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Recent health crisis leads to sharp increase in telehealth fraud

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2021 | White Collar Crime |

The recent health crisis in our nation brought forth a new way of obtaining medical care: telehealth appointments. While these appointments may be safe and convenient, they have contributed to a legal problem, that of fraud.

How prevalent is telehealth care in our nation?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) expanded the availability of telehealth care in part by relaxing telehealth regulations. According to CMS in April 2020 approximately 43% of Medicare primary care appointments were conducted through telehealth. This is a huge leap from the number of telehealth visits in February, which accounted for only 0.1% of primary care appointments. And though many people may be more willing to go to a physical clinic these days, some patients and providers want to continue using telehealth visits.

What are some types of telehealth fraud?

The surge in telehealth care has also created a surge of telehealth fraud. The following are some common types of telehealth fraud. One type of telehealth fraud includes requesting reimbursement for an inflated time a physician spends with a patient in providing telehealth care. Another type of telehealth fraud is the failure to accurately bill patients for the specific amount of time they spent providing telehealth care or billing for services not rendered. Kickback schemes in which physicians receive payments for unnecessary tests, prescribing certain medications or utilizing durable medical equipment are also an increasingly common type of telehealth fraud.

Learn more about healthcare fraud

Those in Michigan who believe they have been taken advantage of financially due to telehealth fraud may have many concerns about the future of their health and finances. This blog is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on healthcare fraud may be a good resource for those who want further information on this topic.