In today’s society, the cost of healthcare services has risen significantly, which has driven practitioners to deceive the healthcare system for unlawful benefits or payments. This criminal offense is known as healthcare fraud. This type of fraud can not only result in prison time but can also ruin you financially. If you have been charged with healthcare fraud, contact a talented Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney who can fight on your behalf today to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Keep reading to learn the penalties for healthcare fraud in New York.
What is healthcare fraud?
If a practitioner or a patient intentionally misrepresents information to unlawfully obtain medical services or payments, they are guilty of healthcare fraud. This type of fraud is a serious crime that involves filing dishonest healthcare claims to turn a profit. The following include but are not limited to some common examples of this type of fraud:
- Altering medical records
- Billing for services not provided
- Billing non-covered by insurance services as covered services
- Duplicate billing
- Forging fake bills or invoices
- Prescribing unnecessary treatments, tests, or services
- Intentionally providing false information on applications for programs or services
- Using someone else’s benefits for a government program to obtain coverage
What are the penalties for this white-collar crime in New York?
If you work in healthcare, you are held to a higher standard. Therefore, healthcare fraud is punished more harshly than other white-collar crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is responsible for investigating cases of healthcare fraud. That said, on the federal level, this type of fraud is punishable on what this known as a sliding scale. If you are convicted of this type of crime, your fines will be proportional to your yearly declared income. Therefore, you will face up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and full restitution of the amount unlawfully obtained through an illegal healthcare scheme.
However, if serious injury results from your crime, you can face up to 20 years in prison. Further, if your crime results in the death of a patient, this fraud is punishable by life in prison. These penalties are severe and will negatively impact your life. However, other consequences, such as your medical license being suspended or revoked, should be considered as it will hinder your ability to earn a living.
With these potential penalties, it is imperative to take accusations of type of fraud seriously. If you are a healthcare professional and have been charged with fraud, don’t hesitate to contact a determined Rockland County criminal defense attorney. With years of experience, you can trust that the Law Office of Carl Spector will defend your rights vigorously to maximize your chances of avoiding the harsh penalties associated with this offense.