Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Shares Missouri Chiropractor’s Criminal Conviction as a Cautionary Tale for Medical Professionals

Clients often ask what sort of behavior leads to the loss of a license. Medical billing fraud can lead to the loss of license as well as a criminal conviction. Whether due to financial stress, drug or alcohol addiction, or just a lapse in judgment, medical professionals often succumb to economic pressure and submit false claims for services they either did not provide or that were medically unnecessary.

Sometimes people think that the size of the false claim makes a difference or that isolated instances are not as serious as patterns of behavior. Both of these assumptions are incorrect, as a single instance can constitute fraud, and lying to the government or an insurance company is a crime regardless of the size of the bill attached to the false statement.  Additionally, while there are statutes of limitation limiting how far into the past the government can investigate and bring charges, you are not “out of the woods” just because some time has passed since you submitted a fraudulent bill.

It is vital to underscore that if you find yourself in this dire situation, you must contact an experienced licensing attorney immediately. Having provided that warning, the following recent case out of Missouri illustrates each of the above points.

A Missouri resident chiropractor, James Briggs, was convicted in October 2017 for filling out and sending a false medical claim to Medicare for an ankle orthodic in 2013. The submitted billing was “only” for several thousand dollars. However, because Medicare is a program administered by the federal government, his fraudulent act was a federal offense. In essence, defrauding Medicare is defrauding the federal government. Because he was convicted of lying to the government, the amount he actually acquired as part of his deception was irrelevant.

However, it is worth noting that not only did he have to pay back thousands of dollars that he fraudulently billed, but he also had a $10,000 fine and was subjected to six months of home confinement, which means his home would serve as a jail and he could not leave it. Now convicted, he will be on probation monitoring for five years. While it is too soon to say definitively, his professional career is likely over.

But this sort of mistake does not have to cost you your career. Deciding whether you speak to investigators and what documents to provide them requires experienced counsel, and you cannot just call any attorney you find in the phonebook to deal with complex licensing issues. Expert, proactive legal advice can mean the difference between retaining your livelihood and a loss of your license and a criminal conviction.

Call attorney Sanger today at (785)-979-4353 to protect your professional license.

Contact Missouri Licensing Attorney Sanger to help you protect your license and career. Call her immediately if you are being investigated for fraud. An administrative investigation by a licensing board can evolve into criminal charges without any notice to you. Having her counsel at that moment protects your rights and your investment in your career.

Attorney Danielle Sanger is an experienced Kansas and Missouri licensing attorney and has the experience to resolve your licensure issues in a way that allows you to protect your profession, your home, and your family. She has the experience to deal with licensing bodies, appear before administrative boards, and provide clients with advice to best position themselves professionally when allegations of fraud arise.