Amy Lerman, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was featured in Behavioral Healthcare Executive, in“Crackdown on Fraud Highlights Need for Telehealth Compliance,” by Tom Valentino.
Following is an excerpt:
The widespread adoption of telehealth service offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the defining stories of behavioral healthcare in 2020.
But in addition to increased use of telehealth, there has also been a significant rise in enforcement of regulations around the technology, and providers would be well advised to shore up their compliance infrastructures heading into 2021, says Amy Lerman, member of the Health Care and Life Sciences practice at Epstein Becker Green.
Lerman was the lead author on the firm’s fifth annual Telemental Health Laws Survey, which was published in late October. The report noted a joint effort in September by the U.S. Department of Justice and the HHS Office of Inspector General that resulted in charges against 345 defendants in 51 judicial districts who were suspected of submitting more than $4.5 billion in fraudulent claims related to telehealth services. In its executive summary, EBG wrote that the takedown was the sharpest enforcement activity involving telehealth providers to date and a warning to the industry that providers should make it a priority to develop policies for ensuring that their telehealth-related operations were above-board.
Lerman tells BHE that enforcement agencies’ interest in telehealth-related fraud began to increase even prior to the pandemic, “but there’s a lot of data and analytics that CMS, and other state and federal agencies can see with the increase in the use of telehealth services. They are able to look at, from a claims perspective, how those services are being billed for and documented.” ...
For more information about the 2020 Telemental Health Laws Survey, and to read our analysis of regulatory requirements for professional mental/behavioral health practitioners and stakeholders seeking to provide telehealth-focused services, please see our Executive Summary and the firm’s press release, and download the complimentary appꟷavailable for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.