Health care fraud is a serious offense, and the government is prosecuting health care fraud more now than ever before. Depending on the magnitude of the offense and the level of intent, physicians and other health care 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 Health Care Fraud Defense Lawyer
While there are numerous lawyers who call themselves “defense attorneys” or “health care lawyers,” providing effective representation in health care fraud cases and investigations requires more than just a general knowledge of the law. It requires specific, in-depth experience not only in health care law and not just in criminal defense, but in prosecuting and defending health care fraud charges. As a result, physicians and other health care providers should center on three key traits when hiring a lawyer:
- An intimate understanding of federal health care law,
- Government experience in health care investigations and prosecutions, and
- An impeccable track record in health care fraud defense.
1. An Intimate Understanding of Federal Health Care Law
First and foremost, you need an attorney who is intimately familiar with the health care laws that apply to your practice. Many health care 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 health care law on your side.
2. Government Experience in Health Care Investigations and Prosecutions
You also need an attorney who has experience on the other side of federal health care investigations. Federal health care 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 health care fraud defense lawyer who has extensive prior experience as a federal health care 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 Health Care Fraud Defense
Of course, you also want an attorney who has a proven track record in health care fraud defense. To learn about an attorney’s experience, you should feel free to ask questions like:
- What were the outcomes of your previous health care fraud cases?
- Were you able to help your clients avoid criminal charges?
- How many health care fraud cases have you had dismissed?
While there are a great number of health care 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 “health care lawyers” have never actually taken a case to court.
About The Criminal Defense Firm
The attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm have advised hundreds of health care clients, including physicians, toxicology laboratories, pharmacies, compound pharmacies, DNA testing centers, in-patient drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, surgery centers, physical therapy groups, and health care marketers. Our team of health care fraud defense lawyers is comprised of former government officials, senior health care prosecutors, chief coordinators, and team leaders of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. We are regularly hired to defend health care 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 Health Care Fraud Defense Lawyer at The Criminal Defense Firm
If you would like more information about our experience and how our former federal health care prosecutors can help you, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call The Criminal Defense Firm at 866-603-4540 or contact us online to speak with:
- Dr. Nick Oberheiden (Founding Partner)
- Lynette S. Byrd (Former Federal Prosecutor for Health Care Fraud, U.S. Attorney’s Office, NDTX)
Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a national litigation and trial criminal defense attorney who practices exclusively in the area of federal law.