Special Fraud Alert: OIG Alerts Practitioners to Exercise Caution When Entering Into Arrangements with Purported Telemedicine Companies
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a special fraud alert warning practitioners to use caution when working with companies that claim to provide telehealth, telemedicine, or telemarketing services. OIG said it has investigated numerous fraud cases involving telemedicine companies, including some in which physicians and nonphysician practitioners were paid kickbacks to provide orders or prescriptions for medically unnecessary medical equipment, genetic testing, wound care items, or prescription drugs. This, in turn, led to submissions of fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs. The fraud alert features several red flags to help practitioners avoid potentially fraudulent arrangements when working with telemedicine companies. OIG said the alert was "not intended to discourage legitimate telehealth arrangements," and it "encourages practitioners to use heightened scrutiny, exercise caution, and consider the above list of suspect criteria prior to entering into arrangements with telemedicine companies."
Read more on the HHS OIG News Release.