Charges of health care fraud could lead to 15 year sentence

On behalf of Philip Nathe

While many alleged crimes individuals in the Chicago area face involve physical harm, others are strictly monetary. Despite the different nature of the crimes, the consequences in both situations can be serious.

The owner of a hospice-care provider in Illinois could learn that firsthand. He was recently charged with obstructing a federal audit and health care fraud. The charges arise out of the allegation that the man told the caregivers he employed to do what they could to charge residents for more intensive care even when it was not necessary. That level of care was four times more expensive than the cost of the lower level of care that many were believed to have actually needed.

The change in levels resulted in the business receiving higher levels of reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare. Between the years of 2006 and 2011 the hospice-care provider allegedly received approximately $30 million from Medicaid. In addition, it received and around $95 million from Medicare. It is unclear how much of each of those payments are due to the alleged fraudulent billing.

Though there is nothing to suggest that the patients cared for received care that was below the standard accepted, the alleged health care fraud could still result in serious outcome for the accused if he is found guilty. If convicted on the federal charges he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Because of this it is highly likely that he has engaged the services of criminal defense attorney. In most cases this is the best approach for individuals facing the daunting task of defending themselves against a criminal charge to take.

Source: CBS Chicago, “Illinois Hospice Company Owner Charged With Fraud,” The Associated Press, Jan. 27, 2014

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Charges of health care fraud could lead to 15 year sentence