Healthcare fraud is a serious white collar crime
White collar crimes such as healthcare insurance fraud and Medicare or Medicaid fraud in order to obtain an illegal gain by deceiving your healthcare providers is a crime that may come with heavy penalties and even jail time. Since the recession hit in 2008, there has been a drastic increase in these types of white collar crimes. As such, the U.S. government has started cracking down on insurance fraud offenders and levying harsh penalties on offenders. Health insurance fraud can be committed by both the sides, the insurer and the insured, so the following information may be very useful if you have questions about healthcare insurance fraud. Your first question is probably: What is healthcare fraud? Well, under our federal laws, it’s a crime for a healthcare provider to bill customers for services he or she did not perform. In addition, it is also illegal to bill for medication that wasn’t provided, or billing for a more expensive medication when a less expensive medication was provided. If a healthcare provider performs a procedure that wasn’t necessary, this is also fraud. Other types of fraud include giving false diagnoses and over-billing. In addition to healthcare provider, healthcare consumers can also commit healthcare fraud by allowing other people to use their own insurance in order to receive healthcare services. One of the most frequent form of consumer healthcare fraud is when the insured uses his or her health insurance to give another person prescription drugs. The penalties for healthcare insurance fraud in Pennsylvania vary. First of all, insurance fraud is a felony. In Pennsylvania, healthcare insurance fraud is punishable by a jail sentence of as long as seven years and fines maxing out at $25,000 for each count of fraud. If the fraud charge is dropped to a misdemeanor, the prison term can be as long as five years and fines up to $10,000 per count. There may also be civil penalties associated with healthcare insurance fraud, including a $5000 fine and restitution for first-time offenders. Finally, the insurer or insured may file a lawsuit against the other party. If you have questions about white collar crimes like healthcare insurance fraud, please contact Pittsburgh white collar crimes attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875.