The Keys to Identifying Health Care Fraud

Most health care providers are honest. But the few that aren’t can ruin it for everyone else by driving up health care costs and insurance premiums According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), health care fraud costs the country tens of billions of dollars a year. The bureau is the primary agency for exposing and investigating health care fraud, and oversees both federal and private insurance programs. You can protect your bank account and identify fraudulent practices by becoming aware of common schemes targeting either you or insurance companies.

Here are some of the most common schemes and how to deter them. The Scheme: Stealing Your Personal Information. While it might be tempting to accept a free medical screening, some criminals use this method to gather information that can be used to steal from you or your insurance company. Others will pay office personnel to steal your information. Make sure there is a valid reason when you give someone your insurance card information. If you visit a new clinic, look around to see if the clinic has equipment that is typical for medical centers.

And, be very wary of phone offers for unnecessary equipment or products. To determine whether insurance information is being used without your knowledge, carefully review the explanation of benefits (EOB) forms your insurance company sends you. Contact your insurance company if you see any services or supplies that should not be listed or if you were charged for an item or service that is more expensive than what you received.

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