Critical care physicians, emergency room doctors, hospitalists, infectious disease experts and others have bravely faced the challenge of providing care for patients suffering from the effects of COVID-19. They have been recognized across the globe as heroes for their commitment, endurance and professionalism in the struggle to fight this deadly disease and save lives.
Prior to the pandemic, however, an increase in Federal and State enforcement agencies designed to fight the opiate epidemic and fraud shed a much less flattering light on doctors, often targeting them for serious criminal offenses, including drug trafficking, kickbacks, false claims and health care fraud. Doctors accused of these crimes faced prison sentences, stiff fines and administrative actions against their medical licenses.
If you’re being investigated for or have been charged with a crime, you don’t want to end up in this unfortunate position. By being proactive and working with a Florida defense attorney for doctors who is experienced in state and federal health care law and criminal defense, you can position yourself to avoid criminal convictions and severe license discipline.
When you’re dealing with federal and state investigations, you should be well prepared to fight possible criminal charges. By working with a qualified defense attorney with experience in health care and criminal law, you may be able to prevent charges from being filed. If faced with an investigation, having an experienced attorney advocating for you prior to charges being filed is the best way to protect your rights and your career.
A government audit of your practice might seem harmless, but it is actually an investigation that can quickly lead to an arrest. Federal and state investigators have access to all kinds of data, and an investigation might also include interviewing some of your patients and sending undercover investigators to your practice to try to build a case against you. Thus, even before they have a warrant, these agencies have usually collected a lot of potentially incriminating evidence.
If you have a qualified attorney advocating on your behalf, you can possibly prevent the government from proceeding through an investigation to the filing of criminal charges. Your attorney might, for example, advise you to have an independent audit of your practice conducted to identify areas for you to address before they lead to criminal charges. In addition, your attorney could get a head start on preparing a strong defense in case the investigation continues.
Protect Your Medical License
Government investigations or criminal charges can quickly have negative consequences for your career and your future. For example, allegations of health care fraud, abuse or maltreatment of a patient, or drug trafficking must be reported to the Department of Health. Your DEA license can be suspended immediately following an allegation; your CMS privileges can also be suspended, and ultimately, action can be taken against your medical license, even if you are not convicted.
According to Florida Statute § 456.0635, if you are convicted of a felony, whether related to your medical practice or not, you can lose your license to practice medicine. Similarly, if you fail to report any criminal conviction or entry into a diversion program, your license could be severely disciplined.
A knowledgeable Florida medical license defense attorney can intervene early in the administrative processes and help prevent damaging actions against you. However, you should also make sure your attorney is qualified to represent you in state and federal court in case criminal charges are brought against you.
Get Help from an Attorney Experienced in Health Care and Criminal Defense Law
Some doctors do not take federal or state audits or investigations seriously enough in the early stages and neglect acting soon enough to avoid being indicted for serious offenses. Without a proactive, strong defense, they can end up with huge fines, significant time in prison, and civil monetary penalties, as well as loss of DEA registration, exclusion from CMS programs, and revocation of their medical licenses.
Before you face these damaging consequences, get the help you need from an experienced Florida health care and criminal defense attorney. If you are being audited, investigated, or charged with a criminal offense, contact Attorney Jonathan Rose as soon as possible. He understands the complexities you face as a physician and will provide powerful defense strategies to fight against criminal allegations and protect your medical license and career.