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How to choose a healthcare fraud lawyer

How to Choose the Right Healthcare Fraud Lawyer

Finding yourself accused of healthcare fraud can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. The penalties for being convicted of healthcare fraud are severe, potentially including massive fines, being barred from participating in government healthcare programs, and even prison time. Having the right lawyer by your side to defend you is crucial. But how do you go about choosing the right healthcare fraud defense attorney? Here are some tips:

Look for Extensive Experience Defending Healthcare Fraud Cases

When facing criminal charges, you want an attorney who has significant experience specifically handling healthcare fraud cases. An experienced healthcare fraud lawyer will understand all the complex laws and regulations governing Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and other government health programs. They’ll be familiar with the aggressive auditing and investigative tactics used by the government. And they’ll know how to build the most strategic defense to fight the charges and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. A lawyer without specific healthcare fraud experience simply won’t have the specialized knowledge needed to mount an effective defense.

Choose a Lawyer Who Knows How to Work with Government Investigators

An excellent healthcare fraud defense lawyer will not only understand the applicable laws inside and out, but also have experience negotiating with FBI agents, HHS-OIG agents, and government prosecutors. They’ll know how to respond to government inquiries appropriately to avoid making costly mistakes. And they’ll have proven strategies for getting charges reduced or dismissed through their relationships and reputation with investigators and prosecutors. A lawyer who has never gone up against federal agents in healthcare fraud cases won’t know how to effectively work the system to your advantage.

Look for a Successful Track Record Handling Healthcare Fraud Trials

While you hope to avoid going to trial, you need a lawyer who isn’t afraid to take your case all the way to court if necessary. So look for an attorney who has a proven history of winning healthcare fraud cases at trial. This shows they have the litigation skills to mount an aggressive defense in court if plea negotiations break down. A lawyer who has only settled healthcare fraud cases or never tried one before jury may lack the confidence and experience to give you the strongest defense possible at trial.

Make Sure They Have Medical/Technical Expertise

Because the laws and regulations surrounding healthcare billing and coding are highly complex, you want a lawyer who comes from a medical background or has experience dealing with technical medical details. They will understand complicated medical terminology and procedures to properly interpret medical records and billing codes. They can also effectively cross-examine expert witnesses on technical issues at trial. A lawyer without medical expertise may miss important nuances that could help your defense.

Look for Strong Negotiation Skills

Since many healthcare fraud cases end in a plea bargain, strong negotiation abilities are key. Your lawyer’s reputation and relationships with prosecutors will be important assets at the bargaining table. Look for someone who has a proven track record of getting favorable plea deals for healthcare fraud clients. Their negotiation skills could make the difference between a slap on the wrist or serious jail time.

Find Someone Dedicated to Healthcare Law

Some lawyers take on a wide variety of cases from personal injury to murder trials. You want someone whose practice is focused specifically on healthcare law and fraud defense. Handling these complex cases requires specialized legal knowledge that a general practice lawyer simply won’t have. Only a lawyer dedicated to healthcare law will be up to date on the latest statutes, regulations, audit practices, and government enforcement trends.

Look for Strong Client Communication Skills

Facing healthcare fraud charges can be overwhelming. So you need an attorney who will clearly communicate every step of the legal process and make you feel supported. Look for a lawyer who is compassionate, patient, and takes time to answer all your questions thoroughly. The right attorney will respond to your calls and emails promptly and keep you informed through every phase of the case.

Finding the best healthcare fraud defense lawyer takes research, but it’s time well spent. Thoroughly vet any attorney you are considering to ensure you get the specialized skills and experience you need. With the right legal representation, you have a much better chance of minimizing penalties and avoiding jail time, even when the charges seem serious. Don’t leave your fate in the hands of just any lawyer – do your homework to get the best defense.


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