Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS, OIG) issued a special fraud alert advising healthcare providers to exercise caution when contracting with telemedicine companies. Such alerts are significant as they put providers on notice that OIG intends to investigate and prosecute potential fraud regarding telemedicine. [...]
The Department of Justice just announced charges against 21 individuals in a nationwide crackdown of COVID-19 related prosecutions that resulted in $150 million worth of fraud. The schemes were varied and involved medical doctors, medical labs, marketers and others in the healthcare field. For instance, two owners of a lab in California allegedly billed more [...]
In addition to the 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country that investigate and prosecute health care fraud, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division based in Washington D.C. has approximately 76 federal prosecutors devoted to such prosecutions. This DOJ Unit targets complex health care fraud involving illegal prescription, distribution and diversion [...]
The Department of Justice announced scores of criminal cases against telemedicine doctors, marketers, and pharmacies for abusing the system resulting in more than $1 billion in losses.
The United States is slowly moving to catch up with medical practices in some European and Asian countries in using technology to avoid an in-person doctor’s appointment. Without having to schedule and wait for an appointment, take time off from work, or leave home, a person can have common aliments diagnosed using their smartphone. Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and technology to provide clinical healthcare at a distance.
There is an alarming trend towards aggressive investigations by state and federal authorities on physicians. Whether it is by the state medical boards, DEA or federal or state prosecutors, doctors’ practices are subjected to heightened scrutiny. While this may be traced to the war on drugs, recent deaths related to the abuse of prescription opioids, and the criticism the DEA has faced for its failure to develop measureable results in its enforcement efforts; the genesis is less important than the trend itself for those subjected to the harsh spotlight of scrutiny.