News reports of alleged Medicare fraud seem to be a regular occurrence these days - a reality that should give pause to everyone in the health care field.
With the recent news that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force had charged 111 individuals - including four physical therapists - with fraud, the issue and its unfortunate consequences to patients and the health care system really hit home.
While all of these defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, news of physical therapy services being part of any fraud scheme is deeply troubling to APTA. We're not familiar with, and cannot comment, on the specific charges against the individuals cited in the lawsuits, but we have zero tolerance for the type of behavior alleged. APTA promotes only the highest standards of practice to its members. It is important that individuals receive physical therapy services that are of high quality and medically necessary, furnished by licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants under the direct supervision of a physical therapist.
APTA stands ready to work with government and private payers to bring an end to fraudulent activity within the health care system.
What are your thoughts regarding these recent Medicare fraud cases? Why do they seem to be increasing? And what can we, as health care professionals, do to help put an end to this behavior?