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Advice for health care professionals who receive a subpoena

It sometimes seems as if headlines these days are all about political turmoil. But for those who read New York's newspapers and watch the newscasts, there are also reports about the economy, crime, infrastructure problems and much more.

For New York health care professionals, coverage of health care fraud investigations and indictments find its place in headlines far too often. A recent column by the editor of Fierce Healthcare offers advice to doctors and other health care pros who receive a subpoena.

The first piece of advice offered by Fierce Healthcare and an attorney they interviewed is pretty straightforward: Do not ignore a subpoena. Paired with that advice is this: "proceed with caution if you receive one."

  • Read the document carefully so that you understand what is being asked of you. “In many situations, there is nothing to fear from receiving a subpoena,” the attorney stated. But she repeated her advice to proceed carefully.
  • The attorney advises you not to delete emails, texts and other requested or related documents. Those acts can open you up to possible obstruction of justice allegations.
  • If you believe you might be in possession of documents that could result in legal problems for you, it makes sense to sit down and talk matters over with an attorney. A lawyer experienced in representing clients in health care fraud investigations can help you respond to the subpoena appropriately.

An attorney can work with investigators to help minimize the possibility that health care providers and health care entities will face further intrusive scrutiny or fines or penalties. Exposure to possible criminal charges can also be minimized.

You can contact the New York City law firm of Rivas Goldstein, LLP, regarding matters such as Office of Professional Misconduct (OPMC) investigations, probes by the New York State Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the FBI and other agencies.

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