skip to Main Content

Especially for whistleblower cases, there is a powerful legal procedure to properly file an over-encoding claim. Otherwise, the action shall be dismissed; “Unbundling” occurs when a health care provider uses two or more billing codes of current procedural terminology (CPT) that incur higher costs than if they were using an appropriate and inclusive code. Suppose a person undergoes surgery. As a rule, the corresponding CPT code includes both the operation performed and the use of the operating room. However, if the supplier makes separate claims for each component, this would be “unbundling” to obtain a larger refund. The moment you are accused of coding is the time to involve a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex procedures of billing and health law. They can also manage your interactions with investigators and help you avoid serious problems. While you may know the legal aspects of your charges, a lawyer can help you with the best strategies for your particular case. However, a claim that contains incorrect diagnostics or procedural codes is a claim for services that the provider did not actually provide. For example, if a supplier knowingly makes a claim that contains false codes, it has made a material misrepresentation and made a false statement.

Each state has additional sanctions. For example, in New York, bottom-up coding is a misdemeanor or crime with varying degrees of punishment, depending on the amount of money illegally obtained and invested as follows: Do you have a history of incorrect coding and billing errors? Your emergency practice may come under scrutiny for medical fraud and abuse. And then you could face stiff federal penalties and fines. Let`s say a consumer comes to the office for a medication check that takes ten minutes and is coded as a complete physical exam after sixty minutes. The physical exam is more complicated than the medical exam, and the two are at different prices. Coding the visit as physical to get paid more is recoding. 1. Sloppy documentation. When doctors or other health care providers submit sloppy documents, it is difficult for medical billing specialists to assign the correct codes and bill patients correctly. Misreading handwriting errors can also contribute to sub-coding (another lost revenue stream). 2. Urgent registration/missed information.

Entering incorrect information for providers, patients, and insurance companies is a major mistake. Especially in an emergency, this information can fade into the background in a moment of panic and cause a problem later.3. Unbundling. The use of a separate code for linked procedures where there is a single code for all procedures is called unbundling. This illegal act increases the total amount of the claim (and increases your profit).4. Upcoding. Upcoding occurs when your team uses a billing code for a service that is more complicated or expensive than what was actually done. This includes tests performed by technicians coded by doctors. Since more reputable codes require higher payouts, it also illegally increases your revenue.5. Sub-coding. Sub-coding occurs when patients are not billed for all treatments or services provided. This suspicious practice can help a patient avoid an expensive bill or help your emergency room avoid audits.

It also costs your EM.6 group money. Double billing. This happens when your staff bills the same patient multiple times for the same service, even if it was only performed once. 7. Overuse of modified process services 22-augmented. This means that the patient`s procedure requires more work than normal, which would be accompanied by an increase in price. This requires proper documentation to prove/be approved.8. Inadequate reporting of infusion and hydration codes. To bill for these services without refusal, you need accurate documentation for start and end times. For example, the first element that must be proven is that there has been overbilling.

This proof could be as simple as a journal of invoices received and associated codes. It could also be more advanced, as in the case of Integra, where data is presented to a significant number of people. This is a common argument. The case law insists that if there is a simple and legal reasoning for what happened, it is assumed that it was the reason. Although there is higher billing, it is not presumed that the intent was criminal. The intention is quite difficult to prove. It is important that both the whistleblower and the accused consult a lawyer as soon as the complaint is raised, as there are special procedures for filing such a complaint. If the trial is mismanaged, it is an advantage for the defendant because the case can be dismissed. Whistleblowers can be anything from consumers to billers to other doctors or insurance employees. Case: In United States ex rel. Integra Med Analytics, L.L.C. v.

Baylor Scott & White Health, et al., the alleged overcalculation action was demonstrated by Integra Med Analytics whistleblowers, providing evidence that Baylor Scott & White billed patients more than $62 million over nine years. Upcoding occurs when a health care provider knowingly submits a claim with an incorrect billing code to increase reimbursement. A healthcare provider can do this by submitting Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for procedures, devices or diagnoses that are longer, more expensive or more serious than those actually provided. For example, if a physician exaggerates the severity of their patient`s condition to increase billing, this would be considered upward coding. Similarly, if a patient receives a brief consultation from a nurse, but the provider makes a more expensive request for a consultation with a doctor, this would also be considered code upcoding. Nearly 7,800 CPT codes are used by healthcare providers. Together, these codes represent all procedures, conditions and medications currently reimbursed by the health insurance industry. Each of them has costs for individuals and insurance companies, depending on the urgency of the problem and the complexity of decision-making required by the health care provider. Medicaid and Medicare reimburse providers based on this system. For example, a five-minute consultation with a nurse for a minor medical matter would receive a different and less expensive CPT than a 45-minute full examination by a doctor. However, if the physician charges federal programs for the more expensive 45-minute exam when the five-minute consultation actually took place, that would be a retreatment.

In addition, it is imperative to continue training your team, as medical billing codes are constantly changing. This will help them stay up to date with the latest and most specific codes. And it will also reduce your refusal rate. Inaccurate coding will result in an inaccurate refund and, in some cases, legal action against your practice. The best way to avoid the consequences of medical coding and billing errors is to work with a team of experts who specialize in managing the emergency medicine revenue cycle. The Ministry of Justice is an important unit responsible for detecting, investigating and prosecuting fraud cases. There is a whole department, aptly named the Health Care Fraud Unit, which works hand in hand with the general offices of the Public Prosecutor`s Office and the civil fraud groups. The sole purpose of this unit is to prosecute cases of fraud, and they are experts in the field. Technology is increasingly involved in billing every year and can run statistics in the blink of an eye. When odd invoices are created, data can be retrieved on the fly to display red flags. This is often the first indication of incentive coding and is used as evidence in a fraud case.

But what does this mean for you in concrete terms? Let`s consider the nuances of these elements individually. Find out what our team at DuvaSawko can do for your emergency medicine group today. Contact us at 888-311-8760. Or click HERE to get your free practice analysis now! It is important to remember in the face of these accusations that a fake invoice alone is not a transcoding. In 2013, Goldberg Kohn filed a lawsuit against IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. (IPC) – one of the nation`s largest hospital service providers.

What Viewers Are Saying...

Back To Top