Industry News

OIG Warns to Exercise Caution When Physicians Reassign Medicare Billing Rights.

Richard P. Kusserow | March 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently alerted physicians to exercise caution when reassigning their rights to bill the Medicare program.  The alert was prompted by the OIG’s discovery of eight physicians who reassigned their Medicare billing rights to their employer.  The physicians did not furnish services to beneficiaries; however, their employers fraudulently billed Medicare for services that the physicians did not provide.  As a result, the physicians involved in the schemes were subjected to liability under the Civil Monetary Penalties Law.  Further, the employers were criminally prosecuted for submission of false claims to the Medicare program.  According to the alert, the OIG is encouraging physicians to closely examine companies’ billing records before assigning his or her billing rights.  In addition, physicians should only assign their rights to legitimate health care provider and supplier companies.

The OIG Alert on Medicare reassignments is available at:

Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.  “OIG Alerts Physicians to Exercise Caution when Reassigning their Medicare Payments.”  OIG Alert.  8 Feb. 2012.

About the Author

Richard P. Kusserow established Strategic Management Services, LLC, after retiring from being the DHHS Inspector General, and has assisted over 3,000 health care organizations and entities in developing, implementing and assessing compliance programs.