Showing posts with label oig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oig. Show all posts

March 7, 2016

Medicare Fraud Steals $60 Billion a Year

Six months after a provider performs a particular medical procedure, they can bill it again. And, exactly six months to the day, the provider photocopies the original claim, changes the date, and sends the scammed claim it off to Medicare.

$60 billion worth of fraud is roughly 10% of the total amount Medicare pays out every year on healthcare for 54 million people. According to a March 7 WIRED article, "Since 2007 more than 2,300 providers have been charged with fleecing Medicare, and more than 1800 defendants have been convicted of felony offences, ranging from claiming phantom services to performing unnecessary surgeries."
Among CarePrecise Clients are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state anti-fraud law enforcement bodies. CarePrecise provides comprehensive data on healthcare providers.
How will ever stop these scams? There are just too many of them for CMS' dedicated investigators to keep up. But the government is getting help from hundreds of citizens: whistle-blower lawsuits allow any medical office staff or other insider to sue their employer and collect 15% to 30% of the settlement. The number of bounty hunters is growing; in 2014 there were 469 such settlements resulting in $2.2 billion in fines.

Professional whistle-blower lawyers can help skittish employees to rat correctly, but they may not have the investigative chops. Now one clever business has begun to turn medical office whistle-blowing into a growth industry. National Healthcare Analysis Group may do more to help recover this money than has been possible in the past by organizing the process and "packaging" it. Read more about it...

February 1, 2013

15 Types of Medical Billing Fraud & Abuse

Estimates of U.S. medical fraud and abuse go as high as $80 billion. It contributes significantly to rising healthcare and insurance costs.  The complexity and fragmentation of the American healthcare billing landscape is frequently a culprit makes fraud and abuse easier to commit and more difficult to detect.

One of our long-time clients, PayerFusion, has just published an article on its blog highlighting fifteen different forms of fraud and abuse, including upcoding, cloning, phantom billing, and a dozen more. Read the article for useful and timely information on this important subject.

CarePrecise provides software, data and services employed by law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in ongoing investigations. To report fraud or abuse, go to
CarePrecise encourages you to attend the Big Data for Healthcare Forum, April 29 - May 1, 2013.

May 7, 2012

The Sunshine List

As lawmakers continue to push CMS to implement the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and CMS mildly demurs out of concern that drug and equipment manufacturers won't be able to comply any time soon, CarePrecise has been busy getting prepared for a run on the databank.

As most of the players are beginning to realize, an accurate and up-to-date source of provider information will be a necessity in reporting payments properly. The CarePrecise master provider list contains all the hooks required to positively identify specific providers, and connects provider licensing and NPI numbers to such pertinent information as PECOS enrollment, Medicare billing eligibility, and the Office of Inspector General's excluded providers database. The current version of the CarePrecise Access Complete database identifies multiple providers practicing at a single location, using super-conformed location coding.

Sunshine Incoming

CarePrecise can process incoming lists of payments to providers using the advanced record-linking technology we use to build our master databases. Whether companies have NPI numbers or not, our system can use other data to identify payees.

CarePrecise data is already in use is installations where states have various types of Sunshine laws in place, and where organizations are preparing for the federal act to take effect. When we can all finally see who's paying what to whom (to whatever extent that will be truly possible), CarePrecise data will be part of this vital next step in controlling healthcare costs and abuses of influence.

August 4, 2011

And They Were So Close to Canada!

Looks like some Medicare patients will go to any lengths to escape the high cost of U.S. prescription drugs. Even if only through opium-induced euphoria.

Michigan: Twenty-six persons have been charged by Federal investigators in a Medicare fraud scam that took in more than $58 million in fraudulent billings and illegally acquired more than 6 million doses of pricy medications. Drugs were used to entice Medicare patients to play along.

The brains of the gang, one Babubhai Patel, ran a network of 26 Michigan pharmacies that bribed physicians to write the prescriptions, many of them opiates and other frequently-abused pharmaceuticals. Physicians recruited grandmas as mules. Medicare patients would knowingly fill the illicit prescriptions, keeping the drugs and handing over their Medicare and Medicaid billing information to the conspirators. Four doctors and ten pharmacists, as well as some of the patients and others, were indicted in the federal grand jury action.

January 18, 2011

Nearly 3000 Excluded Providers Still Practicing

You might wonder if, and if so, why, healthcare providers who have been convicted of Medicare fraud are still practicing medicine, writing prescriptions, and billing health plans (except, presumably, Medicare). Well, it's a good question. Apparently such a conviction may not get a provider's NPI deactivated.

For several months the number of providers that appear on both the HHS Office of Inspector General's excluded providers list and the current National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) have hovered around 2,700.* But for December the number jumped to 2,925. Of that number, more than 1,400 are physicians.

For the past several months, CMS has dropped only 400 to 500 providers each month for various reasons; not all dropped NPI records are due to fraud convictions. Interestingly, the December NPPES dropped more than 1,000 records, while still including more than 2,900 providers listed in the LEIE (List of Excluded Individuals/Entities), the federal database primarily of healthcare providers convicted of fraud or other crime, for patient neglect or abuse, felony controlled substance conviction, or whose licenses have been revoked, suspended or surrendered. A small number of providers are included on the list for less serious reasons, including refusal to provide required information to HHS, and default on a federal healthcare education loan. An inquiry sent to CMS requesting information on the matter has not been answered.

Each month, nearly 30,000 new records are added to the NPI database, primarily representing new healthcare providers. On average, 33,000 records are updated (by the providers themselves in nearly every case). The December NPPES database includes 3,277,833 healthcare provider records. All HIPAA-covered U.S. healthcare providers are required to obtain an NPI record. For all practical purposes, a physician's NPI number, along with a DEA number, is required to write a prescription because pharmacies generally require them. Theoretically, at least, if a pharmacy could not find a valid NPI number, it could refuse to fill the prescription.

CarePrecise compiles federal healthcare provider data for use in research, clinical trial provider pool development, fraud prevention and marketing. Clients include health plans, educational institutions, drug companies, marketers, law enforcement, health systems and individual providers.
* Source: CarePrecise research data. Methodology involves cross-referencing the two databases using proprietary algorithms to affix NPI numbers to providers in the fraud database; the fraud database (LEIE) does not include NPI numbers, making it difficult to track against practicing providers. Actual number of providers on both lists may be higher; the cross-referencing algorithm is used conservatively.