Saturday Q and A

 

 

Dr. Ramone writes:

 

 

I’m having a lot of trouble getting people in to see me for their yearly visit. What’s the best way to get them in?

 

 

Anything is fair play

 

 

Call them. Write them a note. Arrange a house call (they don’t even need to be ill).

 

 

You can even drive them to your office yourself (I’ve done that more than once.)

 

 

The one thing you can’t do is pay them.

 

 

Yet many insurance companies, health systems, and doctors do just that—even though it is clearly a felony.

 

 

You may not give your patient “anything of tangible value in exchange for utilizing their benefits.”

 

 

Practically speaking, despite all the compliance hoops you have to deal with, Medicare Advantage is still the Wild West.

 

 

It may look intimidating, but there is very little actual compliance being done.

 

 

Think of it as you would the TSA screening at the airport—all show, little go.

 

 

BUT

 

 

Inurement—paying someone to use their government benefits on your behalf, is one of the few things you WILL go to jail for.

 

 

Don’t do it.

 

 

Don’t be a party to it.

 

 

Just say no.