The federal government will come after physicians and other medical professionals if it believes these professionals are putting financial gain over patient needs. They will aggressively pursue charges against those it feels fail to honor these goals and they will push for prison time.
How often do the feds build a successful healthcare fraud case against physicians?
It is not uncommon. In a recent example currently making its way through the courts, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the indictment of ten Texans, including two physicians, after an investigation into these types of allegations.
The government claims the physicians’ ordered unnecessary lab tests. Instead of focusing on the patient’s needs, the government stated these physicians were motivated to order allegedly unnecessary tests in exchange for illegal kickbacks. After completing the investigation, the government claimed these physicians received hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks as part of a $300 million healthcare fraud case.
Other healthcare professionals named in this case include the founder and co-founders of a diagnostic lab, the chief operating officer of a diagnostic lab, a nurse practitioner, and the owners of two marketing firms.
What types of charges do the feds pursue in these types of cases?
When the feds move forward with a healthcare fraud case, they often pursue a more than one charge. In this case, they have filed charges for the following crimes:
- Conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks
- Offering or paying illegal kickbacks
- Soliciting or receiving illegal kickbacks
If convicted, the courts could send the accused to federal prison for 55 years or more.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication