The Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A. is a Medicare fraud law firm in Boca Raton, Florida. According to Medicare.gov, there are a couple of ways Medicare fraud can happen to you. One way is when a criminal gets your Medicare number and uses it to steal your identity so they can use your Medicare benefits for their benefit or for another person’s benefit. Another way is when hospitals or doctors bill Medicare for services that they don’t provide to you. Medicare billing fraud can cost taxpayers money, can lead to inflated health care costs, and hurt society as a whole.
Under the False Claims Act, individuals who work for a healthcare provider that is engaging in improper billing practices may have the right to seek damages on behalf of the government and may be able to receive a part of the government’s recovery as a reward. However, when making these claims against your employer, it is important that you have evidence to back up your claims and it may be wise to have a Boca Raton Medicare fraud law firm like the Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A. on your side. These claims can sometimes be complex and there are risks of making a claim against an employer if the employer is not engaged in wrongdoing, so speaking to a Medicare fraud law firm in Boca Raton, Florida can help you understand whether the practices you have witnessed are fraud or not.
Patients can also be on the front lines of reporting Medicare fraud. If patients see strange bills, notice that Medicare is being charged for services they never received, or if they are being referred to other clinics and providers where the physician making the referral has a financial interest, patients can speak up and take action. If you are a Medicare patient and notice irregularities in your bills, or witness Medicare fraud, you may also be able to bring forth a False Claims Act case against the provider. The Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A. is a Boca Raton Medicare fraud law firm that may be able to assist you.
Signs of Medicare Fraud You Can Watch for as a Patient
What are some signs of Medicare fraud? How can you tell as a patient that your health care provider might be committing Medicare fraud? Here are some things to watch for:
- Read through your medical bills. If you notice that Medicare is being billed for services that you did not receive, this could be a red flag.
- If you are being provided with medical treatments that you don’t think you need, you can always seek a second opinion from another doctor. Doctors who provide medically unnecessary treatments could be committing Medicare fraud.
- Coding issues. Doctors submit codes to Medicare for services they provide. When the codes are improperly used to increase the value of a bill, this could also be Medicare fraud. If you are a patient, it can sometimes be wise to research the services and codes for which you are being billed. Sometimes you might discover irregularities.
- Doctors who receive kickbacks for referring patients to certain medical services or for using certain types of drugs could also face penalties for Medicare fraud.
- Home Health Care Fraud. Another type of Medicare fraud can occur if a home health care service or nursing home bills Medicare claiming a physician or licensed practitioner is providing a service, and then Medicare learns that a person without a license or proper certification was providing the service.
- Clinics providing “free” services. Sometimes clinics tell Medicare patients that they are receiving “free” services only for the patient to learn that the service wasn’t free and that Medicare was billed. If this happens, you may have become a victim of Medicare fraud. You may want to report this instance because your identity could be compromised if someone has your Medicare information.
These are just some examples of Medicare fraud or billing fraud. Patients are often on the front lines when it comes to noticing these fraudulent practices. Sometimes billing errors occur. If you notice a billing error, you can always call your doctor and ask about your bill. Sometimes these errors are rectified with a simple phone call.
Health care workers and those in the medical field, or those in billing departments may also sometimes witness firsthand these fraudulent practices. If you notice Medicare billing fraud, either because you are victim of fraud or because your employer is asking you to do illegal things, you may have the ability to bring forth a False Claims Act lawsuit and potentially receive a reward for speaking up. The Boca Raton Florida Medicare fraud lawyer at the Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A. may be able to help you if you believe you have been a victim of Medicare fraud or witnessed Medicare fraud take place. You may even be able to receive a reward for speaking up under the False Claims Act.