Louisiana Office
9655 Perkins Rd, Suite C-203
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(Meeting location by appointment only)

Health care providers, facilities, entities, and businesses in Baton Rouge, Louisiana face the very real possibility of being investigated for violating the False Claims Act. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP practices in health care fraud and serves the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Harvard-trained Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the managing principal lawyer.

Why Baton Rouge Providers Face Higher Instances of Investigations

The federal government investigates suspected instances of False Claims Act violations across the entire nation. However, there are nine specific areas that the government pays the most attention to because of the large number of federal health care program beneficiaries. Baton Rouge is one of those nine areas. In areas like Baton Rouge that have a large number of beneficiaries, there are more federal health care claims filed. When more claims are filed through CMS, the government watches the area closely for False Claims Act violations. In 2016, the Department of Justice announced that they had investigated over 300 allegations and recovered more than $900 million in falsely paid out claims.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This is a special task force made up of federal prosecutors and investigators from multiple federal agencies including the IRS, the DEA, DOJ, DOD, FBI, OIG, and the Department of Health and Human Services. This isn’t an an-inclusive list. This team watches for, investigates, and prosecutes violations of the False Claims Act.

Baton Rouge health care providers, entities, facilities, and businesses who are under investigation should call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP to speak with a False Claims Act defense attorney right away.

What Is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is a federal law that applies to any person or business with direct or indirect contracts with and who will be paid by the federal government on federal health care claims. It creates both civil and criminal liability for individuals, contractors, businesses, or organizations that knowingly submit or that causes the submission of a false claim for the approval of and payment by the federal government.

‘Knowingly’ is an important word because it doesn’t mean that you had actual knowledge. It means that you either knew or that you should have known what was happening would violate the law. As a health care professional or business, you should have performed due diligence to know that whatever was happening would be within the confines of the law. For instance, if you hire someone to do your billing and coding and they use an outdated code, that could be a violation of the False Claims Act. This is because you knew or you should have known which codes were being used. Ultimately, it was your responsibility.

Violating the False Claims Act Creates Civil and Criminal Liabilities

Baton Rouge health care providers, businesses, and entities who are charged with violating the False Claims act can face civil and criminal penalties. This is extremely concerning because violating the False Claims Act has the power to change your entire life. You may not know whether you’re being investigated civilly or criminally at the outset. Retaining Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP means that you can get the answers that you need.

Civil penalties can include being ordered to pay treble damages (three times the amount of the claims), payment of civil fines of up to $11,000 per false claim, recoupment requests, non-payment of future claims, and future exclusion from federal health care programs. You may face state disciplinary or licensing hearings or lose your hospital privileges. Criminal penalties include fines that cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars, carry criminal charges, and could mean facing up to five years in federal prison.

Baton Rouge Qui Tam Lawsuits

Baton Rouge False Claims Act investigations often start because of qui tam lawsuits. The initial purpose behind a qui tam lawsuit was to enable private citizens to assist the government in recovering money that they paid out on false claims. In fact, qui tam is Latin for “he who sues for the king and himself.” Yet, these lawsuits are often abused by disgruntled former employees and competitors who are out to hurt your business.

Qui tam lawsuits in Baton Rouge are filed in the Middle District of Louisiana federal court. Plaintiffs are referred to as “qui tam relator.” These lawsuits are sealed by the court to protect the privacy of the plaintiff. The assigned judge and the investigating prosecutors are given unsealed copies.

The government has two options. It can either reject the qui tam lawsuit, or it can support it. However, before the government makes its decision, it usually investigates the matter. Because the investigation can take time, extensions are often filed and granted.

You will receive subpoenas for your business, financial, communications, and billing records. Subpoenas can come from several federal agencies including the DOD, DOJ, DEA, IRS, FBI, and OIG. They can come from other federal agencies as well.

After the government reviews your records, it will decide whether it will reject the allegations or support them. If the government rejects the case, it’s not necessarily over. The plaintiff can choose to continue. If they win without the government’s support, they are entitled to receive 30 percent of the recovered funds as a reward.

If the government decides to support the qui tam suit, this is known as intervention. You will likely face additional charges. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff will be given 25 percent of the recovered amount as a reward.

If you’re notified of an impending False Claims Act investigation or qui tam lawsuit, immediately call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP to discuss your case. Our Health Care Fraud Defense Team can contact the investigators and prosecutors on your behalf to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Proven Strategic Defense Strategies for Baton Rouge Clients

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP develops strategic defense strategies for Baton Rouge clients using our three main principles. We developed these principles using our collective experience as defense attorneys and former prosecutors. These principles have been successful across the United States as we’ve represented health care providers, entities, and businesses.

  1. Our first and most important goal is to reduce the likelihood that you’ll face criminal charges. When you retain Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, we will get into contact with the investigating officials as soon as we can. We’ll ask about the purpose of the investigation, what charges you may be facing, and how the investigation can be resolved. We can often get the answers to these questions in just a few days after our engagement.
  2. In Baton Rouge qui tam lawsuits, our ultimate goal is to prove to the government that the suit is meritless and doesn’t deserve support. To do this, we aggressively attack the evidence in the qui tam suit and cast doubt upon the allegations made against you. This is extremely important since so many qui tam lawsuits are filed by former employees and competitors.
  3. When civil liability is indicated, Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP will negotiate with the federal government on your behalf to reach a favorable settlement. In the past, we’ve negotiated original damage amounts to much smaller fractions. None of our False Claims Act clients have been forced to shut down their practice or their business.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has successfully assisted clients in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and nationwide. We’ve represented nurses, doctors, clinics, hospitals, practice owners, physician owned entities, labs, pharmacies, and other health care businesses accused of violating the False Claims Act, involved in qui tam lawsuits, being investigated for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, violating Stark Law, or Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare of Department of Labor investigations.

Here’s a partial showing of our Track Record of success:

  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Health Care Service Provider)
    Result: No Liability.

If you’re in Baton Rouge and you’re being investigated for a False Claims Act violation or receive notice about a qui tam lawsuit, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP right away. Initial consultations are always free and confidential.

False Claims Act Defense Attorneys Serving Baton Rouge

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has represented clients in qui tam lawsuits, False Claims Act investigations, Medicare fraud investigations, Tricare fraud investigations, Stark Law violations, and anti-kickback proceedings before virtually all federal agencies including, but not limited to, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Labor (DOL). Dr. Oberheiden is trained in negotiations by Harvard Law School and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a Ph.D. in law.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Detroit clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s previous experience with the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, violations of the False Claims Act, and Stark Law violations on behalf of the United States. Ms. Byrd has immense experience with health care law enforcement, and she regularly argues federal matters for her clients.

We are available to discuss your case. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by sending us an email.

1 (888) 997-2520
Including Weekends
Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
Serving Baton Rouge and Surrounding Areas
www.medicare-lawyer.com
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.