Beware: Telemedicine Fraud Warning – Rickard & Associates

The Workplace of the Inspector Common (OIG) issued a warning to healthcare practices relating to telemedicine fraud.

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Lately, the OIG issued a Particular Fraud Alert warning healthcare entities to make use of ‘heightened scrutiny’ when coming into telemedicine preparations which have suspect traits of a fraud scheme.

The alert warns {that a} frequent attribute of fraudulent schemes is the usage of kickbacks to recruit and award healthcare practitioners.

The OIG additional warns that enforcement is constant. The OIG and the Division of Justice (DOJ) have investigated many fraud circumstances involving telemedicine corporations.

Of their investigations and circumstances, healthcare practitioners, telemedicine corporations, and different contributors have been held civilly, criminally, and administratively liable for his or her participation.

A number of the violations embody:

  1. Violations of the federal anti-kickback statute,
  2. Submitting claims in violation of the False Claims Act, and/or
  3. Violations of different federal prison legal guidelines.

Usually, these circumstances contain a healthcare practitioner ordering or prescribing gadgets or providers for purported sufferers that had been by no means examined or meaningfully assessed to find out medical necessity.

What must you be careful for?

Healthcare practitioners must be looking out for suspect traits, together with, however not restricted to:

  • Sufferers recognized or recruited by the telemedicine firm,
  • Inadequate contact or data from the purported affected person to evaluate medical necessity,
  • Compensation from the telemedicine firm based mostly on the quantity of things or providers ordered or prescribed,
  • Telemedicine corporations that solely present gadgets and providers to federal healthcare program beneficiaries,
  • Telemedicine corporations that solely furnish one product or a single class of merchandise that may prohibit therapy choices, and
  • Telemedicine corporations that do not count on practitioners to observe up with sufferers or present follow-up contact data.

Why does this matter for you?

Healthcare entities that have interaction with fraudulent telemedicine corporations can face prison, civil, or administrative legal responsibility, based mostly on the state of affairs.

It’s important to vet your distributors effectively. If you happen to need assistance vetting distributors, contact Rickard & Associates at present.

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