Scrutiny of health care billing to uncover fraud in Connecticut
Anyone in Connecticut investigated for or facing charges of health care billing fraud should seek legal representation as soon as possible so as to have a vigorous defense in place.
Federal and state law enforcement authorities are working together in Connecticut to focus on uncovering instances of both criminal and civil fraud in health care billing. According to The National Law Review, a number of health care fraud enforcement actions have launched so far in 2019 in the state involving federal-state cooperation coordinated by the state Interagency Fraud Task Force, a project that began in 2013.
The project involves the federal Department of Justice or DOJ, the Connecticut Attorney General or AG, the U.S. Office of Inspector General or OIG, part of the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS, as well as other state agencies in the effort to target health care fraud.
The article describes a case in which a Norwalk doctor faces 87 months of prison time and three years of supervised release for money laundering and health care fraud that involved allegedly billing Medicaid almost $5 million for medical services that never happened. He must also repay the $5 million, forfeit another $50,000 and give up his “controlled substances registration.”
As of this writing on July 20, 2019, a simple Internet search pulls up several media stories about health care fraud investigations or convictions in Connecticut. For example, the Connecticut Post reported that a federal judge sentenced a 46-year-old Bridgeport defendant to a seven-month sentence plus supervised release for three years for Medicaid fraud. In that case, the defendant allegedly stole identifying information of patients of the substance abuse treatment practice where she worked and used the information to bill for therapy they never received.
While seeking to prevent health care fraud is an appropriate function of the state and federal agencies and officials involved in the task force, it is also possible that vigorous investigation and enforcement could sweep up people who are not involved in illegal activity such as employees of health care practices or billing companies. It is imperative that anyone in this position consult immediately with a defense attorney to understand potential ramifications and begin to build a solid defense.
Anyone in Connecticut who fears investigation for health care fraud or who already faces charges should seek legal defense from an experienced lawyer immediately. A federal or state conviction for fraud can result in severe penalties, including substantial prison time.
Criminal defense attorney Joseph Colarusso of The Law Offices of Joseph J. Colarusso with offices in Stamford, Connecticut, and White Plains, New York, provides vigorous defense for clients in both states facing investigation, arrest or charges of fraud or other white-collar crimes in state or federal courts.