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Doctors with Unusual Billing Patterns Face the Most Discipline

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By: Robert Geimer

We sometimes forget that medicine is big business.  According to the AMA, physicians generated $1.6 trillion in economic activity in 2012 [1].  However, one investigation has revealed that physicians with unusual billing patterns more frequently face discipline by state medical boards.  A report by ProPublica [2], shows that disturbing number of physicians abuse billing systems, though disciplinary agencies are ill-equipped to uncover this abuse.  In fact, the study cites a Chicago Tribune report that a single neurosurgeon claimed half of all the most expensive billing office visits by neurosurgeons in Illinois in 2012.

What is clear is that physicians who are more concerned about lining their own pockets put patients at risk.  This type of fraud is not only outrageous, it endangers the public.  We need to take a hard look at billing abuse and equip disciplinary agencies to track down those who enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

[1] AMA: Physicians Generate $1.6 Trillion in Economic Activity, Support 10 Million Jobs [2] Medicare Billing Outliers Often Have Disciplinary Problems, Too

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