DME Telemedicine Scams

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  • Drop it into MD Drop it into MD 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 440
    Joined: 09/20/2018

    Yes for my personal patients.  I first caught wind of this because an older gentleman I see was requesting a penis pump and coincidentally came into the office a few days following the paperwork so I inquired about it and he knew nothing about it.  Most people I would figure would deny it because they are embarrassed but not this guy.  So I put more scrutiny into these requests and had my office call patients and 90% of them are garbage.  I think these companies just go fishing and hope we bite.

    I think it is a big waste of money, which is why I care,  but I never thought about fraud implications until now.

    #161056 Reply
    Avatar cfletch7 
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 01/04/2019

    There are so many problems with this practice.  First there is an order things should occur.  Patient has a relationship with MD who determines an orthotic in necessary.  Patient then contacts a supplier of choice to provided the orthoses.  Second, these types of telemed visits do not comply with what Medicare requires as far a valid for telemed.  Finally, what patient really needs a back brace, bilateral knee braces, an ankle brace and wrist braces?  Anyone signing off on orders or the medical records they did not really create should understand this is at best abuse but more likely will be considered fraud.

    #178624 Reply
    Avatar Kencufc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 21
    Joined: 08/12/2017

    Update: spoke to local assistant Federal Prosecutor, she said I don’t have anything to worry about as far as losing a medical license or fines since I realized what I was doing was wrong and stopped.  Also, I am cooperating with the special agent to gather evidence to possibly prosecute the “telemedicine” companies in question.

    I submitted a complaint to CMS, the response was a joke.  I received a boiler plate response about medicare fraud.  Yay tax dollars…

    I am genuinely disappointed by many of the comments on this forum from fellow physicians.  The purpose of this thread was to prevent other new physicians from making my same mistake.

    Good luck to everyone!


    #180315 Reply
    Avatar octopus85 
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 141
    Joined: 08/13/2017

    Update: spoke to local assistant Federal Prosecutor, she said I don’t have anything to worry about as far as losing a medical license or fines since I realized what I was doing was wrong and stopped.

    Click to expand…

    Be careful that you’re not being naive. What good is assurance from a federal prosecutor regarding your state medical license? Perhaps she’s right, but the world isn’t unicorns and butterflies, and you’re caught up in a medicare fraud scheme. I hope “submitting a complaint to CMS” didn’t involve admitting to anything you did.

    #180333 Reply
    Avatar Jayilko122 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 01/20/2019

    [Post Held By Moderators Pending Additional Communication With Poster Due to Legal Risk To This Site]

    #183255 Reply
    Avatar SallyForth 
    Status: Pharmacist
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 01/23/2019

    Thank you Ellen for pointing out what would seem obvious. Familiarize yourself with the laws that govern whatever practice is applicable to you. In this case, it would be telehealth. For the past five years, I have been engaged in the field of telemedicine from the ground floor up, in each and every aspect that it could conceivably encompass. I can tell you that there are companies that are authentic, those that strive to provide a legitimate service by being above board, and those that aspire to represent the field with dignity. The world is full of shady characters, sketchy attorneys, lawless scheming businesses and careless doctors that cast a darkness over the entire arena. There’s always one bad apple. Bottom line? Do your homework, do your research and trust your gut. At the end of the day, it’s up to the physician whether they sign for 1 DME or 5. If you, as a physician, aren’t comfortable with the manner in which your company is operating, might I suggest you fold up your laptop. No one is forcing your stylus to a sig pad. Best regards.

    #184209 Reply

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