Medical care professionals have a difficult job. They work knowing that even a small mistake can have devastating consequences for their patients. Additionally, they must also deal with insurance companies, including government services such as Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, one doctor in North Carolina is now accused of fraud as a result of claims he allegedly fabricated.
Prosecutors claim that the doctor padded claims submitted to Medicaid and Medicare with services he did not perform. They additionally claim that he also submitted claims for office visits that never happened. According to authorities, he was motivated by the fact that he felt these programs did not pay him enough.
In all, prosecutors say that the man defrauded the government of $210,000. Although court papers indicate that he has reached a plea deal in his case, the details of that agreement are unclear. However, prosecutors say that because he is accused of abusing a position of trust, they will seek a higher penalty. At this time, his medical license remains active, but he is subject to a separate investigation by the medical board that could result in additional sanctions.
People accused of crimes in North Carolina -- including fraud -- have several options. While television shows often dramatize court battles, going to court may not be the best choice for everyone. Recognizing when there is enough evidence in the possession of prosecutors to obtain a conviction, many innocent people choose to accept a plea deal to receive a reduced sentence and/or lesser charges. An experienced defense attorney can provide a person facing such charges with the necessary advice that will allow them to make informed decisions in their own best interests.
Source: wsoctv.com, "Hickory doctor charged with health care fraud", Blake Hanson, Sept. 1, 2015