Telemedicine in Arizona
Telemedicine is a recent phenomenon and a growing field in the health care industry. In Arizona, Telemedicine “means the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation and treatment and the transfer of medical data through interactive audio, video or data communications that occur in the physical presence of the patient, including audio or video communications sent to a health care provider for diagnostic or treatment consultation.” AZ Rev Stat § 36-3601 (2015).
It is medical care provided to patients through the use of technology. The hallmark of telemedicine is that health care providers can communicate with and see their patients in real time without being in the same physical location.
Telemedicine in Arizona
In May of last year, Governor Doug Ducey signed S.B. 1363 into law requiring private health plans to pay for telemedicine services across the entire state of Arizona. Previous legislation required telemedicine access only to rural areas. In the bill there are enumerated categories of health care services that may be delivered via telemedicine.
The benefits of telemedicine are numerous, such as an increase in health care for patients with mobility issues and a reduction in health care costs. However, telemedicine is not without potential pitfalls, particularly regarding the proper administration of telemedicine in Arizona.
The risk of telemedicine fraud schemes may be great. Regulations on this type of health care are new and our state legislature is trying to keep up with this quickly changing field. The most common forms of health care fraud include activities that may be more easily carried out by telemedicine health care providers. Examples include: billing for medical services that are not actually performed, upcoding, and billing for phantom patients.
Criminal charges for health care fraud are prosecuted aggressively. The newness of telemedicine and its accompanying regulations may also create an increased risk for providers to make billing errors, innocent mistakes, or even violate the law. If you are being investigated or have been charged with telemedicine health care fraud, you need an experienced health care fraud defense attorney.
Ashley D. Adams is a former health care fraud prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She understands how prosecutors operate and has insider experiences to use in your defense. Contact Ashley D. Adams, PLC or call now (480) 219-1366 to schedule a case evaluation.
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The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.