In Florida and across the U.S., paying or receiving any type of commission or “kickback” for patient referrals is against the law. The Florida Patient Brokering Act (Florida Statutes Section 817.505) prohibits healthcare providers from paying or receiving commissions for patient referrals, whereas the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)) prohibits kickbacks involving the Federal health care programs.
If you violate the state’s antikickback statute, you could be charged with a felony offense that carries stiff penalties and administrative sanctions, including denial of a medical license or disciplinary action against your license. If you violate the federal statute, you could be charged with a federal felony offense and, if convicted, face penalties of up five years in prison, criminal fines up to $25,000 per violation, civil penalties up to $50,000 per kickback plus three times the amount of the remuneration, and exclusion from participation in the Federal healthcare programs.
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with a kickback violation, it is important to get legal help from an attorney who is experienced in both criminal and healthcare law at the state and federal level. For the experience and expertise you need, contact Orlando federal defense attorney Jonathan Rose today. He will put his knowledge of healthcare law, and skills as a negotiator and litigator to work fighting the allegations, defending your rights, and protecting your future.
Defending against Kickback Charges
At the federal level, kickback investigations can be very intensive, often involving attorneys and agents from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Inspector General. Although the consequences in Florida kickback cases are usually not as severe, state investigations are often prosecuted with as much tenacity as federal violations. Therefore, whether you are being investigated or charged at the state or federal level, you need a highly qualified trial attorney who is experienced in healthcare civil and criminal defense law.
This is especially true for those charged under the Federal Antikickback Statute (AKS), since Congress increased the law’s reach with the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Previously, the prosecution had to prove that the defendant had knowledge of the law’s prohibitions or specific intent to break the law. Now, that requirement has been changed, and if you unintentionally break the law, you can still be held liable for fraud under the False Claims Act.
In addition to understanding all nuances and applications of the law, your attorney should also be familiar with AKS safe harbors, other Department of Health and Human Services’ AKS rules, and other related charges. For example, if you are indicted for paying or receiving kickbacks under the federal statute, you could also be charged with conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, conspiring to commit money laundering, and/or money laundering, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. You need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to fight these charges and protect your future.
Rely on Orlando Healthcare and Federal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rose to Protect Your Rights and Fight for Your Future
The penalties for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute can be very serious, especially at the federal level. If you are being investigated or have already been charged with a violation, please contact our office as soon as possible. It is likely the government has already conducted a lengthy, in-depth investigation to collect damaging evidence, so it is crucial for you to have a lawyer who is knowledgeable about healthcare law and has the experience in state and federal court to assess your case and determine your best course of action.
Orlando federal defense attorney Jonathan Rose is a skilled healthcare defense attorney with 20 years of experience in state and federal courts. He’ll put his inside knowledge of healthcare law, federal investigations, and prosecutions to work building a strategic defense that promotes your best interests.