Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
February 22, 2011
Thursday's (February 17, 2011) arrest of approximately 111 practitioners for Medicare fraud clearly displayed the government's determination to crack down on Medicare fraud. Of course, the stories disseminating of those practitioners effected are severe examples of fraudulent activity, for instance, word of a podiatrist accused of billing Medicare $700,000 for toenail removals, including 20 nail removals on the same patient's 3 toes. Another example - a proctologist was charged with billing $6.5 million for hemorrhoid removals, most of which he never performed and 10 of which he claimed to perform on 1 patient. Also, physical therapy clinics in Brooklyn were charged for paying recruiters to find elderly patients so they could bill for nearly $57 million in physical therapy that didn't take place. Stories of practitioners writing rampant fake prescriptions are arising as well.
Clearly the instances precipitating the mass arrests and hefty charges were egregious. So, what does Thursday's activity mean to the honest provider? It is an example of why you may be receiving more letters from Medicare in the future. We are in a system where the few have ruined it for the many, and trust the government once placed in healthcare providers is tenuous at best. Given the current temperature for providers, its easy to forget that the bureaucrats and government employees are patients too...
For additional information on this topic, contact Jennifer Kirschenbaum at (516)-747-6700 ext. 302 or at Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com.
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