Healthcare fraud is a serious offense, and the government is prosecuting healthcare fraud more now than ever before. Depending on the magnitude of the offense and the level of intent, physicians and other healthcare providers can face penalties ranging from civil monetary damages to criminal conviction and long-term imprisonment. As a result, for those who find themselves under investigation, a crucial question is: Which lawyer should I hire to defend myself?
Choosing Your Healthcare Fraud Defense Lawyer
While there are numerous lawyers who call themselves “defense attorneys” or “healthcare lawyers,” providing effective representation in healthcare fraud cases and investigations requires more than just a general knowledge of the law. It requires specific, in-depth experience not only in healthcare law and not just in criminal defense, but in prosecuting and defending healthcare fraud charges. As a result, physicians and other healthcare providers should center on three key traits when hiring a lawyer:
- An intimate understanding of federal healthcare law,
- Government experience in healthcare investigations and prosecutions, and
- An impeccable track record in healthcare fraud defense.
1. An Intimate Understanding of Federal Healthcare Law
First and foremost, you need an attorney who is intimately familiar with the healthcare laws that apply to your practice. Many healthcare fraud cases rest on the distinction between an honest mistake and criminal intent. Often, this a very fine line. To adequately represent you, a lawyer must know how to put the complexities of federal healthcare law on your side.
2. Government Experience in Healthcare Investigations and Prosecutions
You also need an attorney who has experience on the other side of federal healthcare investigations. Federal healthcare prosecutors live and breathe the types of cases that you are facing, and if you don’t have their level of knowledge and insight, you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage. A healthcare fraud defense lawyer who has extensive prior experience as a federal healthcare prosecutor will be able to help you anticipate the government’s next move and stay one step ahead during your investigation, plea negotiations, and – if necessary – at trial.
3. An Impeccable Track Record in Healthcare Fraud Defense
Of course, you also want an attorney who has a proven track record in healthcare fraud defense. To learn about an attorney’s experience, you should feel free to ask questions like:
- What were the outcomes of your previous healthcare fraud cases?
- Were you able to help your clients avoid criminal charges?
- How many healthcare fraud cases have you had dismissed?
While there are a great number of healthcare lawyers, very few of them are trained to negotiate with FBI agents and government lawyers, and even fewer lawyers have ever argued a case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the Office of Inspector General. In fact, most “healthcare lawyers” have never actually taken a case to court.
About Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
The attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP have advised hundreds of healthcare clients, including physicians, toxicology laboratories, pharmacies, compound pharmacies, DNA testing centers, in-patient drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, surgery centers, physical therapy groups, and healthcare marketers. Our team of healthcare fraud defense lawyers is comprised of former government officials, senior healthcare prosecutors, chief coordinators, and team leaders of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. We are regularly hired to defend healthcare providers against fraud accusations in government investigations across the country.
We have successfully represented clients in investigations led by:
- The Department of Defense (involving Tricare fraud)
- The Department of Justice
- The Department of Labor
- The Department of Health and Human Services
- The Office of Inspector General
- The FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Secret Service, and other agencies
Read about some of our recent Success Stories.
Speak with a Healthcare Fraud Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
If you would like more information about our experience and how our former federal healthcare prosecutors can help you, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP at (800) 701-7249 or contact us online to speak with:
- Lynette S. Byrd (Former Federal Prosecutor for Healthcare Fraud, U.S. Attorney’s Office, NDTX)
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.