Medicare Fraud in Florida has increased over the past several years. The federal government has identified Florida as “high-risk” with regard to fraudulent Medicare billing. As a result of heightened surveillance and supervision of Medicare providers in Florida, the number of prosecutions for Medicare Fraud has increased. Individuals that are charged with Medicare Fraud may face severe fines, imprisonment or expulsion from a Medicare program. For information on fighting charges of fraud in Florida, an individual should speak with an experienced fraud attorney.
What is Medicare Fraud?
Medicare fraud occurs when an individual or corporation seeks to collect money or payment through Medicare health reimbursements using false information or schemes. These acts to collect payment may be committed for the person’s own benefit or for the benefit of some other party.
What Are Examples of Medicare Fraud?
Some examples of Medicare Fraud are:
- A healthcare provider bills Medicare for services that were not received.
- A supplier bills Medicare for equipment that was not received.
- Someone uses another person’s Medicare card to get medical care, supplies, or equipment.
- A company offers a Medicare drug plan that has not been approved by Medicare.
- A company uses false information to mislead an individual into joining a Medicare plan.
South Florida & Prosecutions of Medicare Fraud
South Florida has been widely associated with Medicare fraud for the past several years and there have been a number of high-profile prosecutions.
In 2007, the Department of Justice launched the South Florida Initiative-an effort that began after federal investigators identified Miami as a “high-risk” for Medicare Fraud. At the time, Florida led the nation in allegations of non-compliance with Medicare standards.
According to a report by the Department of Justice in 2012 criminal charges were filed against 278 defendants in Florida who allegedly billed Medicare fraudulently. In addition more than 200 defendants were sentenced last year for charges related to Medicare fraud.
Florida also made national news in 2012 when in 59 suspects were arrested in South Florida in connection with a Medicare Fraud scheme totaling $452 million – the highest dollar amount in a single Medicare arrest in U.S. history.
Medicare Fraud Laws in Florida
The commission of Medicare Fraud is a federal offense in Florida. There are several federal statutes that relate to Medicare Fraud including: The False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, the Social Security Act and the U.S. Criminal Code.
Violations of these laws may result in nonpayment of claims, Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs), exclusion from the Medicare Program, and criminal and civil liability.
Contacting a Florida Fraud Attorney
Criminal charges of Medicare Fraud should not be taken lightly as a conviction may result in stiff fines and prison sentences. An individual charged with Medicare Fraud should speak with an experienced attorney to receive more information on fighting charges of fraud in Florida. If you are facing criminal charges, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Florida fraud attorney team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.