Do you suspect you’ve been over-billed by a nursing home?
According to the Wall Street Journal, a report released to federal authorities will demonstrate that nursing homes billed over $1.5 billion to the Medicare program in overcharges. These overcharges were the results of billing for services that were not as expensive as the nursing home claimed. This is called upcoding by the nursing homes, and raises some disturbing implications for people who have loved ones in nursing homes.
The most frightening aspect of this is the fact that it implies that some people are being billed for services that were never delivered but that may be needed by that patient. For example, if a relatively routine procedure is upcoded so that the nursing home can bill Medicare a higher amount, that does not necessarily mean that the patient should not have received the service that was never delivered. In fact, they may be receiving lacking services compared to what they actually need.
One of the most common nursing home abuse indications is neglect. When people aren’t being properly taken care of in the most basic ways, it’s unlikely that they are being given more advanced types of treatment that they may genuinely require. This means that, for example, a patient who needs to have extra hygiene because of susceptibility to infections may not even be getting the most basic hygiene and that they may be at very real risk because of that.
The signs of neglect are, in some cases, fairly easy to spot. You’ll want to look for things such as lacking hygiene, unwashed clothes and bedding, bed sores, persistent infections, frequent illnesses and so forth. While some of these things – such as frequent illnesses – are simply the results of being at a very advanced age, anybody in a professional nursing home facility should have access to the type of care that minimizes their risk of falling prey to these conditions.
If you believe that the nursing home your loved one is in is claiming to have provided services that were never actually delivered, you should speak to an attorney about the matter. They may be able to help you and, in some cases, they may be able to go ahead and file a lawsuit against that nursing home to help you get compensation. Nobody, whether it’s the federal government or you personally, should have to pay for services that were never delivered and attorneys can make sure that you don’t.