Yesterday the joint U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of HHS Medicare Fraud Strike arrested 111 people in 9 cities across the country on charges of submitting false bills. Those arrested included doctors, nurses, health care company owners and executives, and staff for allegedly participating in schemes that generated $225 million in bogus Medicare claims.
Since it was founded, the Medicare Joint Task Force has focused its efforts on the health care fraud hotspot of south Florida. But in announcing the arrests yesterday, officials said they were expanding the Task Force to include Chicago and Dallas.
If the FBI and OIG did their jobs right, and it sounds like they did, those arrested had no idea what they were in for when they woke up and went to work yesterday morning. Federal law enforcement values the element of surprise in making sweeping arrests like this so that suspects, witnesses and evidence don’t go missing all of a sudden.
While I am sure that anyone with the good sense to read this blog doesn’t engage in criminal healthcare billing activity, the fact that the Joint Task Force is coming to Chicago provides a good opportunity to brush up on some basic procedures for what do if the government agent shows up at your office door with a search warrant, or worse, an arrest warrant for you.
Every physician office should have a crisis response plan that includes what to do in the unfortunate event that government investigators show up at your door. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a complimentary and informative outline of what your rights are and how the process will likely unfold if you find yourself facing an arrest warrant, search warrant or grand jury subpoena in a federal healthcare related matter.