Fraud involving physical therapy

goniometer

Three years for practicing PT without a license.  (thanks to Doug White, DPT, OCS for the link).  This was not a PT involved in fraud, but an owner of a clinic (Reconditioning and Exercise Physiology Specialists – REPS, get it?). Turns out he is an exercise physiologist who figured he could a) perform PT without a license, and b) inflate the time spent with the patient. Fortunately he was caught (defrauding the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation – he owes them $2.1 million and the IRS just over $92K). 

Suggestions on protecting yourself

Dr. White sent the original link on the APTA education listserv, and makes the following suggestions:  “The salient point of the article is this person used a licensed PTs identity to commit fraud according to the article. This is one of the most common types of health care fraud. Students and PTs should be mindful of these crimes and take appropriate precautions to protect their identity for obvious reasons. Such steps should include:

  • Avoid signature stamps when possible
  • If you use a signature stamp take it with you when you leave the facility
  • Be knowledgeable about how your services are billed and perform informal audits to make sure your services are not misrepresented
  • Send a standardized letter to major payers when you leave a practice setting saying you no longer practice at xyz facility as of a certain date.
  • When leaving a facility document in any open cases, “I am no longer the attending PT. Responsibility for the care of the patient has been turned over to Dr. xyx””

I feel bad for the PT whose name and reputation were on the line – thankfully it wasn’t a PT that was doing the defrauding.

Picture credit: goniometer, originally uploaded by hmmlargeart.

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