The healthcare industry works toward keeping contributors safe and healthy. Unfortunately, there are many people who seek to exploit the system for personal gain. In 2013, the FBI estimated that healthcare fraud costs the US $80 billion each year. Far too often, healthcare providers commit fraud. While it’s true that the main targets of such actions are insurance companies, patients are also exposed to consequences, from higher insurance premiums to compromised medical records.
There are several ways healthcare professionals can conduct fraud:
- Billing for services never rendered
- Performing unnecessary medical procedures and tests
- Falsifying diagnoses to justify unnecessary procedures
- Billing patients for more than predefined copay amount
- Referring patients in exchange for kickbacks
- Changing service dates, location, or provider
Aside from the widespread increase of premiums, there are many personal threats from healthcare fraud. The increased charges could push patients closer to insurance coverage caps, leaving them uncovered when needed. It can also lead to an incorrect medical history from the falsified medical records and tests, possibly leading to dangerous misdiagnosis in the future. There is no excuse for this illegal behavior. If you notice any account of healthcare fraud, please contact a lawyer immediately to protect yourself and others.