I spent my morning undergoing an intense seminar on Medicare billing. Although this was designed to be sure that the physicians are billing Medicare appropriately, it was anything but encouraging.
I was especially discouraged when we were informed that one physician in an Appalachian state actually was fined $150,000 for UNDER-billing. That’s right. He was fined because he failed to bill the department enough. Trying to avoid any hint of impropriety and feeling that his patients were too poor to pay more, he under-billed.Â
Now what am I supposed to do? As physicians, we live in fear of the penalties for Medicare fraud and yet, when someone is careful to avoid that, they too are penalized right out of practice. I am not making this up.
Of course, the real answer, the only answer, is to avoid working with them. This means that we should not only never accept another Medicare client (patient) but get rid of the ones that you have. How sad.