During the course of your health care business or practice you may be contacted by a law enforcement officer or other representative of a governmental agency, who requests charts or records, conducts an inspection or serves legal papers such as a subpoena. For over 50 years, Jacobson Goldberg & Kulb LLP has presented health care clients in governmental investigations. If you receive an inquiry from a government agency, you should immediately confer with counsel not compromise your professional future by responding without the benefit of sound legal advice.
Regulatory agencies such as the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) and Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), the New York State Department of Health, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), and Medicare and Medicaid investigate complaints and conduct inspections in order to assure that licensed health care professionals are in compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and are following standards of care. In a routine investigation, a representative of the OPMC or the OPD, DEA or BNE may send a letter to a health professional requesting a patient’s records or an interview of the doctor. An OPD or Medicaid investigator may appear unannounced at a pharmacy or doctor’s office to conduct an inspection. Information obtained from the charts or records, the inspection of the pharmacy or doctor’s office, or statements made to the investigator can ultimately result in a professional disciplinary action against or prosecution of the licensed health professional or pharmacy.
Law enforcement agencies such as the United States Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), local District Attorney’s Offices (DAs), the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or NYS Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigate crimes such as health care fraud and abuse and the illegal prescribing, dispensing or distribution of narcotics. They may appear without notice to question you or your employees, serve a subpoena or execute a search warrant. The records, statements and information obtained can ultimately result in criminal charges and/or civil penalties and professional discipline.
At Jacobson Goldberg & Kulb LLP, we provide advice and representation to our clients at all phases of a governmental investigation. Working closely with our clients, we assess the nature and scope of the investigation, determine the appropriate response and begin preparing a defense. We assess the potential impact of the investigation on our client’s business or professional practice and privileges. In governmental investigations, it is essential to seek advice and engage representation immediately upon being contacted by a regulatory or law enforcement agency. Jeffrey A. Granat has a background as an assistant district attorney and Amy T. Kulb has a background as a prosecuting attorney at OPD. Contact Jeffrey Granat or Amy T. Kulb at 516-222-2330 or [email protected] and [email protected].