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Tips to Identify Healthcare Fraud in a Workers’ Compensation Setting

On Wednesday, Rebecca participated in a Webinar for an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Association. She presented on the topic “Tips to Identify Healthcare Fraud in a Workers’ Compensation Setting.” In front of an audience of case managers, attorneys, human resource personnel and other healthcare professionals, Rebecca had a lively discussion on many aspects of healthcare fraud in a Workers’ Compensation setting.

Some highlights include:
Overall numbers –
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that all property/casualty insurance fraud cost insurers $30 billion annually.

Workers’ Compensation fraud accounts for approximately 25% or $7.2 billion a year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The NICB characterizes Workers’ Compensation fraud as the “fastest growing segment of insurance fraud” in the nation.

Most studies indicate that the three parties primarily driving the cost of workers’ comp fraud are employers, medical providers, and employees.

Tips on spotting fraud:
Worker Claim Fraud
• Number of days worked and amount of salary inconsistent with occupation
• Injured worker disputes average weekly wage due to additional income (i.e., per diem and/or 1099 income)
• Cross-outs, white-outs and erasures on documents
• Injured worker files for benefits in a state other than principle location of the alleged industrial injury or occupational disease
• Injured worker-listed occupation is inconsistent with employer’s stated business
Employer Fraud
• Business displays or presents a Certificate of Coverage that contains inaccurate data, such as an implausible period of coverage
• Cross-outs, white-outs and/or erasures on documents, such as the Application for Ohio Workers’ Compensation Coverage (U-3) or Payroll Report (DP-21)
• Business name is not consistent with type of work being performed
• Number of employees, classifications and payroll are inconsistent
Provider Fraud
• Injured worker does not recall having received the billed service
• Provider’s medical reports read almost identically even though they are for different patients with different conditions
• Much higher healthcare costs than expected for the allowed injury type
• Frequency of treatments or duration of treatment period is greater than expected for allowed injury type, especially for older (non-catastrophic) claims

When investigating workers’ compensation fraud, always request detailed medical records and records of the injury. If all the facts don’t add up – you might be looking at fraudulent activity.

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