Dr. Pearson has recently been hired into the Central City Internal Medicine Group as its fifth physician. He has recently completed his residency and is eager to enter private practice. Dr. Pearson is Nursing Assignment Help

Dr. Pearson has recently been hired into the Central City Internal Medicine Group as its fifth physician. He has recently completed his residency and is eager to enter private practice. Dr. Pearson is introduced to Meredith and Dawn, two members of the billing staff for the practice. Unbeknownst to Dr. Pearson, Meredith financially assists the practice in several ways. She bills procedures by using individual codes instead of comprehensive codes, has decided to bill Dr. Pearson’s services under the Medicare number of Dr. Craig (another Central City physician) until Dr. Pearson’s credentialing process has been completed, and habitually submits a claim more than once if she isn’t sure whether it has already been submitted or not. 

1. Name the types of fraudulent billing that Meredith is conducting

. 2. Could Meredith be held liable for these activities?

3. Is Dr. Pearson subject to liability although he doesn’t know Meredith is conducting these activities? 

4. Once Meredith’s activities are discovered, how should her conduct be addressed by her employer, Central City Internal Medicine? 

5. What should Central City do to ensure these types of problems don’t occur in the future?

Expert Solution Preview

Introduction:
In this scenario, Dr. Pearson has recently joined the Central City Internal Medicine Group and has encountered Meredith, a member of the billing staff who is engaging in fraudulent billing activities. This raises several important questions regarding the types of fraudulent billing being conducted by Meredith, the potential liability of Meredith and Dr. Pearson, how Central City Internal Medicine should address Meredith’s conduct, and steps the organization can take to prevent such problems from occurring in the future.

1. Name the types of fraudulent billing that Meredith is conducting:
Meredith is engaging in the following types of fraudulent billing activities:
– Billing procedures using individual codes instead of comprehensive codes: This practice allows for higher reimbursement amounts as individual codes often result in higher payments.
– Billing Dr. Pearson’s services under the Medicare number of Dr. Craig: By doing this, Meredith is misrepresenting the actual services and healthcare provider, potentially resulting in higher reimbursement rates from Medicare.
– Habitually submitting a claim more than once: This practice increases the chances of receiving duplicate payments for services rendered.

2. Could Meredith be held liable for these activities?
Yes, Meredith could be held liable for her fraudulent billing activities. Engaging in fraudulent billing practices is illegal and unethical. If discovered, she could face legal consequences, such as civil or criminal charges, and potential disciplinary actions from her employer.

3. Is Dr. Pearson subject to liability although he doesn’t know Meredith is conducting these activities?
Dr. Pearson may not be directly liable for Meredith’s fraudulent billing activities if he is unaware of her conduct. However, it is important for healthcare providers to exercise oversight and ensure proper practices within their billing department. If Dr. Pearson fails to implement appropriate supervision or intentionally ignores suspicious activities, he may potentially be held accountable for negligence in fulfilling his professional responsibilities.

4. Once Meredith’s activities are discovered, how should her conduct be addressed by her employer, Central City Internal Medicine?
Upon discovering Meredith’s fraudulent billing activities, Central City Internal Medicine should take immediate action to address her conduct. This may involve conducting a thorough investigation, involving legal authorities if necessary, and implementing appropriate disciplinary measures. The organization should also review its internal controls and compliance procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

5. What should Central City do to ensure these types of problems don’t occur in the future?
To prevent fraudulent billing activities and similar problems from occurring in the future, Central City Internal Medicine should consider the following measures:
– Implement robust internal controls and compliance programs: This includes regular audits and monitoring of billing practices, as well as clear policies and procedures that discourage fraudulent activities.
– Provide comprehensive training: Ensure that all staff members, especially those involved in billing processes, receive proper training on coding and billing regulations, as well as the consequences of fraudulent practices.
– Encourage reporting and whistleblowing: Establish a culture of reporting suspicious activities and provide channels for employees to report concerns confidentially without fear of retaliation.
– Regularly review and update billing practices: Stay updated with changing regulations and industry best practices to ensure compliance and mitigate the risk of fraudulent activities.

By implementing these measures, Central City Internal Medicine can safeguard its operations against fraudulent billing practices and uphold the integrity of its billing processes.

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