If you are being investigated, or if you have been charged with patient brokering in Florida, our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers can help.
Patient brokering is the act of trading a patient to a treatment program in exchange for money or other incentives. It most commonly occurs in the substance abuse and addiction treatment process, when sober homes and substance abuse recovery centers will refer patients to other clinics in exchange for compensation.
In the brokering process, the treatment centers may pay the other facilities large amounts - sometimes up to $500 per person - to send them insured patients for treatment and testing. Additionally, some groups will pay individuals battling addiction up to several hundred dollars a week to seek treatment at a particular center or to present for urine testing at a specific lab.
In Florida, it is a third-degree felony for a health care provider to offer a kickback, commission, or bonus for patient referrals. Florida law prohibits anyone – including a provider or facility – from paying a commission, bonus, or other monetary incentive to attract the referral of patients from one facility to another. In the past two years, Florida law enforcement has heavily enforced this law. Convictions for giving or receiving kickbacks for patient referrals can carry steep criminal penalties of up to five years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines for each offense.