Tag Archives | Fraud

Healthcare Hotbed for Fraud Cases

While it might surprise some folks that five Modesto doctors are among those facing fraud charges in a $40 million medical billing and kickback case based in Southern California, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there was yet another medical fraud case. Wherever there is money, you’ll find people or institutions are that ripe for defrauding, […]

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The Harder You Work, The More Dangerous it Becomes

Many years ago I attended a compliance conference, and one of the speakers was a former FBI agent who did work with the U.S.

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Adjust Your Codès Easily When Diágnosis Changes During A Patient’s Hospital Stay

Educate your physicián to keep you in the loop on patients’ development.

Just because a patient enters the hospital with one diágnosis doesn’t mean she’ll have that diágnosis for her entire stay. And if you bill for your physicián’s hospital visits with an out-of-date diágnosis, you could lose money or face fraud charges.

The problem: Diagnoses can change in the hospital due to various reasons, including the following, among others: The physicián may narrow down the patient’s problem. For example, a patient may be admitted with chest páin, and the doctor may rule out myocardial infarction and decide the problem is actually gastrointestinal in nature.

The patient may develop other problems. The patient may be admitted for dehydration problems but may start having chest páins.  The patient may experience complications that lead their original complaint to worsen significantly.  You can’t wait for the hospital to send you medical rècords and hope to bill in a timely fashion. You could be waiting six weeks after the patient gets out of the hospital for any rècords. So it’s up to your physicián to let you know if a patient’s diágnosis has changed.

Do this: Educate your physiciáns, and let them know that just because the patient has been admitted with a particular diágnosis doesn’t mean they should bill for that diágnosis for each visit.  To help your physicián track his hospital visits, you might consider giving each physicián a simple form to rècord these evaluations. The physicián could put a sticker with the patient’s hospital identifier on the form and then write the date of each visit, the level of service and the diágnosis.  Each sheet will have roóm for 10 or 12 patient visits.

Diágnosis Tracking Is In the Cards

Another approach is to give your doctor a…

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Per New CMS Transmittal Modifier, All Claims With Modifier GZ Will Be Denied Immediately

As per the latest CMS regulation, all claims with modifier GZ appended will be denied straight away. It is not unusual even in the best-run medical practices that the physician performs a noncovered service and doesn’t get an ABN signed.
If you shoul…

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Recovery Audit Contractors: Know These RAC Fast Facts

RACs are just another tool in the government’s arsenal to collect improper payments.

You’ve got so many compliance acronyms flying at you every day that you may not be able to differentiate your RAC from the OIG. Know these quick facts about RACs to stay better informed.

  • Recovery audit contractors (RACs) detect and correct past improper payments so CMS and the MACs can prevent such problems in the future
  • RACs are hired as contractors by the government, and they can can collect “contingency fees,” which means that they get a percentage of the amount that they recover from providers who were paid inappropriately The maximum RAC lookback period is three years, and they cannot review claims paid prior to Oct. 1, 2007
  • Between 2005 and 2008, RACs involved in the original demonstration project recovered over $1.03 billion in Medicare improper payments, but referred only two cases of potential fraud to CMS, according to a February OIG report on the topic, which noted that “because RACs do not receive their contingency fees for cases they refer that are determined to be fraud, there may be a disincentive for RACs to refer potential cases of fraud.”
  • Unlike RACs, the OIG is a government entity. Although the OIG also performs reviews and audits and seeks improper payments, the OIG does not collect contingency fees.

For more on the RAC program, visit www.cms.gov/rac.

Part B Insider. Editor: Torrey Kim, CPC

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