Billing for Services Not Rendered

Billing for Services Not Rendered

Representing Texas Healthcare Providers for 100+ Combined Years

In today’s regulatory landscape, health care providers are keenly scrutinized by government agencies that aim to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse. This is especially true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid fraud, and especially so when it comes to billing practices and allegations of billing fraud involving claims submitted for services that were not actually rendered.

At Hendershot Cowart P.C., our Houston-based healthcare attorneys serve a range of medical providers nationwide in matters involving proactive regulatory compliance and responsive representation when irregular billing patterns result in audits, investigations, and allegations of fraud. Over the years, we’ve leveraged our experience and resources to excel in this challenging practice area, and provide the comprehensive counsel healthcare clients need when it matters most.

Discuss your billing-related healthcare needs, from ensuring regulatory compliance to responding to audits and investigations. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Billing Practices and Healthcare Regulations

The federal government has waged a campaign of increased oversight, enforcement, and punishment in matters involving healthcare fraud and abuse among providers who bill for services paid for by federal healthcare programs – including Medicare and Medicaid, and TRICARE, the military insurance program. These efforts include a greater focus on the billing practices of physicians and providers, which can in turn result in audits and recoupment, investigations, and potential civil or criminal liability for violations.

While there are many billing practices that can constitute violations, one of the most glaring violations is billing for services that were not actually delivered. This can include billing for services not furnished, supplies not provided, or both, as well as falsification of records to show delivery of such items. When such billing issues are identified, there can be a number of implications for providers, including:

  • Audits and Overpayment Recoupment – Billing for services not rendered constitutes an overpayment that becomes a debt providers owe to the federal government. Under federal law, agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have the ability to recover these overpayments, often with assistance from contractors such as the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) and Novitas Solutions, Inc., the CMS contractor for the state of Texas. Responding quickly and appropriately to demands for recoupment is critical, and requires strategies tailored to the unique facts at hand. This may involve options for submitting rebuttals and disputing overpayment demands through an appeal process, reaching agreements for resolution, and other approaches that aim to avoid or mitigate potential penalties, as well as any concurrent investigation that may arise in related to fraud or abuse violations.
  • Healthcare Fraud Investigation – Whether investigatory efforts begin as a result of analysists or auditors finding unusual billing patterns, whistleblowers, or complaints / reports to government authorities, they have the potential for serious penalties that can threaten practices and the futures of medical professionals, as well as costly and time-consuming efforts needed to comply with authorities. Should a healthcare fraud investigation be launched, providers may also receive subpoenas or Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) for medical records. Experienced representation is crucial to responding appropriately to these demands, opening doors of communication for good-faith negotiations, ensuring cooperation and compliance, and raising any applicable defense.
  • Federal False Claims Act Violations – The federal False Claims Act (FCA) makes it illegal to knowingly submit false or fraudulent claims to the federal government for payment, and it has become one of the government’s most powerful tools in combatting fraud and punishing providers. Although it specifies the term “knowingly,” the FCA can still apply in cases where violations occur as the result of lack of due diligence, or acting in “deliberate ignorance” or with “reckless disregard.” Because the FCA exposes providers to devastating repercussions – including civil monetary fines, damages, provider exclusion from health care programs, and even criminal liability – it is absolutely crucial that FCA cases are handled by attorneys with the insight needed to effectively evaluate demands and investigations, structure response and defense strategies, and pursue the most positive resolution possible.

Due to substantial exposure to penalties created by billing fraud allegations, Hendershot Cowart P.C. is prepared to respond immediately to providers who face audits and investigations. We waste no time in conducting investigations and working on your behalf.

Comprehensive Counsel for Healthcare Providers

Ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations can be a daunting task, but it can be effectively managed with the assistance of proven attorneys. Our legal team leverages over a century of collective experience to help clients comprehensively address all facets of their practice – from billing practices and employment agreements to compensation arrangements and contractual relationships – to ensure they comply with all applicable laws, including those involving fraud and abuse under federal laws like the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and Stark Law, and state law equivalents.

In addition to helping clients structure and implement sound compliance plans, we also have the depth of experience to assist clients when allegations of violations have already been made. This includes an immediate response to audits, questioning by authorities, subpoenas, and demands. As we pursue resolutions, we also work to help clients structure billing systems and other facets of their practice to ensure compliance, uncover and report overpayment when it occurs, and reduce risks for problems and potential violations moving forward.

Speak Personally With a Texas Healthcare Attorney

Our attorneys at Hendershot Cowart P.C. understand the gravity and immediacy inherent to complying with healthcare fraud and abuse regulations, and responding to issues as they arise. We are poised and immediately available to deliver the high quality service and support providers of all types need when tackling fraud and abuse-related matters in Texas and throughout the U.S.

If you wish to learn more about our services, including proactive counsel during the formation and structuring of your business and immediate handling of investigations, do not hesitate to call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

Why Choose Our Team? Unwavering Commitment to the Success of our Clients
  • We Shoulder the Legal Burden.™
    And let you get back to business.
  • We Want to Be Your Law Firm for Life.
    We take a vested interest in our clients' success – from start to finish.
  • We Believe in Prompt, Personal Attention.
    As a boutique law firm, we unite real experience with personal attention.
  • We Serve Clients Throughout Texas and the Nation.
    We handle matters from the Red River to the Rio Grande and beyond.
  • In Business Since 1987.
    Let us put the full force of our 100+ years of combined experience to work for you.

What Our Clients Say

  • “These folks represented me well and Ray was awesome. Ray was extremely easy to communicate with and was easy to get ahold of Ray also made himself available when I had questions or needed clarification on things. 10/10 would recommend.”
  • “Philip has been nothing short of amazing! He genuinely cares about his clients and is very accessible, a quality that is rare to find in other lawyers. He is meticulous and efficient, which are great qualities to have. I cannot recommend him enough.”
  • “Ian McNeill is a fantastic lawyer and a great person. I had the pleasure of working with him closely on a high level PSM OSHA project, and our company's top leadership group was very impressed with the outcome of the project.”
  • “Great communication and extremely knowledgeable team.”
  • “The Hendershot Cowart Law Firm has been and will continue to be part of our legal team. They provide the utmost professional services towards our South Texas medical practice. Trey Hendershot and Keith Lefkowitz are very receptive, skilled and amazing...”
  • “My business partner and I had a very complex time sensitive situation with a breach of a contract on a real-estate transaction. We hired Ky Jurgensen to help with the case and he took action immediately, same day we called he went to work.”

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