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Are You Facing Allegations of Telehealth Fraud in Illinois?

Posted on in Medical License Defense

oak brook professional license defense lawyerLast year, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country went into lockdown, one of the many changes that were implemented was how doctors and other healthcare providers saw patients. Instead of in-person appointments, patients consulted with their physicians via telehealth video calls. Although much of the country has opened up, many doctors are still using telehealth for appointments. However, along with this newer technology comes new opportunities for healthcare billing fraud. It can also leave healthcare providers unknowingly committing a crime that can result in criminal charges and loss of their medical license.

Telehealth Expansion

Telehealth uses video technology to connect doctors with their patients for medical checkups. This technology allows patients to communicate with their doctors any medical concerns they have and allows doctors to provide medical advice and treatments, without the risk of exposing either party to COVID. While telehealth has been used for years in rural areas or areas where there are no nearby healthcare providers, its use has become very widespread throughout the country during and post-pandemic.

But this widespread use also brings about concerns of providers failing to meet the requirements and other guidelines that are needed to bill for an actual appointment. There are also concerns that a provider may give the patient unnecessary medications.

How legitimate are these concerns? According to the United States Department of Justice, it is very legitimate. The DOJ recently announced that it filed criminal charges against 43 defendants in 11 federal districts across the country for their participation in different healthcare fraud schemes involving telehealth. The total amount of losses from these schemes was more than $1.1 billion. Those arrested included doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals.

The allegations of fraud included using telehealth included:

·        COVID-19 healthcare fraud - $29 million

·        Substance abuse treatment facilities - $133 million

·        Illegal opioid distribution and other healthcare fraud - $160 million

According to the details released by the DOJ, defendant telehealth executives were alleged to have paid healthcare providers to order unnecessary testing, equipment, and pain medications for patients who they barely spoke with or did not speak with at all. Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and private insurance companies were then billed for these alleged false claims.

Contact an Illinois Medical License Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of healthcare fraud, you could be facing both criminal charges and loss of your license to practice medicine. These are very serious charges and both your professional and personal future could be at stake. Call The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Illinois healthcare fraud defense attorney to find out what legal options you may have against these charges.

Source:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/national-health-care-fraud-enforcement-action-results-charges-involving-over-14-billion

 

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