Health Care Fraud
Billing for services not rendered
Filing duplicate claims
Upcoding of items
Upcoding of services
Copying and pasting entries into medical records
– Billing for services not rendered: This occurs when patient information is used to fabricate claims or through padding of claims with charges for services or procedures that did not occur.
– Upcoding: This occurs when someone bills for more expensive procedures or services than the services that were actually administered or provided. This often requires the provider to change the patient’s diagnosis to a more serious condition in order to inflate the price of the procedure they are claiming.
– Provision of unnecessary services: This occurs when a provider performs unnecessary services in order to generate higher insurance payments.
– Misrepresentation of treatments that are not covered as medically necessary treatments in order to obtain insurance payments. This is often done in cosmetic surgery fraud. In cosmetic surgeries, sometimes non-covered cosmetic procedures (i.e., nose jobs) are billed to insurance companies as medically necessary (i.e., repair to deviated-septum).
– Falsification of a patient’s diagnosis in order to justify tests that are not needed, surgeries, or other procedures that are not necessary.
– Unbundling: Billing insurance each step of a procedure, making it seem that each step was a separate procedure.
– Billing a patient an amount that is more than the co-pay for services that are already paid for by the insurance company under the terms of the contract.
– Kickbacks: Accepting kickbacks for referrals of patients.
– Waiving patient deductibles or co-pays for dental or medical care and over billing the benefit plan or insurance company.
There are several ways in which an individual can report cases of fraud. If an individual or health care provider suspects they have witnessed a case of health care fraud, they should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation by contacting their local office, online tips form, or by telephone. Individuals who suspect or are the victim of fraud should contact an attorney for consultation in order to ensure that the government actively pursues the fraud claim. Attorneys that are experienced in litigation regarding the False Claims Act should be contacted for consultation. An attorney that specializes in fraud and the False Claims Act can advise individuals of their protections, rights, and what evidence they must have to create a solid case against the group or individual who has committed the alleged health care fraud. Individuals who are convicted of health care fraud can receive serious consequences including fines, incarceration, and may lose the right to practice medicine indefinitely.]]>