Commentary: Will Health IT Increase Fraud And Abuse?

John Casillas | Government Health IT | September 24, 2012

A September 15 article in the Washington Post examines an area of increasing focus in healthcare -- fraudulent and abusive Medicare billing practices.

The article, Doctors, Others Billing Medicare at Higher Rates, by Fred Schulte, Joe Eaton and David Donald, of the Center for Public Integrity, discusses how, over the past decade, a noted increase has appeared in the amount care providers are billing Medicare.  The article goes on to say that “the aggressive push to electronic medical records is likely fueling the trend toward higher codes ..."

By definition, "fraudulent" implies intent to steal or cheat, whereas "abusive" implies theft without prior intent.  Nevertheless, abuse results in over-charging for medical treatments.