OIC says it is not gunning for doctors
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.
Internist Archives Quick Links
Internal Medicine Meeting Early Registration Discount
Register early for Internal Medicine Meeting 2015 in Boston, MA to lock in the lowest possible rate. Learn more or register now!
Are You Using ACP Smart Medicine®?
This online clinical decision support tool is a FREE benefit of ACP membership delivering point-of-care access to evidence-based recommendations. Includes more than 500 modules, images and reference tables. Start now or watch the video tour.