Understand health care fraud

Many Missouri residents usually trust their medical practitioners to order necessary tests and protect their information. Sometimes, though, people take advantage of this trust and commit health care fraud. People of all backgrounds might encounter this kind of fraud, so it is important for them to recognize the signs.

One area where people might encounter health care fraud is billing. According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, people may find that they receive a bill for a procedure after they already paid the deductible. Sometimes they may also get a bill for a procedure that never happened. Additionally, a bill might sometimes record a service different from the one a person actually received. Health care fraud can also involve testing if a doctor ordered a test simply to receive the payment. In some situations, medical practitioners might commit fraud if they refer patients to get a kickback. 

In many cases of health care fraud, people steal a patient’s medical information. FBI.gov says that scammers can obtain this information if they buy it from other people running health care scams. Some people might also have their information stolen when they visit a health fair or a medical clinic. In some situations, medical practitioners might copy a patient’s information and give it to people running a health care scam. This means that until patients receive a fraudulent bill, they may not realize a scammer has their information.

Because of this, it is important for people to be proactive and guard their medical information. People should typically contact their health insurance company if they think someone has billed them for a procedure that did not occur. Additionally, it is a good idea for people to be wary of free medical services and medical practitioners who offer gifts to their patients.