Federal Crimes Blog

What Exactly is the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute?

Posted by Hedding Law Firm | Jul 15, 2020

People working in the medical or health industry often take money from the government for various reasons, whether it be through Medicare or Medicaid. This person cannot be giving kickbacks to anyone in order to get that person to perform any type of medical services. An example would be a doctor giving kickbacks to anyone who is sending them patients.

A violation of the anti-kickback statute could be both a civil and a criminal offense. For example, if someone is getting kickbacks and it relates to government aid, they can be charged criminally.

Usually, there is an investigation done by an entity that works for a branch of the government. It is typically civil to start, and then they can also try to have them prosecuted federally. Our federal criminal defense lawyers are providing a review below.

Who is Liable in Anti-Kickback Investigations?

Who is generally under investigation or potentially liable in these kickback scenarios that the government is investigating? Anyone can be liable in these cases; patients can be liable and doctors can be liable.

What Exactly is the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute?

People who work for doctors can be liable. Often, the low-level employees give information about the physicians or any type of health care fraud activity. The prohibition against the exchange or offer of anything of value in an effort to induce or reward a referral of business reimbursement by federal health care programs is what we are talking about when we refer to anti-kickback statutes.

What are safe harbors when it comes to the anti-kickback statute? Safe harbors have to do with individuals who are not taking money in an illegal way, but are permitted to take money. They would be safe from the argument that they are somehow getting money in a fraudulent manner.

The bottom line is everything has to be run through the federal government when it relates to payments of Medicare, Medicaid, or anything that the government is giving in relation to health care. You are safe as long as whatever you are doing is within the realm of what is permitted by the statute.

How Can I Be Liable If I Didn't Know About the Kickbacks?

I was unaware of the kickback situation in my business, and I am a CEO. How can I still be held liable? If your business is stealing money from the government in the form of kickbacks or any type of fraudulent activity, you are going to be held liable, civilly, whether you knew about it or not.

Criminal charges will require more knowledge of whether you knew or reasonably should have known under the circumstances. If a person is a CEO and intricately involved in the business, they should know what the business is doing.

Your business is doing something illegal or fraudulent as it relates to health care benefits. You are going to be held responsible for that under the concept that you reasonably should have known. You have an obligation to check out what your business is doing, how it is making money, and whether it is complying with federal regulations.

Should I Contact Law Enforcement If I Know About Kickbacks?

I'm aware of a kickback situation at the company I work for. Should I go directly to the authorities? If your company is taking kickbacks, consider going to the government and explaining that you just found out about this and don't want to be involved.

If you are going to cooperate with the government and tell them about what you know, you want an attorney to guide you through that. You don't want to get cheated and prosecuted along with everybody else; you want to get some sort of an immunity agreement.

Hedding Law Firm is a federal criminal criminal defense attorney located at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.

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