OIG Investigation Attorneys
Facing an OIG Investigation or Civil Investigative Demand? We Help Protect Your Career and Your Reputation
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigates suspected waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and more than 100 other Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs. If you suspect you are the subject of an OIG investigation, or if you have received a Civil Investigative Demand or subpoena from the OIG, reach out to the lawyers at Hendershot Cowart P.C. immediately. Our health care fraud defense attorneys have more than a century of combined experience and have defended clients across Texas and the U.S. against fraud investigations.
Our goal in these matters is immediate counsel and intervention, as well as the cultivation of creative solutions to mitigate risks of criminal liability, keep investigations confidential, protect our clients’ reputations, and seek the most positive outcome possible.
What Happens During an OIG Investigation?
The OIG investigations begin to take form following a number of “red flags” and enforcement efforts involving various agencies. Commonly, these include:
- RAC audits
- Civil Investigative Demands
- Qui-tam lawsuits initiated by whistleblowers with inside information about your business
- Qlarant investigations and audits
- UPIC audits
- UPIC audits
- Novitas records requests
After analyzing the complaint or allegation, the OIG will decide to either dismiss the investigation, refer it to another organization, or begin an official investigation. The more formal aspects of OIG investigations are those in which the OIG takes steps to request more information. These fact-finding missions are conducted with a great deal of precision and a tremendous amount of foresight: OIG agents know what they’re looking for, and they know how to get it.
What Should I Do if I Am Contacted by an Investigator?
Requests for information may involve “formal” and less-formal approaches that – although presented as informal, genial, or due diligence endeavors – still pose risks and concerns for providers. These may include:
- Civil Investigative Demands
- Requests for interviews or “chats”
- Unannounced visits
It is an unfortunate fact that providers and suppliers who go without legal representation often end up ensnared in criminal cases involving health care fraud allegations. If you've been contacted by an investigating entity in any way, don't ignore it. Instead, obtain legal counsel as soon as possible.
If an OIG investigator shows up at your door asking for an informal chat, politely but firmly insist that the interview not take place without your attorney present. Without an experienced health care fraud attorney by your side – even if you believe you’re absolutely “innocent” and free to talk – you risk providing the OIG with information and evidence that can be used against you.
How Can an Experienced OIG Attorney Help Me?
We tailor response plans to the unique circumstances of our clients; however, the general strategies we use to mitigate the impact of an investigation include:
- Determining if the Case Is Civil or Criminal. Most providers don’t know whether their OIG investigation is civil or criminal in nature. With an attorney on your side, you’ll have the opportunity to reach out to the investigators to learn why you are under investigation and whether your case is a civil or criminal complaint. Knowing this information will be essential in how you proceed with your defense.
- Opening Lines of Communication. Promptly communicating with the OIG provides us with insight regarding the tone and trajectory of investigations to aid them in formulating an appropriate strategy. Additionally, it shows good faith and willingness to work towards a compromise.
- Easing Client’s Burden, Limiting Requests. Attorneys can work toward easing the immediate burdens you may face, particularly when it comes to production of documents and evidence, freeing you to focus on what matters most – your patients.
- Protecting Client’s Rights, Preventing Mistakes. Providers are not without their rights during health care fraud investigations, nor are they immune from making grave mistakes. We know the rules and procedures by which investigators are bound, what lines they can and cannot cross, and what rights and options clients have.
In addition, an attorney can help you conduct your own internal investigation. If the government made a mistake, you want to be able to provide them with proof of your compliance.
Why Hendershot Cowart P.C.?
When faced with an OIG investigation, you need an attorney with extensive health care law experience. Our dedicated team has more than 100 years of collective experience and have represented clients in hundreds of OIG and other health care fraud investigations.
If you are facing an OIG investigation, reach out to the lawyers at Hendershot Cowart P.C. immediately. We understand how to defend you during OIG investigations, and we will work with you to protect your career and reputation throughout the investigation.
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