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

New Orleans, Louisiana health care practitioners, facilities, clinics, entities, and businesses face the increased risk of being investigated for violating the False Claims Act. The Oberheiden Law Group provides services in the area of health care fraud defense and serves clients in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. Dr. Nick Oberheiden, a Harvard-trained lawyer and negotiator, is the principal managing partner.

Higher Instances of New Orleans Health Care Practitioners Targeted

The federal government investigates allegations of False Claims Act violations across the United States. Yet, they also pay more attention to nine specific areas. This is because these areas have a large number of federal health care program beneficiaries and tend to file a larger number of claims than other places in the United States. New Orleans is one of those specific nine areas. Because more claims are filed through CMS from New Orleans, the federal government uses a Medicare Fraud Strike Force team to monitor, investigate, and prosecute False Claims Act violations. During 2016, the Department of Justice announced that they investigated more than 300 allegations and that their efforts resulted in a $900 million recovery.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a federal task force that is made up of investigators and prosecutors from several federal agencies including the IRS, the DEA, DOJ, DOD, FBI, OIG, and the Department of Health and Human Services. It isn’t uncommon for other to also be involved in these investigations. If you’re under investigation for violating the False Claims Act, call The Oberheiden Law Group right now to speak with an experinced health care fraud defense attorney.

False Claims Act Basics

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

Knowingly, in this context, isn’t just about actual knowledge. Under this statute, the federal government is saying that you should have done enough research to know whether what was happening, even if it wasn’t by your doing, would be a violation of the False Claims Act. This implies that you knew or you should have known. For instance, if you hire someone to do your billing and coding for you, it is ultimately your responsibility to know whether or not they are using the most up-to-date ICD codes and proper billing.

Potential Civil and Criminal Liabilities Under the False Claims Act

New Orleans health care practitioners, businesses, facilities, and other entities who are charged with violating the False Claims Act run the risk of acing serious civil and criminal penalties. When you’re accused of violating the False Claims Act, your entire professional reputation and life are at stake. Call The Oberheiden Law Group immediately. Once retained by you, we can help determine if you’re facing civil or criminal charges. We can help you get the answers that you need.

Civil penalties can include:

  • Treble damages – paying the government three times the amount of the original claim
  • Payment of civil fines of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • Recoupment requests
  • Non-payment of future submitted claims
  • Future exclusion from federal health care programs
  • State licensure or disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of hospital privileges

Criminal penalties can include:

  • Claims that cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Criminal charges
  • Up to 5 years in federal prison

How Do Most New Orleans False Claims Act Investigations Begin?

In New Orleans, most False Claims Act investigations begin because someone files a qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam is a Latin phrase that means “he who sues for the king and himself.” The original goal behind a qui tam lawsuit was to enable private citizens to act as whistleblowers and assist the federal government in recovering funds that were illegally paid out. However, in New Orleans these suits are often filed by angry former employees and dishonest competitors who only want to hurt your business.

In New Orleans, qui tam lawsuits are filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana federal court. Qui tam plaintiffs are referred to in the proceeding as the ‘qui tam realtor.’ Their identity is not made available other than to the presiding judge and the involved federal agencies. This was initially done to protect the identity of legitimate whistleblowers. The federal government will begin their investigation. Because False Claims Act investigations can be lengthy, extensions are often filed and granted in the case.

During the investigation, you’ll receive subpoenas for various records including your business, financial, communication, and billing records. Subpoenas may come from the DOJ, DEA, DOD, IRS, FBI, OIG, or other federal agencies. After the government reviews the records, it will determine whether it will reject or support the qui tam lawsuit. If the government rejects the qui tam lawsuit, it’s not over. The plaintiff can choose to continue the case on their own. If they win against you, they are entitled to keep 30% of the recovered funds as a reward. Should the government support the qui tam, this is known as government intervention. You’ll likely face additional charges. If the lawsuit is successful, the qui tam plaintiff will be entitled to receive 25% of the recovered funds as a reward.

If you’re in New Orleans or the surrounding area and you’re notified of a qui tam lawsuit or an allegation that you’ve violated the False Claims Act, call The Oberheiden Law Group right away to discuss your case. Our Health Care Fraud Defense Team can help you get the answers that you need and work toward a successful settlement on your behalf.

Strategic Defense for New Orleans Clients

The Oberheiden Law Group takes the time to develop strategic defenses for each of our New Orleans clients using our three main guiding principles. These principles were developed by using our team’s collective experience as fraud defense attorneys and former federal health care fraud prosecutors. These principles have worked for clients all across the United States.

  1. The main goal is to minimize the risk of criminal charges for New Orleans clients. When you retain The Oberheiden Law Group, we immediately contact the federal investigating officials to find out the purpose of the investigation, the charges that you are facing, and what can be done to resolve the investigation. Usually, we can get answers to these questions in just a few days. We’ve learned that early intervention is key to a successful resolution.
  1.  Since most False Claims Act investigations in New Orleans begin because of qui tam lawsuits, our goal is to show the federal government that the allegations against you have absolutely no merit and that the case doesn’t deserve their support. We will attack the evidence presented in the qui tam lawsuit and smash the credibility of the plaintiff. This is vital since most of qui tam lawsuits do not originate to actually protect the government, but to harm business owners just like you.
  2. In instances where civil liability is indicated, The Oberheiden Law Group works to negotiate with the federal government on your behalf We’ve successfully negotiated original damage amounts to a fraction of the original demand. None of our False Claims Act clients have been forced to shut down their health care practice or business.

The Oberheiden Law Group

The Oberheiden Law Group serves clients in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. We’ve helped nurses, ARNPs, doctors, clinics, hospitals, practice owners, physician owned businesses, labs, pharmacies, hospice facilities, and other health care businesses accused of violating the False Claims Act, that were named as defendants in a qui tam lawsuit, or being investigating for violating Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, or involved in Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or Department of Labor investigations.

Here’s a small portion of our Track Record:

  • 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 the New Orleans area and you’re being investigated for a False Claims Act violation or if you’ve been named as a defendant in a qui tam lawsuit, call The Oberheiden Law Group now. Initial consultations are always free and totally confidential.

False Claims Act Defense Attorneys Serving New Orleans

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 Law Group, PLLC
Serving New Orleans, Louisiana 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. The Oberheiden Law Group PLLC is a Texas PLLC with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.