Medical Fraud & Conspiracy LawyerChoose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.
Why Do You Need a Medical Fraud & Conspiracy Lawyer?
Medical fraud and conspiracy can involve pharmaceutical companies, health insurance, “snake oil” supplements, healthcare providers, and medical device manufacturers. Healthcare programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and state-run programs could be involved too. Having an experienced medical fraud attorney who knows what to look for and what questions to ask is the first important step in this incredibly complicated maze that a victim of medical fraud must navigate.
Most patients don’t even know they are victims of medical fraud. Usually, it’s after looking closely at the medical records, the medical devices/drugs used, and the physician that we at Vaage Law are able to determine that there is some sort of fraud involved in the patient’s injury.
In medical fraud cases, the doctor or hospital puts money, status, and business concerns before the well-being of a patient. Medical fraud often involves a conspiracy between your healthcare provider and a manufacturer where there is some sort of lucrative agreement.
Medical fraud puts money, status, and business concerns before the well-being of a patient. Medical fraud and conspiracy is a growing area of law, especially as more and more physicians work with medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to test and promote their products.
You expect your physician or surgeon to make medical recommendations based on your best interests. Where things go awry is when the financial and research interests of the doctor affect decision-making and the patient is kept in the dark. Fraud can be perpetrated by concealment or by misrepresentations.
If you are in need of representation from an experienced medical fraud attorney, contact the San Diego-based Vaage Law at (619) 338-0505 for a free, confidential consultation. For more information on our case results and how the law handles medical fraud, read on.
What Is My Medical Fraud Case Worth?
What your case is worth depends on the specific costs and losses associated with your injuries, your past and future care needs, and who is responsible for the injury.
Our case results for medical fraud and malpractice include:
- Over $25 million for a child who suffered bowel perforation due to forced feedings
- Nearly $9 million for a delay in diagnosis of a gastric complication due to physician inexperience
- Roughly $2.5 million for defective nerve monitoring equipment that led to a permanent spinal injury during surgery
When device and pharmaceutical companies work with physicians to defraud patients, they may be found liable for conspiracy to commit fraud. Vaage Law has one of the few, if not the first, California verdicts against a medical device manufacturer for conspiring with a surgeon to defraud a patient. A San Diego jury awarded over $3 million against a medical device company for aiding and abetting in perpetrating a fraud against our client.
A victim of Medical Fraud and Product Liability shares his story about his failed neck surgery case.
What Is the Most Common Type of Medical Fraud?
Medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers’ conspiracies with healthcare providers are some of the most common types of medical fraud. To understand the types of injuries and violations these schemes lead to, here are some of the medical fraud cases our office has encountered:
- A surgeon recommending minimally invasive back surgery using spine devices not approved or cleared to treat the underlying condition of scoliosis
- A physician substituting one surgical product for another without the patient’s consent because of his financial and research interest in the product
- A hospital allowing uncleared or unapproved medical devices into the hospital based on the recommendations of a physician who has financial ties to the device manufacturer
- A pain physician prescribing narcotic lollipops only available through his compounding pharmacy
- A pain physician recommending implantation of a pain pump, only to use the smallest possible pump that required more frequent refills of a combination of narcotics at his surgical center
Frequently, instances of fraud include undisclosed “kickback” arrangements. This means a physician receives extensive compensation from a medical device manufacturer to use certain products, but does not inform the patient of those financial incentives. Instead, doctors, surgeons, and hospitals push the products to make more money, regardless of whether it’s the best decision for your health.
At Vaage Law, we fully investigate medical injuries to identify all parties who may be responsible, which may lead to multiple sources for compensation. This is important for you and your family, because those funds could mean better healthcare results, financial security, and a dignified future. Contact us online or by calling (619) 338-0505 — by holding all responsible parties accountable, you could help prevent what happened to you from ever happening again to others.
How Serious Is Medical Fraud?
Medical fraud is all about conflicts of interest and violations of trust. When medical professionals and manufacturers commit medical fraud or conspiracy, they are not only potentially injuring their patients, but they violate their trust. They place profit over the health and safety of their patients. Some of our clients feel as if they’ve been used as human guinea pigs in experimentation of unapproved and uncleared medical devices.
Even more unsettling, oftentimes patients don’t learn that they have been defrauded until we bring it to their attention. By reviewing the medical records with a fine-tooth comb, we can determine if any red flags exist, what products are subject to experimentation, and which companies are involved.
The fraud itself is a violation of trust. The inconveniences and unnecessary discomfort are insulting. The injuries that occur when physicians and manufacturers put their financial interests before patients can be traumatic, life-altering, or life-ending.
How Do You Prove Medical Fraud?
Your lawyer does the work necessary to prove medical fraud — you only need to empower an attorney to act on your behalf. Proof may be found in the medical records, financial records, the Food and Drug Administration databases, witness testimony, and other documents your lawyer can demand via subpoena or through the lawsuit.
Your attorney may also build a case using a doctor or surgeon’s history with a particular sponsored drug or device. For example, do they prescribe a sponsored drug or device significantly more than others in their hospital or field?
Vaage Law has represented three different patients who were victims of medical fraud by the same device manufacturer and two different doctors. We recently settled another case and are currently involved in a similar case with the same medical device, same plastic surgeon, and same manufacturer. There is definitely a pattern that we at Vaage Law see over and over again.
Contact Experienced Medical Conspiracy and Fraud Lawyers
At Vaage Law, our medical fraud attorneys understand the various ways you or your family can be harmed due to an unscrupulous medical professional and manufacturer. Those violations of doctor-patient trust are unacceptable and could cause serious, life-threatening consequences.
Our founder has more than 35 years of trial experience and has tried cases successfully to verdict more frequently than 95% of the civil trial attorneys in San Diego. Mr. Vaage has been recognized by the American Board of Trial Advocates, California Super Lawyers ®, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, and Best Lawyers in America.
If you need to speak with a legal professional about medical malpractice, medical device liability, or wrongful death related to medical fraud, reach out to us online to schedule a consultation, or call our office directly at (619) 338-0505 as soon as possible. We are here to help shine light on your situation and pursue justice on your behalf.
Medical Fraud & Conspiracy FAQs
Can I sue on behalf of my child for medical fraud?
Yes, you have the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child. Children’s injury cases impact whole families, and are particularly horrifying since children rely heavily on the care of adults, especially doctors and healthcare workers.
Vaage Law has secured substantial results for the children we represent, including a $25.6 million medical malpractice arbitration award for our 9-year-old client.
Generally, when we see medical fraud cases involving children, there is some sort of billing fraud, e.g., unnecessary procedures performed on children in order to bill Medi-Cal. In more egregious cases, children are used in human experimentation without their or their parents’/guardians’ knowledge.
What if my elderly family member was injured by medical fraud?
Cases of medical fraud involving a senior could be a case of elder abuse in addition to the conspiracy. Whether an older adult is harmed in a hospital during a one-time procedure or was repeatedly abused while under the care of a nursing home or long-term facility, you may have the right to sue for damages.
These fraud cases can also involve Medicare fraud where Medicare is billed for treatment or procedures that did not occur or were unnecessary. This vulnerable population is particularly susceptible to unscrupulous doctors who recommend unnecessary procedures or unapproved devices for which they have a financial or research interests.
Can I look up which companies my doctor takes payments from?
Yes, the Sunshine Act of 2010 requires applicable manufacturers to report certain payments and other compensation or investment interests given to physicians and teaching hospitals. To see if your physician has been paid by a company, start by searching the Open Payments database. If you find any suspicious information, contact Vaage Law before attempting to initiate any legal action. Don’t speak with any potentially adverse parties without consulting a lawyer.
How long do I have to file a medical conspiracy or fraud case?
The statute of limitations or deadline to file a lawsuit is extremely complicated in these types of medical fraud cases. The underlying negligence case will have one deadline while the fraud allegations will have a different one. If you are alleging elder abuse or the patient is a minor, then a whole other set of statute of limitations apply.
Some deadlines can be extended, and some cannot. That is why it is so important to speak to an experienced medical fraud and conspiracy attorney as soon as possible.
$25,300,000 - Force Feeds Cause Bowel Perforation