Amy Lerman, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Part B News “Telemedicine or Telescam? Heed the Warnings in the Latest Special Fraud Alert,” by Julia Kyles. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Physicians and non-physician practitioners who are approached by recruiters from a telemedicine company should read the latest fraud alert from the H HS Office of Inspector General (OIG) before they opt to get involved. …

OIG sends a warning

The latest SFA [Special Fraud Alert] “highlights that OIG is carefully watching the industry and has identified some very specific types of risks, as well as that providers are on notice about the warning signs specifically identified in the [SFA] and similar behaviors,” says Amy Lerman, member of the firm with Epstein Becker Green in Washington, D.C. …

Watch for warning signs of a scam

Telemedicine scams come in a variety of forms, but many restrict contact between the practitioner and the person they are supposed to be treating.

Some arrangements may interfere with legitimate patient-provider relationships required by various states’ telemedicine laws, Lerman says. “If, as the [SFA] describes, there are scenarios occurring where telemedicine providers are practicing without having any or even limited interactions with the patients, where the providers are practicing without having access to basic and relevant information about the patients, and where the providers cannot have any opportunity or means to follow up with the patients, the telemedicine providers may be practicing in the absence of having valid practitioner-patient relationships established,” she says. “This affects all telemedicine providers, including and most notably those who are performing services of a more consultative nature.”

For more information, please visit the DecisionHealth website.

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