Informed consent for a medical treatment is important because it means the patient understands the procedure, the purpose of the procedure, and the risks and benefits. Failing to get informed consent may even be a type of medical malpractice. Unfortunately for patients, the misinformation can also go the other way and the doctor can bill and charge for services that were never provided.
Insurance Bill Does Not Match Care Given
Trying to decipher a medical bill can be difficult. There are codes and shorthand that only the insurance company or billing department understands. It can be just as difficult to get an answer from the doctor’s office when questioning bills and codes. Most patients end up giving up because it seems futile to try and get to the bottom of a billing question.
Unfortunately, some of the billing confusion may be caused by a doctor trying to get away with insurance fraud. Many patients of a dentist in California were surprised to find out their dentist was found negligent in a malpractice claim where a patient died and the dentist also served prison time for mail fraud.
Dr. Thomas Teich had taken money from a number of patients to perform dental implants. The implants were allegedly never provided and the dentist failed to respond to the patients’ calls. Other patients complained they were disfigured, suffered infections, and were unable to talk normally after receiving dental care.
The dentist had his license revoked twice in Arizona and Illinois. A spokesperson for the California Dental board admitted that Dr. Teich should never have been licensed in California and that the license was issued by mistake.
Eventually, the dentist has his license suspended and voluntarily surrendered his license to practice. According to the complaint before the dental board, the dental practice performed anesthesia without a valid permit, the dentist used IV sedation without consent, the office did not monitor vital signs, and after the patient suffered cardiac arrest, the dentist told the assistants not to call 911, and after paramedics were called, the patient never regained consciousness and died.
Medicare Fraud is Dangerous for Patients
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare fraud typically includes “knowingly submitting, or causing to be submitted, false claims or making misrepresentations of fact to obtain a federal health care payment for which no entitlement would otherwise exist.”
Common types of fraud include:
- Upcoding, or billing for more expensive procedures than were performed;
- Unbundling, or billing separately for bundled procedures; and
- Billing for appointments never made or kept;
- Ordering unnecessary services; and
- Billing for services never provided.
Medicare fraud and medical insurance fraud is dangerous for patients. Fraud by doctors may cause patients to distrust their providers, deny services that really are medically necessary, fail to seek treatment, or have confidence that they received treatment that was never provided.
Unnecessary Treatment Malpractice
Unnecessary medical treatment that was never medically necessary or where the doctor underrepresented the dangers can cause injury or harm to the patient. If you suffered an injury after receiving unnecessary or improper care, it is important to contact a local medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice lawsuit can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Contact us for help today online or call (800) 529-6162 today.