputy Chief, Appellate Division
Tampa address – by appointment only:
6320 S. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33611
888-680-1745

Tampa healthcare providers are at risk of becoming targets in federal investigations. If you have received a target letter, subpoena, or any other form of contact from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), or another federal law enforcement agency, call 888-680-1745 now for a free and confidential case assessment.

During a federal healthcare fraud investigation, a proactive defense strategy can lower the risk of civil or criminal charges. These situations move quickly. By the time you know your practice or business is a target, the government has begun building its case against you. To counter federal agents and prosecutors, you need to intervene as soon as possible. This means hiring experienced legal counsel.

At Oberheiden, P.C., we routinely represent clients in Tampa, throughout Florida, and nationwide. Our attorneys have managed thousands of cases. Plus, we have experience as defense attorneys and former prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). If targeted by a federal agency, you need this experience. We are available 24/7 and our Tampa healthcare fraud attorneys can act quickly on your behalf. Call 888-680-1745 now to discuss your case in confidence.

Understanding What It Means to Be Accused of “Healthcare Fraud”

In federal fraud cases, the government believes you may have improperly billed a federal healthcare program. It may also mean they suspect use of federal payments for referral fees or other compensation. Allegations typically include upcoding or unbundling services. Improper prescribing of opioid medications is also a frequent charge.

To counter the government’s inquiry, you need to know the specific allegations against you. Defending against billing violations is very different from defending against prescription drug fraud. You also need to know whether the government’s investigation is civil or criminal in nature. The nature of the investigation determines (i) the full scope of defenses you will require, and (ii) the potential penalties at risk.

When you hire our federal healthcare fraud defense team, uncovering the range and nature of the government’s investigation is our first priority. We quickly intervene on your behalf. We use our experience and knowledge of the federal healthcare system to determine your potential exposure. We can then quickly craft a custom defense strategy in an attempt to avoid charges. We also work to keep charges civil to avoid criminal penalties like a prison sentence.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Federal Statutes Used to Investigate and Prosecute Healthcare Fraud

1. The False Claims Act

Under the False Claims Act (FCA), it is illegal to submit “false or fraudulent” claims to a federal healthcare program for payment. This includes intentional and unintentional submission of inaccurate claims. In civil cases (unintentional violations), possible penalties include recoupments, treble damages, fines, and program exclusion. In criminal cases (intentional violations), potential penalties include fines and up to five years in prison for each offense.

2. The Anti-Kickback Statute

The Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) applies to rebates, referral fees, and other forms of payments from federal programs. It applies to providers, individuals, and other entities who offer, solicit, pay, or receive unlawful payments. Similar to the False Claims Act, it includes provisions for both civil and criminal penalties.

3. The Stark Law

The Stark Law also prohibits payment of referral fees. It applies solely to physicians and their related entities. Also, unlike the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law is only civil in nature. The Stark Law applies to referral fees paid under the provision of “designated health services,” including:

  • Clinical laboratory services
  • Physical therapy services
  • Occupational therapy services
  • Outpatient speech-language pathology services
  • Radiology and certain other imaging services
  • Radiation therapy services and supplies
  • Durable medical equipment and supplies
  • Parenteral and enteral nutrients, equipment, and supplies
  • Prosthetics, orthotics, and prosthetic devices and supplies
  • Home health services
  • Outpatient prescription drugs
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital services

4. The Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act imposes criminal penalties for prescription drug fraud. This includes issuing unnecessary prescriptions, improperly filling prescriptions, and prescription drug diversion. Providers charged under the Controlled Substances Act can face criminal penalties. A violation does not need to be a federal crime to lose your DEA license.

5. The Federal Healthcare Fraud Statute

The healthcare fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. 1347, makes it a criminal offense to, “knowingly and willfully execute[], or attempt[] to execute, a scheme . . . to defraud any healthcare benefit program . . . [or to obtain] money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program [by false pretenses].” Most violations of 18 U.S.C. 1347 carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. However, violations resulting in serious bodily injury carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, and violations resulting in death carry the potential for life behind bars.

6. Other Federal Criminal Statutes

There are a number of other federal statutes that can be part of criminal healthcare fraud probes. These statutes put providers at risk for multiple counts by taking part in fraudulent healthcare-related transactions. Under the criminal conspiracy statute, it’s not necessary to submit a fraudulent claim to face charges. Common charges in criminal healthcare fraud cases include:

  • 18 U.S.C. 371 (criminal conspiracy)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1028A (identity theft)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1341 (mail fraud)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1343 (wire fraud)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1344 (bank fraud)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1357 (money laundering)
  • 21 U.S.C. 841 (distribution of controlled substances)
  • 26 U.S.C. 7206 (tax fraud)

Is Your Tampa Healthcare Business or Practice Under Investigation?

Do you need legal counsel for an investigation involving the federal government? Here are five reasons you should choose Oberheiden, P.C.:

  • Tampa Healthcare Fraud Attorneys We Have Extensive Experience in Federal Healthcare Fraud Investigations. Our Tampa healthcare fraud attorneys have represented clients in federal healthcare fraud investigations across the country.
  • We Work with You to Develop a Comprehensive and Custom-Tailored Defense Strategy. Our attorneys work with clients personally to craft defense strategies that are designed to succeed.
  • We Work Diligently to Resolve Your Investigation Without Charges Being Filed. Our goal is to fully protect our client by ending the government’s investigation with no charges filed.
  • We Make Ourselves Available to You 24/7. When our clients need us, we answer the call. You can expect to reach our federal healthcare fraud defense team 24/7.
  • We Use our Federal Trial Experience to Fight for You in Court. Many of our Tampa healthcare fraud lawyers are seasoned litigators. We are prepared when it is in our clients’ best interests to go to trial.

If this sounds like your kind of law firm, we encourage you to give us a call. Members of our team are ready to begin working with you on your defense strategy today. When you are under federal investigation, every decision you make has an effect. Contact us now to put our attorneys’ knowledge, insights, and experience on your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Tampa physicians prosecuted in DEA opioid investigations?

 

Physicians in Tampa and throughout Florida are often prosecuted for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. The core allegation being that prescribers of controlled substances have:

  • Written medically unneeded prescriptions,
  • Prescribed excessive medication, and
  • Differ from accepted standards of medicine.

Such actions are seen to result in addiction, diversion, and fatal overdoses.

What happens if I am liable for a patient overdose?

 

Opioid-related overdose deaths pose a real risk to doctors and pharmacy owners. A sentencing judge may weigh a life sentence if the court believes the provider’s actions caused a patient’s death. Such judgements are often upheld once proven that precautions were not taken to protect the patient’s safety and life.

What should I look for in a Florida federal healthcare fraud defense attorney?

 

When under investigation, the choice of attorney is one of the most important decisions to make. However, not all Tampa federal healthcare fraud defense lawyers are ready to handle these complex cases. Experience and industry knowledge are important points when choosing an attorney. You want an attorney who is comfortable handling your case no matter where it goes. Too often, practitioners work with an attorney who is confident in their abilities, but is lost when the case takes an unexpected turn. Due to the complexity of U.S. healthcare fraud laws, you want to be sure your lawyer has detailed knowledge of the industry. This prevents you from needing to explain your business to your lawyers, and lets them provide input based on their own expertise.


Request a Free Initial Case Assessment at Oberheiden, P.C.

For more information about our services, please contact our Tampa healthcare fraud lawyers to schedule a free initial case assessment. To discuss your investigation with a member of our federal healthcare fraud defense team in confidence, call 888-680-1745 or tell us how to contact you online.

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All website terms, conditions, and disclaimers apply to this information and are hereby fully incorporated. Specifically, this information has been prepared (1) for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice; (2) This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions; (3) Merely reading this information does not create an attorney-client relationship; (4) Attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C., are not licensed in all states but are only licensed to practice in the states mentioned in their respective biographies. Nothing contained in here is meant to constitute the unauthorized practice of law or a suggestion of physical presence in the state; (5) Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes in the future.
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