Sunday, August 26, 2012

Most mental health clinics have suspect Medicare claims

A troubling new report on for-profit mental health centers reveals nearly all of those in Houston have problems with their Medicare claims, confirming many of the problems first reported by the Houston Chronicle nearly a year ago.

The report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, found that 13 of the 16 clinics in Houston - 81 percent - had "questionable" claims submitted to Medicare. These types of clinics, known as "community mental health centers," offer intense mental health therapy in an outpatient-setting, as an alternative to a mental health hospitalization.

After examining claims submitted to Medicare during 2009 and 2010, the agency noted several billing problems: clinics billing for services not needed, patients being sent long distances for treatment and the fact that patients were not being referred to the for-profit clinics by health care providers first.

The Houston Chronicle reported nearly a year ago how the amount of Medicare dollars flowing to two troubled sectors - private ambulances and mental health clinics - was steadily rising. The news organization's reports detailed how able-bodied Medicare enrollees were frequently being ferried by ambulances to clinics all over the Houston area.

Full Article and Source:
Most mental health clinics have suspect Medicare claims


Jessica said...

I believe it. I think about the millions, perhaps trillions, of dollars wasted by fraud and trickery and it makes me sick.

Thelma said...

Solely attributable to incompetence in government.

StandUp said...

You're right, Thelma. But the politician who would take on the cleaing up of Medicare and Medicaid would surely be a hero!

Luis said...

That would be the 1%!

relief from insomnia said...

I think there are some things more deep then this. If you think wider, you will notice that too!