Working in the healthcare industry can be a rewarding profession. You may go to work each day with the intention of helping others address their medical concerns to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, as admirable as your job is, it does not mean that you do not face difficulties at any given time.
Though many of your difficulties may have to do with unhappy patients, the possibility also exists that you could come under investigation for possible illegal activity. Though you may never have imagined it happening to you, you could become a suspect in a healthcare fraud investigation if authorities believe that wrongdoing has occurred in your workplace.
What could happen?
Healthcare fraud and health insurance fraud are federal crimes. As a result, it may benefit you to look into your legal options at the first sign that investigators consider you a suspect in such a case. Defending against any allegation is vital as a conviction for this type of fraud could result in any of the following consequences:
- Having to repay any funds you received through fraudulent means, such as billing for services that did not occur or submitting the same bill more than once
- Having to pay fines, which could include up to $250,000 for each fraudulent Medicaid or Medicare claim for individuals or up to $500,000 for each fraudulent claim submitted by institutions
- Being on probation for at least 12 months but possibly up to several years
- Facing a prison sentence that could lead to up to 10 years behind bars for federal healthcare fraud offenses
Other possible outcomes exist, and the exact results depend heavily on the specific details of the case. Nonetheless, you undoubtedly do not want to face any of these consequences, so understanding your legal options from the start may be wise.
Gaining reliable information
Even if you feel confident that you have done nothing wrong, it is not unheard of for innocent parties to end up charged with serious crimes. As a result, it would be a smart step to take a healthcare fraud investigation seriously and to gain reliable information about what the investigation could entail, what it means if you become a suspect and how you could handle any charges that may come against you. Fortunately, an experienced Mississippi attorney could help you from the first signs of an investigation.