When New York residents go to the doctor, they usually do not worry about their medical information. However, people sometimes steal important healthcare information. When this happens, it is called healthcare fraud.
Healthcare fraud occurs when people run scams to obtain medical information. FBI.gov says people can run healthcare scams in a variety of ways. People may steal information at health fairs offering free screenings or they may offer patients a gift if they visit certain medical clinics. In these situations, people usually obtain information about healthcare when patients sign in. Additionally, some fake companies may gather healthcare information and sell it to third parties who then use this information to set up a scam. People who work at medical clinics may participate in fraud when they sell private information about patients to people operating scams.
Healthcare fraud can often occur during billing. According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, some people may send patients a bill for each part of a medical procedure instead of for the entire procedure. Patients might also get a bill for a test or other service which they did not receive. In some situations, healthcare scammers might send a bill for a procedure a patient received but add a second service which did not occur. Additionally, fraudulent bills may charge a patient more than his or her co-pay.
Healthcare fraud can also occur during a diagnosis. Some people might diagnose a patient with a more serious condition to justify further procedures which the patient does not actually need. These medical services may then result in a fraudulent bill. Additionally, people running a healthcare scam might provide false information so that patients receive a treatment which is not covered by their insurance. Healthcare fraud can also take the form of kickbacks. In this situation, a medical provider might receive financial compensation each time he or she refers patients to different, possibly fraudulent, clinics.