Falsifying Medical Records Defense
Skilled Representation From an Experienced Los Angeles White Collar Crime and Healthcare Fraud Defense Lawyer
The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman offers seasoned legal expertise to physicians and healthcare providers in Los Angeles who find themselves defending against allegations of falsifying medical records. Under California law, falsifying medical records is a serious offense that can lead to significant legal consequences. This crime involves the deliberate alteration, fabrication, or manipulation of medical records. The intent behind such actions is critical; these acts are usually committed to deceive or defraud.
Healthcare and financial fraud cases often hinge on the accuracy and integrity of medical records. When inaccuracies or deliberate falsifications are discovered, they can lead to allegations of fraud, resulting in both civil and criminal liability. Such charges are severe and carry substantial penalties, underscoring the necessity of an experienced defense attorney in these matters. Learn more below about the serious ramifications of this charge, and if you have been accused of falsifying medical records in Los Angeles, contact The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for advice and representation from a skilled and experienced white collar criminal defense attorney focused on complex cases of healthcare and financial fraud.
Falsified Medical Records Prosecuted as Forgery
Falsifying medical records can also be prosecuted under California’s forgery laws. Forgery, in this context, involves the making, altering, or use of a falsified document with the intent to commit fraud. Medical records, being legal documents, fall under this category. Additionally, California’s Penal Code on forgery and counterfeiting includes a special section devoted to medical records. According to California Penal Code section 471.5, “Any person who alters or modifies the medical record of any person, with fraudulent intent, or who, with fraudulent intent, creates any false medical record, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
If a healthcare provider or an associated individual is accused of altering these records to defraud an insurance company or a government healthcare program, they could face forgery charges, which carry their own set of severe penalties, including fines and jail time. A criminal forgery conviction could also lead to the loss of a medical license or the destruction of an otherwise thriving medical practice.
Falsifying Medical Records as a False Claims Act Violation
In the realm of healthcare fraud, falsifying medical records can also be a violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA is a federal law that imposes liability on individuals or companies who defraud governmental programs. Healthcare providers who submit claims for reimbursement to government programs like Medicare or Medicaid are subject to this law.
To establish a violation under the FCA, it must be proven that the accused knowingly submitted false claims or made false records or statements to receive payment from the government. The key element here is the knowledge of the falsehood, whether it is through direct knowledge, deliberate ignorance, or reckless disregard of the truth. Intent to defraud is not necessarily required to hold someone liable for submitting false claims to the government.
The penalties for FCA violations can be severe, including substantial fines and treble damages (three times the amount of the government’s loss). Additionally, violators may face exclusion from participating in federal healthcare programs, which can be a death knell for a healthcare practice.
Defending Against Charges of Falsifying Medical Records
Defending against accusations of falsifying medical records requires a skilled and knowledgeable approach. Potential defenses may include:
Lack of intent: Demonstrating that there was no intent to defraud, but rather the inaccuracies were due to error or oversight.
Insufficient evidence: Challenging the sufficiency and quality of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Mistaken identity or wrongful accusation: Proving that the accused was not responsible for the alterations or that the accusations are baseless.
At The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman, our approach in defending against these charges is rooted in thorough investigation and a deep understanding of healthcare law and regulations. As a former federal prosecutor with extensive experience in white-collar criminal defense, Mr. Friedman brings a unique perspective and skill set to these cases. His expertise in healthcare and financial fraud cases is invaluable in navigating the complexities of such allegations and formulating effective defense strategies.
Charged With Falsifying Medical Records in Los Angeles? Contact the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for Immediate Assistance
Allegations of falsifying medical records are serious and can have far-reaching implications for healthcare providers. Understanding the legal landscape and having the right defense strategy are crucial. The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman in Los Angeles stand ready to provide robust defense and legal guidance in these challenging situations. For individuals or healthcare entities facing such charges, seeking experienced legal counsel is an essential step in protecting their rights and future.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman by filling out our online form or calling 213-629-1500 for immediate assistance. Our team is dedicated to offering the highest level of legal representation in healthcare fraud and white-collar criminal defense in Los Angeles.