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Mental Health Facilities Suspected of Defrauding Medicare

Mental Health Facilities Suspected of Defrauding Medicare

Mental Health Facilities Suspected of Defrauding Medicare

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/us/fraud-investigation-unsettles-mental-health-care-in-new-mexico.html?_r=0

New Mexico officials are in the midst of a sweeping criminal investigation of 15 of its biggest mental health facilities. These facilities are suspect of defrauding Medicare of $36 million over three years. Due to the vast investigation, New Mexico has asked Arizona companies to step in and assist the New Mexico's mental health patients. This investigation has caused many patients to miss scheduled meetings with health care professionals. Others are seeing cuts in services.

The investigation was prompted by an audit that revealed a major billing issue with several of New Mexico's mental health facilities. According to the audit, nearly a quarter of the patients' claims were coded incorrectly. The investigation has revealed several officials forcing employees to lie about patients in an effort to bill more money to Medicare. Many are turning to the New Mexico's Governor for answers. Others are turning to criticize the Governor for allowing this system to exist.

Some claim that erroneous medical coding is just the cost of doing business in such a large system. However, mistakes in coding that increase facility profits can also have negative effects on patient health. It may not affect the patient at that moment, but when the patient comes back to the health facility another and possibly new professional will look at that history to make a determination about a future course of action. If erroneous information exists, the patient could suffer adverse consequences.

Contact with health care professionals is a necessary part of our society and almost always beneficiary. However, providers are human and mistakes can be made. Even the most careful health care professionals can make a mistake that injures a patient. However, not all medical mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Meyerkord and Meyerkord, LLC will help you if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorneys continue to set the standard for representation of difficult cases. If you have a medical malpractice issue, contact us at (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 to schedule a no-obligation meeting with a medical malpractice attorney.

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