In the US, healthcare fraud continues to be an ongoing concern. Every year, billions of dollars are lost to fraudulent healthcare schemes, leaving consumers and providers at risk of financial loss and legal penalties. As healthcare technology continues to advance, the potential for healthcare fraud will likely increase in the years ahead, highlighted at the Health 2.0 Conference. As we move into 2023, it is essential for individuals and providers to remain aware of the types of healthcare scam offenses to watch out for and how to protect yourself best.
1. Scam In Health Insurance Plans
Fake health insurance plans offer false promises, do not meet regulatory requirements, and may provide limited or no coverage when needed. To avoid being taken in by a fraudulent health insurance plan, check with your state’s insurance commission and research the company before signing up.
2. Medical Identity Theft
Medical identity theft involves an unauthorized person using another person’s medical information to get medical treatment, medications, and medical benefits. Be vigilant with your health information, and never give it to anyone without verifying their credentials.
3. Unnecessary Procedures and Tests
Beware of healthcare providers offering unnecessary procedures or tests to collect more money from your insurance provider. Thoroughly research the condition and determine if it requires any testing or procedure before agreeing to it.
4. Medicare Fraud
Medicare fraud includes providers who bill Medicare for services or treatments that were never received. Always check the Medicare summary statement each quarter to ensure that services you did not receive have not been billed.
5. Unapproved Drugs
Beware of healthcare providers who suggest the use of drugs that the FDA has not approved. Fraudulent medical devices, services, and products are not subject to regulation and can be potentially dangerous. These include products such as treatments for cancer and diabetes that have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Be sure to question any medications not readily available on the market and are only being sold by one provider.
6. Billed For Unreceived Services
Health 2.0 Conference alerts people to carefully review the itemized bills they receive from their healthcare provider and question any charges for services they do not remember receiving.
7. Online Pharmacy Scam Offenses
Online pharmacy scams involve fake online pharmacies offering low-priced medications with little or no consultation or prescription. Do your research before purchasing medication online and never give out personal or payment details to a questionable website.
8. Kickback Scam
Beware of any providers offering incentives to you in exchange for services, as this is a form of illegal kickback and can put you at risk for fraud.
9. Balance Billing Scam
Beware of healthcare providers that bill you directly for services, such as copayments or coinsurance, after your insurance provider has already paid. Health 2.0 Conference advises you to contact your insurance provider immediately if you are being billed for services that should already have been paid.
10. “Free” Medical Care
Beware of free medical care offers that may include hidden charges or scams. Before agreeing to any free service, ask about potential charges and any payment requirements.
Ways To Protect Oneself From Healthcare Scams In 2023 – Health 2.0 Conference
1. Check Your Insurance
Always read and review your insurance policy carefully and verify the information it contains is accurate, suggests Health 2.0 Conference. Pay special attention to the cost-sharing of services, copays, deductible amounts, coverage periods and limits, and the network of providers you can use.
2. Research Care Providers
Make sure any care provider you use is accredited and in-network, and don’t forget to research the individual you’ll be receiving treatment from. Check if they are certified in their field, and verify that they don’t have any significant adverse history or professional disciplinary actions.
3. Look For Warning Signs
When engaging with a health care provider, look for warning signs such as lack of attention to detail, lack of credentials, payment before services, or unrealistic guarantees. Health 2.0 Conference emphasized asking as many questions as possible before signing for healthcare policies or insurance. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the provider won’t answer questions to your satisfaction.
4. Don’t Believe Everything You Read
Many healthcare scam offenses can appear on the surface to be reputable. When looking at a healthcare product, provider, or website, verify the information independently before committing. Get referrals, research past successes and failure rates, and only give money when you’re certain you are protected.
5. Verify Costs & Terms
Check that the healthcare provider has transparent, accurate costs and terms of payment before the start of treatment. Confirm the services, timing, and payment in writing before any services are provided.
6. Remain Vigilant
If a healthcare offer or product seems too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that a healthcare provider is looking out for the patient’s best interests, so stay vigilant to ensure you are getting the services and coverage you deserve. These are a few ways discussed at the Health 2.0 Conference that can help an individual avoid healthcare scam offenses in 2023. Attendees shared positive reviews about learning the latest healthcare innovations, scam offenses, and ways to prevent them. They look forward to attending upcoming healthcare events, like Health 2.0 Conference in the USA and Dubai.