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United States: OIG Has Seven (Yes Seven!) Different National Telemedicine Audits

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Companies who feel the Public Health Emergency (PHE) waivers and exceptions have rendered telemedicine “immune” from compliance oversight might be surprised to learn what federal regulators have in the works.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is conducting at least seven different national audits, evaluations, and inspections of telemedicine services under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The audits will also review remote patient monitoring, virtual check-ins, and e-visits. OIG previously issued a report in 2018 on Medicare telehealth billing, using only a small sample size but finding a 31% error rate of claims that did not meet the Medicare requirements for payment for telehealth services.

Providers who have begun or increased billing to federal healthcare programs for telehealth services since the inception of the Public Health Emergency should expect those claims to be subject to OIG review.

On February 26, 2021, OIG published a statement on telehealth and fraud concerns, explaining “OIG is conducting significant oversight work assessing telehealth services during the public health emergency.”

The goal of these reviews is to ensure “telehealth delivers quality, convenient care for patients and is not compromised by fraud.”

The OIG previously issued a report […]

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