Medicare fraud is a serious issue facing the United States. This fraud ends up in billions of taxpayers’ dollars wasted. Usually, the authorities find and arrest offenders.
However, there are plenty of occasions when you could commit Medicare fraud without even realizing it. A simple mistake can result in an FBI investigation, so you need to watch out for the common pitfalls of accidental fraud. At the end of the day, investigators will not care if the fraud was intentional or not.
Always return overpayments
Your medical practice should receive payments from Medicare on a regular basis. If you receive more than usual, then you need to bring it to the attention of Medicare immediately. Medicare makes mistakes, and you may have received more than you should have. You are responsible for reporting this, and you have 60 days to rectify the situation.
Describe all services accurately
You need to provide accurate diagnoses for each patient. Some doctors may try to be nice and exaggerate details on a report to get a service covered by Medicare. However, this is illegal. Stay on the right side of the law by always creating accurate reports.
Record all services precisely
Doctors have a lot of paperwork to go through, and you need to ensure no details are left off. All these forms require the practitioner’s signature and the date. Failing to include such details can result in problems down the line.
Doctors, nurses and pharmacists need to renew their licenses once every so often. If you bill a patient with an expired license, then you could face accusations of Medicare fraud. Even if your license is only a few days expired, it is best to stay on top of it.
Do not provide food coupons to patients
This may seem harsh, but the government has its reasons. A doctor may provide a food coupon to a patient as an act of charity. However, the government could view this as a kickback to encourage the patient to return to you.