Survey reported rise in telehealth fraud in 2021

Health and Wellness Informatics News

Telemental health survey brings forth the upsurge of corruption in the system.

Epstein Becker Green is a national healthcare, life science, and workforce management law firm. This firm has pointed out that where, on the one hand, telemental health has increased, proportionally, the telehealth fraud has also increased considerably. It has opined that “these enforcement actions demonstrate that the telehealth industry should not only consider the law from a policy and operations perspective but should also invest in a robust compliance infrastructure”.

The report also gives data for the year. It states that the US Department of Justice had addressed $143 million in telehealth fraud, i.e., false billing. Furthermore, the IT department has also probed in to track down the participators.

Adding the analysis reports that the Centre has taken strong steps against 50 medical providers, suspecting their major participation in fraud schemes. The OIG has reported that more than 20 states witnessed such abuse. They also acknowledge the lack of resources of some states to resist the schemes.

The analysts stressed three of the many policies: providing professional licenses, advocating prescription practices, and maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality.

Experts have questioned the efficiency and longevity of these measures after the Covid-19 situation. Many have approached Congress to treat this abuse on a federal level, especially with the section of Medicare. Andrew VanLandingham, the HHS-OIG, states that the threat is not over yet. Hence the laws must be strong and good enough to stop the abuse against telehealth.

Lerman, in his statement, said, “The continued emphasis on telehealth services has put a much greater focus on the potential for fraudulent behavior and the need for enforcement activity, and it’s vital to refine the current policies in order to ensure compliance and mitigate risk associated with the healthcare industry’s progress”.

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