Even if you are meticulous in your coding, you still might miss the one Medicare document that says you can’t do a particular thing,” says Pittsburgh attorney William Maruca, chair of the American Health Lawyers Association’s group on fraud and abuse.

“Lots of doctors have the idea that only blatant mistakes can result in fraud charges, but it can be hard to prove that you made a coding error innocently. It’s often your word against that of an agent from the Office of the Inspector General.”