Tampa Medicare Fraud Attorney
Medicare is federal health insurance available to citizens over the age of 65 and, in certain situations, younger people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Medicare covers costs from medical bills, hospice care, preventative care, laboratory tests, and prescription drugs. When individuals or health-care corporations report false information to make a profit off of Medicare they are committing a serious federal crime. Federal laws protecting against Medicare fraud and abuse in order to decrease taxpayer’s dollars from beings wasted or ending up in the wrong hands. Due to the incredible amount of Medicare fraud that occurs on an annual basis, the government cracks down especially hard on those that are caught committing this crime. According to a report, as described by ABC News, it is estimated that at total of $60 billion of Medicare’s annual budget is lost to fraud. That equates to 10 percent of its entire budget. As such, the very strict penalties for committing fraud against Medicare are harsh. A conviction for fraud may by two to three years in prison with fines of up to a quarter million dollars. Medical practitioners may lose their license to practice, and the government may even be able to apply RICO prosecutions for taking part in racketeering, which can involve prison sentences of up to 30 years. Contact the Tampa law office of Roman & Roman today to speak with one of our Tampa Medicare fraud attorneys.
The Various Types of Medicare Fraud
According to Medicare.gov, there are a few types of Medicare fraud that occur on a very regular basis.
- Phantom billing is billing Medicare for “unnecessary procedures or procedures that were never performed.” This also applies to medical tests and equipment;
- Patient billing occurs when a patient is part of the scam of their health professional and receives a kickback for unnecessary treatments or visits. The patient gets a reward from their physician or other practitioner, who bills Medicare, for their part in the fraud; and
- Upcoding and unbundling occurs when a bill is inflated through the use of a billing code, which signals that the patient required an expensive procedure when, in fact, they did not.
Rewards for Those who Report Medicaid Fraud
Medicaid is similar to Medicare, but is reserved for those of all ages that fall below a certain degree of poverty. The government’s concern about the huge amount of waste that occurs due to Medicaid fraud is also similar to that of Medicare. The Florida government will actually pay those who come forward about fraud. Individuals who have “original information relating to and reports a violation of the state’s Medicaid fraud laws” can receive up to 25 percent of the funds recovered or $500,00, according to statute 409.9203. There are those that would profit on incriminating others, and if you have been falsely accused of Medicaid fraud, this may be the reason.
Immediate Tampa Medicare Fraud Legal Assistance
No matter the specifics, if you have been charged with any type of Medicare or Medicaid fraud, contact the Tampa law offices of Roman & Roman to speak with one of our experienced Tampa Medicare fraud attorneys at 877-767-1032 today.