Changing Legislation And Health Care Fraud Charges

Individuals charged with health care fraud may have been in technical violation of Medicare or Medicaid provisions for months, or even years before being charged. The consequences are serious and include prison time and hefty fines. It is essential that you retain an experienced lawyer.

Confidential, Practical Legal Representation

Defense attorney Adam L. Seidel has more than 25 years of experience helping individuals in Texas who have been accused of a variety of health care fraud charges. We work with corporate professionals, executives and athletes who are seeking confidential, discreet legal representation. We understand that your liberty and your finances are at risk. Your public and personal reputation could be damaged for a lifetime by a white collar charge let along conviction.

In many cases, as they shift, health care provisions are unclear and sometimes illegal. We understand how to carefully investigate charges in a way that determines whether or not the prosecutors are protecting your rights and treating you fairly. We are prepared to work diligently on your behalf either on the settlement table, within the courtroom or through the appeals process.

Shifting Definition Of Identifying Information

A recent legislative session made changes to Section 32.51 of the Penal Code which addresses the fraudulent use of, or possession of, "identifying information."

This legislation changed the definition of identifying information. Now, identifying information is just a Social Security number or other government-issued identification number without reference to the person's name. Date of birth, however, still requires it be used in combination with the person's name.

Medicare/Medicaid Fraud

The Legislature expanded the tools available to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. For example, the statute of limitations for Medicaid fraud has been increased from three years to seven years.

Also, Article 18.21 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was amended to include an investigator commissioned by the attorney general under Section 402.009 of the Government Code as an "authorized peace officer." This permits them to request pen registers, trap and trace devices, access to stored communications, and mobile trafficking devices.

Another statute has changed the type of evidence needed in Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases. Previously, where a person or company fraudulently bills hundreds or thousands of recipients' accounts at small dollar amounts, the prosecution had to call each recipient to testify at trial to establish that no product or service was ever ordered, delivered or received. Now in cases involving a continuing scheme of fraud, the prosecution is not required to provide direct evidence as to each recipient. Instead, it is now sufficient to prove lack of consent, or lack of effective consent, by either direct or circumstantial evidence.

Limit The Consequences

At first indication of a criminal investigation, seek legal advice. In some circumstances, working with prosecutors to resolve the issue may avoid criminal charges.

Schedule a consultation by calling 214-528-3344 (Dallas) or 972-312-1212 (Plano) or sending an email.