If you work in the health care industry and someone has accused you of committing Medicaid fraud, you are probably feeling confused and terrified. This accusation can have a lasting impact on your life, destroying your career and resulting in time behind bars. Since law enforcement has been targeting people accused of fraud more than ever, the steps that you take following an accusation are vital and can play a significant role in the outcome of your case.
No matter how tempting, you won’t want to face this problem without the support of a legal expert. A fraud attorney will review the details of your case and help you decide what to do in the days, weeks and months that follow. You will then know that you have made the right choice and that you are in good hands.
Understanding medicaid Fraud
Learning about Medicaid fraud and how it works will enable you to get a better picture of the crime of which you have been accused. A common form of fraud involves a medical professional billing Medicaid for services that he did not perform, and because many people file claims each day, it’s hard to detect the dishonesty. In other cases, medical professionals will change the billing code of a legitimate service so that they can collect more money than they have earned.
When they are performed together, many medical procedures are bundled to reduce the cost, but some medical professionals will charge each procedure separately for financial gain. Since the laws related to Medicaid fraud are complex and confusing, people can make mistakes and find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and you won’t want to face that problem alone.
You will likely face harsh penalties if a jury convicts you of committing Medicaid fraud. Depending on your jurisdiction, if you have used fraud to obtain less than $1,000, the legal system can charge you with a misdemeanor of the first degree. You could spend several months in jail if your case does not end in your favor. Those who defraud Medicaid for more than $1,000 could get a felony conviction and several years in prison.
Most people are shocked when they discover how much time they might spend in jail or prison following a conviction, and you don’t want to get caught off guard. Depending on the severity of your case and a range of other factors, you could even lose your medical license.
Even though you have a lot at risk when you are dealing with these accusations, you can craft a viable defense strategy if you follow the right steps. Although you can use a range of defenses, the basic approach is to demonstrate that you did not file false claims for financial gain. If you have records or witnesses that can support your side of the story, you can combat your charges. Also, fraud laws are in place to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the innocent, so you can defend yourself if you can prove that your actions are the result of a mistake.
Responding to Accusations
You might think that speaking with detectives or investigators will help you avoid legal action, but doing so is not smart. Once the authorities are convinced that you have committed a crime, they will look for any reasons to earn a conviction. Even innocent people can unknowingly make incriminating statements when they try to protect their reputations. The police will likely overlook any information that could prove your innocence and highlight anything that they can use against you.
So remaining silent is the most important thing that you can do if you want to stay out of harm’s way. No matter what the police tell you, never give them information or volunteer to let them review your billing records. As soon as you get the chance, you must pick up your phone and speak with a criminal defense attorney with experience in Medicaid fraud. When you do so, your legal expert will guide you in the right direction and improve your odds of success. You won’t need to worry about making mistakes as long as you follow viable legal advice.
Getting Your Defense Attorney and Protecting Yourself
If you don’t want to face fines, lose your job or go to prison, enlisting the help of a criminal defense attorney is an important piece of the puzzle. After looking into the details and the evidence against you, your attorney will let you know how the case will likely end. Your legal professional will look for holes and inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s case, but that is only the start. Having an attorney in your corner will allow you to get the best possible plea deal, but if you don’t accept the offer, your attorney will fight for your rights in front of a jury.
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