Criminal charges of any kind are no laughing matter. When some people think of individuals who police have taken into custody, they often picture rough-looking parties who fit the stereotypes of people who commit crimes. However, as you now know, anyone could face criminal charges.
As a doctor, you may have accepted the idea that civil legal claims could come against you for malpractice because it happens to medical professionals quite often. You may not have anticipated facing criminal charges in your line of work, especially those relating to fraud. Still, for some reason, you have come under suspicion of health care fraud, and now, you face a serious ordeal.
What is health care fraud?
Typically, fraud of any kind involves illegal actions or misleading information that would allow someone or multiple people to benefit financially. The same idea applies to health care fraud in that individuals who commit this crime have provided incorrect patient information or billing information in efforts to obtain more money. Some examples of this type of fraud include the following:
- Performing unnecessary medical services in efforts to obtain a payout from a patient’s insurance company
- Taking kickbacks, like monetary awards, for making patient referrals
- Billing for treatment, tests, scans or other services that you or other staff members did not perform
- Waiving a co-pay or deductible for a patient and over-billing the insurance company
- Billing for more expensive procedures than those actually performed
- Providing false information to a patient or providing a false diagnosis simply to run additional tests and other procedures
- Billing each step of a procedure as a separate action rather than as a bundled procedure, which can result in a higher cost
If someone accuses you of these or other similar actions, you could quickly find yourself under investigation or even charged with fraudulent activity. Understandably, this type of accusation could bring you a great deal of discomfort because your career, reputation and future are on the line.
What can you do?
At the first sign of suspicion coming against you, it would likely benefit you to look into your legal options. An Ohio criminal defense attorney could help you understand your predicament and determine why these allegations have come against you. Preparing for your case ahead of time could help you ensure that you have the best chance of working toward a favorable outcome.