Experienced Defense Attorneys Handling False Claims Act and Qui Tam Lawsuits in Ohio

Qui tam lawsuits are commonly abused in the State of Ohio. These lawsuits often spur investigations into whether you or your business violated the False Claims Act. The Oberheiden Law Group is a qui tam defense and False Claims Act law firm serving clients in the State of Ohio. Our clients receive highly experienced guidance for qui tam defense, False Claims Act violations, health care fraud defense, and in criminal defense matters. We also work with clients to help implement federal compliance plans. Oberheiden’s lead defense lawyer is a former Chief Health Care Fraud Defense Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Health care defense lawyers on our team have impressive educational backgrounds. Several of our health care fraud defense attorneys have experience as former prosecutors with the Department of Justice and as former senior trial attorneys with the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The Oberheiden Law Group represents clients in the entire State of Ohio.

The Oberheiden Law Group False Claims Act and qui tam lawsuit defense, and is recognized throughout the nation for health care fraud defense experience. The members of our firm possess considerable legal experience in regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, litigation, federal government investigations, and in criminal defense. The members of our Health Care Fraud Defense Team include a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, several former health care fraud prosecutors, elite former lead prosecutors of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and accomplished lawyers with leading education from the country’s best law schools, including Yale and Harvard. We provide False Claims Act defense services in the State of Ohio.

False Claims Act Investigations in Ohio

Ohio doctors, nurses, other health care providers, facilities, entities, and businesses are more likely to be invested for an alleged violation of the False Claims Act than in other areas in the United States. The State of Ohio is one of nine specific locations in the United States watched by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This happens because there is a large number of claims filed in the state. The increase in claims occurs because there is a significant portion of the population relying on federal health care programs. The federal government thinks that a larger number of claims filed for reimbursement is directly related to an increase in False Claims Act violations.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a combined team of federal investigators and prosecutors from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the DEA, the FBI, the IRS, and can include other federal agencies. The job of this team is to detect, investigate, and prosecute violations of the False Claims Act. If you are contacted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, it is important that you call the Oberheiden Law Group right away. Initial consultations are confidential and free of charge.

What Is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is a federal law that applies to any person, business, or organization with a direct or an indirect contract with and that will be reimbursed by the federal government. The False Claims Act establishes civil and criminal penalties for any person, corporation, contractor, or business that knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false claim for both approval and reimbursement by a federal health care program.

It’s important to note that actual knowledge of the false claim or of an intention to file a false claim with a federal health care program isn’t a legal requirement for you to face charges. The federal government believes that, as a health care professional, you have the obligation of due diligence to ensure that the claims are accurately filed.

To explain in a simple way, consider medical coding. Most health care professionals and business owners do not generally handle their own medical coding. They either hire a dedicated employee or they outsource it to a company. Although you may assume that the person or entity responsible for your medical coding uses up-to-date codes, that may not be the case. ICD-10 was recently adopted and instituted. It made many codes obsolete. If your employee or the entity uses an obsolete code and the government flags it, you could be investigated for violating the False Claims Act.

Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violating the False Claims Act

If you violate the False Claims Act, you may be charged either civilly or criminally. Both have their own consequences. If you are notified of an investigation, contact the Oberheiden Law Group right away. Once retained, we can advocate on your behalf and help you determine which charges you may be facing.

Civil penalties are imposed by the civil court. You may be subject to one or more of the following:

  • Treble damages (damages that are three times more than the amount that the claim is worth)
  • A fine of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • State disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of your professional license
  • Loss of hospital privileges
  • You could be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees for the federal government

Criminal penalties are imposed by the criminal court. You may be subject to one or more of the following criminal penalties:

  • Criminal record
  • Prison time
  • A fine of $250,000 per claim for individuals for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $500,000 per claim for businesses for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $100,000 per claim for individuals for a misdemeanor conviction
  • A fine of $200,000 per claim for businesses for a misdemeanor conviction

Qui Tam Lawsuits in Ohio

Qui tam lawsuits often trigger False Claims Act investigations in Ohio. Qui tam lawsuits were used to provide a way for private citizens to protect the federal government from being defrauded by dishonest health care providers and entities. Qui tam is Latin. It means “he who sues for the king and himself.” Qui tam lawsuits provide a monetary reward for successful lawsuits. Plaintiffs, known as ‘qui tam realtors,’ receive a portion of the recovered money if the lawsuit is successful.

Yet, what started as an honest intention to provide citizens with a legal tool to protect the federal government from fraud. However, in Ohio, filing of qui tam lawsuits have stopped being used for noble purposes and have become a tool of abuse for angry former employees and competitors who just want to take you out of the health care industry.

Qui tam lawsuits are filed in federal court. Which federal court will depend on where your health care practice or business operates in Ohio. Qui tam lawsuits are sealed by the federal court to protect the identity of the plaintiff. Only the presiding judge and the assigned federal investigators will get unsealed copies.

False Claims Act investigations can take a lot of time. The court grants six month extensions to give federal investigators the time that they need to complete the investigation. Your defense lawyer can be in contact with the federal government from the start of the investigation. This can be beneficial because it can mean an early start to advocating on your behalf. It can even mean finding out from the federal government how the investigation can be resolved. Complex cases can take quite some time to be resolved.

You will receive subpoenas from the FBI, the DEA, the DOJ, or other federal agencies. You may be required to turn over financial, billing, communication, and corporate records. The government will review your records and decide if they will support or decline the qui tam lawsuit. If the federal government declines, the case isn’t over. The plaintiff can continue the case without the support of the federal government. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff will receive a reward of 30 percent of the recovered claim amount.

If the federal government decides to support the qui tam lawsuit, this is known as government intervention. It is extremely serious and you may face additional charges, such as violating the Anti-Kickback Act and the Truth in Negotiation Act. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful against you, the plaintiff will receive a reward of 25 percent of the recovered claim amount.

Crucial Defenses for Ohio False Claims Act Investigations

The Oberheiden Law Group uses a unique blend of experience to develop crucial defense principles for Ohio False Claims Act investigations. Most False Claims Act investigations start because of a mistake or a qui tam lawsuit, and not because of an intention to commit fraud. Here are the principles that we use for each case:

Confronting the risk of criminal charges. When you’re investigated for violating the False Claims Act, you may face criminal charges. Our objective is to get into immediate contact with federal investigators to find out why the investigation started, the risk you face, and how the investigation can be resolved. We can usually get answers to these questions within just a few hours after being retained.

Essential qui tam defense. Because most Ohio False Claims Act investigations are commonly triggered by qui tam lawsuits, we work hard to discredit the evidence and the allegations. We use aggressive defense techniques to show the federal government that the case is meritless and does not deserve its support.

Civil Settlements. In cases where the federal government notifies us that our client will face civil liability, we work toward a favorable settlement on behalf of our clients. None of our false Claims Act clients have been forced by the federal government to close down their health care practice or their business.

The Oberheiden Law Group, PLLC

The Oberheiden Law Group continues to provide successful legal advocacy for doctors, clinic owners, physician-owned entities, toxicology labs, DME companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, marketing companies that work in health care, clinics, hospitals, and many other health care-related entities in relation to False Claims Act violations. We also assist defendants in qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law violations, Anti-Kickback statute violations, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Department of Labor investigations.

Our Track Record

The attorneys of the Oberheiden Law Group, PLLC have successfully defended physicians, practice owners, physician owned entities, toxicology laboratories, device companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, health care marketing companies, hospitals, and many others in False Claims Act, qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and DOL investigations.

  • 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.

Call the Oberheiden Law Group now and ask to speak with our Health Care Fraud Defense Team about your case. Initial consultations are confidential and free.

False Claims Act Violation Defense Attorneys Serving Ohio

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has successfully represented health care executives, business owners, public officials, physicians, and lawyers in high profile prosecutions, during accusations of political corruption, government investigations, and directed media campaigns, including 60 Minutes. He is most known for stopping federal investigations before criminal charges can be filed. In addition to his health care defense practice, Dr. Oberheiden leads internal investigations, implements corporate compliance programs, and teaches U.S. criminal law and federal litigation in the United States and abroad.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s experience from the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, False Claims Act, and Stark 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 every day of the year. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by emailing us directly.

888-997-2520
Including Weekends
Oberheiden Law Group, PLLC
Serving the State of Ohio 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.