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Florida’s active pursuit of Medicaid fraudsters

The office of the Attorney General in Florida currently has a task force's specifically designed to curtail Medicaid fraud throughout the state. The organization is known as the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and is principally involved in investigating and prosecuting fraudulent billing practices. A large percentage of Medicaid fraud and abuse is linked to doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers and clinics engaging in financial misconduct. Perhaps the most common types of Medicaid fraud involves overbilling patients for services. In more extreme examples, healthcare providers will sometimes bill Medicaid for services that they have never rendered.

According to the Florida Attorney General's office, Medicaid fraud costs Florida's taxpayers millions of dollars annually. Between 2011 and 2014, the MFCU was instrumental in recovering over $460 million of suspected Medicaid fraud. The MFCU obtained those funds primarily by means of legal settlements and judgments.

Another task of the Attorney General's MFCU is to ensure that Medicaid money is being spent responsibly by nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other institutions that provide services for the mentally and physically disabled. The MFCU accomplishes that task by investigating claims involving patient abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Although the MFCU provides a valuable and useful service to Florida residents, it is also possible that innocent mistakes in billing practices or the actions of others may unfortunately place a number of people under unwarranted scrutiny.

If you are currently under investigation or facing charges for Medicaid fraud, you should know that you have a constitutional right to challenge the evidence or testimony being used against you. In many cases involving Medicaid fraud, having legal representation early on in an investigation may prove useful in helping to identify evidence that is beneficial to your case.

Source: Florida Office of the Attorney General, "Medicaid Fraud Control Unit" Oct. 28, 2014

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