Medicare fraud might seem harmless, but it can have costly consequences that reach far into the future. Repercussions may vary considering how long the fraudulent activity lasts and its scope over time.
Understanding the consequences of Medicare fraud may discourage people from trying to get away with it.
Identifying Medicare fraud
There are several types of Medicare fraud. According to Medicare.gov, the fraudulent activity includes the following:
- Someone using a stolen Medicare card to file bogus claims
- A provider charging for goods and services a Medicare patient never received
- An entity that offers a Medicare drug plan that does not have adequate approval
- A provider that double bills patients for a service they only received one time
Any of these behaviors are against the law and can have damaging consequences for the people involved at any level.
Paying the consequences
The Medicare program has stringent guidelines and expectations for its members and service providers. The consequences of fraud match the severity of the behavior and could include imprisonment and exclusion from federal funding programs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, false claims could cost up to $11,000 per filed claim, as well as fines that might be up to three times the amount the program lost because of the fraud.
People involved in fraudulent activity have the right to a fair trial. With adequate support and strategic defense, perpetrators might have a chance to reduce the impact of their actions on the outcome of their future.