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What Are the Penalties for Healthcare Fraud in Iowa?

Through Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs, the United States government helps many people pay for their healthcare. So it should not surprise you to learn that anyone who tries to commit healthcare fraud is nearly certain to find themselves in the government’s crosshairs. If you are accused of committing healthcare fraud, you are likely to face heavy penalties and a charge that can follow you around for life. You need to take the situation seriously and talk to a Des Moines white collar crime lawyer who can help you build an effective defense.

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What is Considered Healthcare Fraud?

Any attempt to defraud a health insurance provider out of money can be considered healthcare fraud. You can be charged with a crime if:

  • Lie to an insurer in any written or oral statement that is part of a claim for payments or benefits
  • Conspire with others in an attempt to get a payment or benefits based on a falsehood
  • Lie in an application for health insurance coverage

Attempting to get a payment for services that were never rendered or necessary can be considered healthcare fraud, as could billing for more expensive products or services when a less expensive service was offered. Essentially, if it looks like you have done something that would get any extra money out of the insurance company, you are going to be pursued for healthcare fraud.

How Can You Be Punished For Healthcare Fraud?

White-collar crimes like healthcare fraud tend to involve a lot of money. Much of the time, the state or federal government will charge a defendant with a felony. The potential punishments are quite harsh as a result.

In Iowa, someone who commits healthcare fraud is considered a class D felon. A conviction can result in:

  • A prison term of up to five years
  • A fine ranging from $750 to $7,500

The federal government can also charge you with fines for each individual claim and additional damages. If you want to fight back and avoid such penalties, you should get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Do I Need an Attorney to Fight a Healthcare Fraud Charge?

You are allowed to defend yourself, but we do not recommend it. If you are accused of defrauding Medicaid or another federal program, the prosecution is going to come after you with everything that they have. You are going to want to have a lawyer on your side who can advocate for you, defend you from these charges, and help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Contact Our Lawyers Today

Now is the best time to begin forming a defense against these charges. You do not want to fight back against fraud accusations on your own. Contact Herting Law, PLLC and ask about scheduling a consultation. We would love to tell you more about how we can help and what you need to do to defend yourself.

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