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A criminal defense attorney who handles Florida health fraud cases is probably familiar with the Patient Brokering statute, 817.505.
History of the Patient Brokering Statute
The Patient Brokering statute became a Florida law in 1996. The statute has survived various constitutional attacks. For example, at one time, the statute was declared unconstitutional by a trial court, but both the 5th DCA and Florida Supreme Court disagreed. (See State v. Rubio, 967 So.2d 768 (2007)). The last amendment to the law occurred in 2006.
Under the statute, Patient Brokering is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or $5,000 fine. In addition to criminal punishment, the statute also authorizes injunctive relief, and civil and administrative penalties.
The Patient Brokering statute does recognize 9 (nine) exceptions (817.505(3)(a)-(i)). These exceptions can be complex to sort through and involve federal laws and regulations. Needless to say, determining whether an exception may or may not apply can be extremely complicated. This process often requires knowledge in federal regulations, health insurance, and programs like Medicare and Medicaid.