When people hear “Medicare fraud,” doctors and pharmacists often come to mind. Unsurprisingly, big cases involving pharmaceutical fraud can increase public suspicion of medical administrative practices. In 2019, 29 states filed a lawsuit against CVS Health Corp, one of America’s largest pharmacies. Fraudulent Medicare billing topped the accusations list. One thing you hear about less often than notorious lawsuits is false accusations. While Medicare fraud is real, so are the incentives to make false reports. 

If you are a medical professional facing a Medicare fraud accusation, the stakes are high. Protecting your reputation should be a top priority. It is critical to know your rights and to carefully consider your options. Here are five tips for responding to this challenging situation. 

  1. Take it seriously

The consequences of someone charging you Medicare fraud can be serious. Consider the image of CVS now. Charges alone can leave a bad reputation. The repercussions of actual convictions can be even more severe. Prison and steep fines are not uncommon. 

  1. Watch what you say

As with any criminal accusation, you do not have to say anything without legal representation. Medicare fraud presents a sticky situation. Be mindful of what questions you answer. 

  1. Understand the process

Knowing what to expect can alleviate an enormous weight of anxiety. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the legal process you are facing. Use this knowledge to think, not panic. 

  1. Get everything organized

If you have not already done so, now is a good time to get all your records in order. Most Medicare fraud accusations surround billing, paying and ordering. These processes all involve a lot of paperwork, so good records are vital. 

  1. Do not wait to act

Although there is a lot to do, responding quickly can provide you with the best protection. Lengthy lawsuits can be expensive, and the longer you wait, the more time people have to attack your reputation.