With all that we’ve been reading about alleged LTC Medicare fraud, overbilling, claiming more services than that which were actually provided, giving incorrect treatments, or up-coding Medicare claims, it’s hard for providers not to feel like a target. Therefore, on behalf of those who are trying to do their best in a world of changing rules, retro reviews, and the dramatic expansion of diagnostic codes, we cry, “Enough already!” We want to speak out for all providers who are doing their best and are NOT trying to rip the system. We believe that the majority of providers operate with integrity and with the intent to provide service consistent with each resident’s needs. Personally, I take exception to any outcry that providers are gaming the system before all the evidence is in place – makes good headlines, but poor policymaker/provider relationships and certainly LOUSY policy.
ProClaim Partners has the opportunity to work with LTC providers managing numerous facilities across the country. Because we work directly with their billing staff and AR managers, we believe that they are doing their best to meet the real needs of their residents and are striving to make sure that the bills are clean and accurately represent the care given.
Having said that, do errors occur? Certainly. Years ago as an adult Boy Scout leader, I, along with others, maintained that scouting would be great…if it weren’t for the boys. Well, providers are in the people business employing people – fallible people. Operating a people business without the messiness of working with people would be great, but unreasonable and illogical. Despite providers’ best efforts with triple checks and even with their clinical applications screening the claims, we’ve discovered extra digits in Medicare numbers, invalid ICD-9 codes, etc.
My advice? Tell your story with claims that accurately reflect the care given and which are properly screened and scrubbed by members of your team (triple check), your clinical application, and a third-party automated claims management solution like ProClaim Partners. And tell your PR department to get off its duff and shout from the rooftops every day the wonderful things your facility and company are doing for the residents you serve, particularly if you are providing services to higher acuity residents. Tell your story. NO, tell your residents’ stories. It’s great press and a great buffer to the possible regulatory scrutiny and bad press that you could encounter in the future.