Failure to Supervise and Impossibly Long Days
Payment of $302,000 and Forced Corporate Integrity Agreement – July 2016
The government alleged the dermatologist in this case repeatedly billed for services under the “incident to” billing rules during periods when the dermatologist was not present in the office. Some of the services were allegedly performed when the doctor was traveling out of the country. The government also alleged the doctor billed for impossibly long days including one day where 26 hours were billed.
This case illustrates the need to comply with the “incident to” billing rules. Those rules permit a physician extender’s services be billed under the physician in certain circumstances. In order to qualify to bill incident to, the physician must be physically present within the office suite at the time the extender performs the service. The physician cannot order the procedure and then leave the office while the procedure is being performed. There are new Medicare rules clarifying some aspects of the “incident to” billing rules. There was a previous ambiguity that some providers interpreted as permitting the physician that ordered the service to bill for the services, even though another physician actually supervised the performance of the service. The rules revision clarified only the supervising physician can bill the services as “incident to” his or her service. The ordering physician can only bill the service if he or she also supervises the extender.
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Source: Health Law Blog