American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

Advertisement

OIC says it is not gunning for doctors

From the March 1999 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1999 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Despite an increased emphasis on detecting fraud and abuse, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is not seeking to punish physicians for simple billing errors or inadvertent mistakes, according to OIG chief counsel D. McCarty "Mac" Thornton.

"We don't view the practice of medicine as a criminal enterprise," said Mr. Thornton at a January meeting of the ACP-ASIM Medical Services Committee. Only 21 physicians were convicted of fraud last year, he said. Those convictions included cases where physicians billed for services not rendered, received kickbacks for promoting durable medical equipment and illegally sold prescription drugs.

"Those are the things we go after ... not billing errors, negligence or honest mistakes," Mr. Thornton told the committee. In most instances, he said, physicians are encouraged to work with carriers to iron out any problems like insufficient documentation and incorrect coding.

This is a printer-friendly version of this page

Print this page  |  Close the preview

Share

 
 

Internist Archives Quick Links

What will you learn from your Annals Virtual Patient?

Reviews of the World's Top Medical Journals—FREE to ACP Members! Annals Virtual Patients is a unique patient care simulator that mirrors real patient care decisions and consequences. CME Credit and MOC Points are available. Start off with a FREE sample case. Start your journey now.

Products and Resources for Patients

Products and Resources for PatientsACP has developed easy- to-use materials designed to help educate your patients on self-management of a wide variety of common health conditions. Order yours today!