Focus on health care fraud under AG Sessions unlikely to change

Health care fraud is a high priority for law enforcement agencies, not only because of the financial costs to the public—tens of billions of dollars that are stolen annually—but also because patients can be personal harmed by fraud schemes. Recent years have seen an increase in health care fraud task forces, with the federal government demonstrating its commitment to addressing the problem.

With the election of Donald Trump, there will naturally be significant changes in public policy. It isn’t clear exactly what changes will be taking place in the Department of Justice with its investigative and prosecutorial policies. One thing is fairly certain, though, according to former DOJ officials and those who work in health care compliance: things are unlikely to change that much.

Trump has nominated Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to step into the role of attorney general. Sessions served as Alabama’s attorney general for two years and as a U.S attorney in Alabama for 12 years. While his focus as a Senator was not so much on health care issues, it is unlikely that he was be soft on health care fraud. Part of the reason for this is that the DOJ gets a pretty good return on its investment in health care fraud investigations. Add the fact that the federal debt is continuing to grow, and health care fraud will continue to be a focus for the DOJ, as it has been in the previous two administrations.

Although it is critical for the government to continue investigating and prosecuting health care fraud, it is also important that those who are accused of engaging in health care fraud have their rights protected, both in the investigation process and in criminal prosecution. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney ensures a defendant’s rights will receive zealous advocacy.


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