The Texas Medical Board disciplined eighty physicians in June. The group stated the violations included issues with quality of care, unprofessional conduct, nontherapeutic prescribing, inadequate medical records and impairment infractions. The violations resulted in various penalties including the revocation, suspension or voluntary surrender of the alleged offender’s medical license.
The government recently accused the founder of a pharmaceutical company for illegally conspiring to provide kickbacks to physicians who prescribe the company's medications. The accusations led to the arrest of the entrepreneur. The government based the arrest on evidence the entrepreneur conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. If convicted, the crime can come with up to five years imprisonment and a monetary fine of $25,000.
The government has increased its pursuit of hospice fraud cases throughout the country. Recent examples include a group that agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a case involving allegation of False Claims Act (FCA) violations, another $1.2 million and still a third agreed to pay over $75 million to resolve similar claims.
Estimates of losses due to healthcare fraud crimes range from $20 to $105 billion. As noted in a publication by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, these high financial stakes have translated to federal and state prosecutors giving priority to healthcare fraud investigations.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently accused a general surgeon out of Texas of partaking in a scheme to defraud government insurance agencies. According to the allegations, the physician is one of three doctors and 13 others allegedly responsible for over $39.7 million paid out in fraudulent claims.
The Northern District of Texas’ Healthcare Fraud Strike Force has gathered evidence that led to the arrest of a Texas woman. The agency has accused the woman of healthcare fraud. If the government can support these accusations the woman could face a monetary fine of $250,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.
Doctors enter the medical profession for a number of reasons, but one of the foundational motivators is a desire to help others. In most cases, physicians are able to assist their patients with various medical ailments. Unfortunately, there are some situations when an honest mistake can result in an injury to a patient or a patient may misunderstand and blame a physician for his or her continued illness. This can lead to allegations of medical malpractice.
It sounds like a dream job. A job that involves the review of some paperwork, a signature and a pay check for $400 per week. This type of job could serve as a transition between full-time work and retirement. Unfortunately for one physician that took the job, instead of helping him ease into retirement it may ease him into jail.