Missouri False Claims Act Defense Lawyers - Oberheiden, P.C.
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Missouri False Claims Act Defense Lawyers

Missouri False Claims Act Defense Lawyers

In Missouri, medical providers are routinely investigated for violating the False Claims Act because if being named as a defendant in a qui tam lawsuit. The Oberheiden, P.C. represents individual providers and entire hospital systems and businesses who are being investigated by the federal government, involved in a qui tam lawsuit, or who are facing criminal charges brought by the federal government. We also assist in other legal matters as well as assisting clients in the structuring and implementation of federal compliance programs. Our legal defense team has an amazing mix of both education and former experience. Oberheiden’s defense group is managed by a former Chief Healthcare Coordinator from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Many of our team members who work with clients in Missouri have former experience as federal prosecutors and senior trial attorneys. Oberheiden, P.C. serves clients throughout the State of Missouri.

Missouri healthcare providers, entities, facilities, and businesses are at serious risk of investigation for False Claims Act violations. This allegation may land you in civil or criminal court where you will face harsh penalties. Oberheiden, P.C. assists Missouri healthcare providers, healthcare systems, and healthcare businesses in need of defense counsel. Our track record of success spans from cases throughout the entire nation. Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a Harvard-trained negotiator and renowned healthcare fraud defense attorney. Dr. Oberheiden is also the principal managing partner of Oberheiden, P.C.

False Claims Act Violations in Missouri

Doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers, home health companies, healthcare entities, businesses, and facilities in Missouri are at a greater risk of investigation by the federal government than most places in the United States. Missouri is one of nine locations in the nation that is directly monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Missouri has a large population that relies on federal healthcare programs. This causes a greater number of claims to be filed with the federal government. The federal government believes that the increase in claims may also result in an increase in False Claims Act infractions.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a combined federal unit of investigators and prosecutors from various federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the DEA, the FBI, and the IRS. Other agencies can also be involved. If you discover that you’re under investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, you should contact our Missouri False Claims Act defense lawyers at Oberheiden, P.C. immediately. Initial consultations are confidential and free of charge.

Explaining the Basics of the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal regulation that covers any person, business, or organization with a direct or an indirect contract with and that will receive payment for services and equipment by the federal government. It enacts both civil and criminal penalties for any person, business, contractor, or organization that knowingly submits or causes the submission of one or more false claims for approval and payment by the federal government.

Under the False Claims Act, you don’t need actual knowledge. Liability is assigned because you knew or you should have known that whatever happened would be considered an infraction of the law. Medical coding is one of the easiest ways to explain this concept. Recently, ICD-10 was introduced and implemented. If you outsource or hire someone to handle your coding and they use an obsolete code or the wrong code, you may be held legally liable. This is because you knew that you were giving the work to someone else. It was your responsibility to ensure that they were using the appropriate codes.

A Look at Civil and Criminal Penalties

False Claims Act allegations may land you in civil or criminal court. In some cases, you could be charged in both courts. If you’re unsure which charges you may be facing, call Oberheiden, P.C. Once retained, we can assist you by getting the answers that you need.

Civil penalties are assigned by civil court judges. Civil charges may not seem as serious as criminal ones, but the penalties involved can still have a major impact on your life and your career. You may receive one or more of the following penalties:

  • Adjudged with treble damages (damages that are three times more than the amount that the claim is worth)
  • A fine of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • State disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of your professional license
  • Loss of hospital privileges
  • You could be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees for the federal government

Criminal penalties are levied by the criminal court. You may face one or more of the following:

  • Criminal indictment
  • Prison time
  • A fine of $250,000 per claim for individuals for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $500,000 per claim for businesses for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $100,000 per claim for individuals for a misdemeanor conviction
  • A fine of $200,000 per claim for businesses for a misdemeanor conviction

Qui Tam Lawsuits Filed in Missouri

Missouri False Claims Act investigations are often triggered by a qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam lawsuits are supposed to be used to protect the federal government from fraud. Private citizens are encouraged to sue on behalf of the federal government to help it recoup money that was illegally paid out on fraudulent claims. If the lawsuit is successful, plaintiffs receive a monetary reward. Qui tam is a Latin phrase that means ‘he who sues for the king and himself.’ What was implemented as an instrument to aid whistleblowers is now abused by angry former employees and competitors as a way to close down successful healthcare providers and businesses.

Qui tam lawsuits are filed in federal court. Which federal court will depend on where your healthcare practice, facility, or business operates. The plaintiff is referred to in the lawsuit as a ‘qui tam realtor.’ These lawsuits are sealed by the court. The only exception relates to both the assigned judge and the involved federal investigators, as they receive unsealed copies. Federal investigations can take a very long time to complete. As such, the court often grants six month extensions to allow the federal government the time that it needs to finish the investigation.

You need a Missouri False Claims Act defense attorney by your side from the very beginning of the investigation. Your attorney can contact the federal investigators and prosecutors on your behalf to determine what can be done to settle the matter. Settlement negotiations can also take a lot of time.

Your communication, billing, financial, and business records will be subpoenaed by the federal government. Subpoenas may be issued by the FBI, the IRS, OIG, DEA, DOJ, and other federal agencies. After the federal government reviews your records, it will decide if it wants to support or reject the case. If it rejects the qui tam lawsuit, the plaintiff has the option of continuing the claim. If they win against you, they are entitled to receive 30 percent of the recovered funds.

In order for the federal government to support the qui tam lawsuit, it must garner permission from the Department of Justice. This is called government intervention. If the government elects to get involved, you may face additional charges, such as allegations that you violated violated the Anti-Kickback Act, the Truth in Negotiation Act, or the Physician Self-Referral Law. If you lose the qui tam suit, the plaintiff will receive 25 percent of the recovered funds as a reward.

Critical Defense Principles

Oberheiden, P.C. holds remarkable combined experience. Many of the members of our Healthcare Fraud Defense Team are former senior federal prosecutors of healthcare fraud. We are also healthcare fraud defense attorneys. Our experience has led us to develop critical defenses for our clients throughout the United States.

Determining the nature of the charges. Our first objective is to determine the nature of your charges. Most violations of the False Claims Act in Missouri don’t occur because someone had a plan to defraud the government. They happen because someone made an honest mistake. We get into contact with the federal government on behalf of our clients to discuss the charges. We’ll find out how the investigation started, what exposure exists, and what can be done to resolve the investigation. We are usually able to get this information for our clients within the first few hours after our engagement.

Defense strategies for qui tam lawsuits. Earlier, you learned that most qui tam lawsuits filed in Missouri are done to simply to punish healthcare businesses. This is why we provide aggressive defense strategies for our Missouri clients involved in qui tam lawsuits. Our objective is to discourage government involvement. We scrutinize the evidence, the facts, and the plaintiff to show the federal government that the case against you is meritless and doesn’t deserve to be supported. This is key to a good qui tam defense.

Negotiating a favorable settlement. The federal government will inform us if our clients will be civilly liable for damages. In these cases, we negotiate with the federal government. Our goal is to negotiate the original damage amount down to something more favorable for our clients. To date, none of our clients were forced to shut down their practice or their business.

Don’t delay. Contact a Missouri False Claims Act defense lawyer at Oberheiden, P.C. now to book your free and confidential consultation.

Oberheiden, P.C.

The Missouri False Claims act defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. has provided successful legal defenses in Missouri for doctors; clinic owners; physician-owned entities; toxicology labs; DME companies; pharmacies; service management organizations; marketing companies that operate in healthcare, clinics, hospitals; and many other healthcare related entities in relation to False Claims Act violations. We also assist defendants in qui tam lawsuits; Stark Law violations; Anti-Kickback statute violations; and with Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Department of Labor investigations.

Our Track Record

The attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. have successfully defended physicians, practice owners, physician owned entities, toxicology laboratories, device companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, healthcare marketing companies, hospitals, and many others in False Claims Act, qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and DOL investigations.

  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME Company)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device Company)   Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Healthcare Service Provider)   Result: No Liability.

Call Oberheiden, P.C. now and ask to speak with our Missouri False Claims Act defense attorneys about your case. Initial consultations are confidential and free.

Don’t wait. We’re available now to discuss your case. Call us, email us, or use our contact form.

Including Weekends
Oberheiden, P.C.
Serving the State of Missouri and Surrounding Areas
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, P.C. is a Texas PC with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.

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