Common Healthcare Deceptions: What You Must Be Cautious Of

Undergoing medical treatment can often be one of the most daunting experiences in our lives. There’s always a chance of receiving an incorrect diagnosis or being prescribed medications that could potentially cause more harm than benefit. Physicians make every effort to accurately diagnose our health issues and recommend appropriate tests and medications. Nevertheless, there are instances where medical staff in certain facilities knowingly participate in fraudulent activities, ultimately compromising our well-being.

Medical malpractice has become a common occurrence in the world. Patients lose thousands of dollars paying for fake bills and ghost patients. In these cases, a medical fraud attorney can help you claim compensation for your loss. A Florida healthcare fraud attorney firm ‘Nicholson & Eastin’ covers cases related to government investigations, healthcare license defense, healthcare payout disputes, healthcare compliance, and healthcare transactions.

However, you should always be prepared and learn to identify deceptive practices as a form of precaution. We have listed some common deceptive practices in healthcare below. Take a look.

Billing Fraud

One of the most common forms of deceptive medical practices is billing fraud, and it consists of upcoding and unbundling. So, what are these? Upcoding is when the facility charges you for more expensive procedures than the ones they performed on you. And in unbundling, the facility prescribes or sells bundles or services to you irrespective of whether you need them. It boosts their profits. They might also not perform all of those procedures on you.

A billing fraud can take away thousands of dollars from your pocket or your health insurance premium. So, how can you avoid it? Check your medical bill thoroughly before you make the payment. Ask for itemized bills and ask questions if you find mismatching information.

Unnecessary Procedures

This is another deceptive practice that costs you thousands of dollars. In this case, the medical facility will prescribe unnecessary procedures for your condition. They might or might not harm your health, but they will surely drain your pocket or premium as the hospital makes money.

So, how to avoid this? As non-medical professionals, we can’t understand every procedure prescribed to us. But you can always ask questions to ensure that you receive the right treatment. You can also do a quick internet research to understand the nature of your condition and whether the doctor prescribed you the correct procedure. However, don’t jump to conclusions or self-diagnose based on the information you find online.

Prescription Fraud

In prescription fraud, the doctor will prescribe unnecessary medicines that are unrelated to your condition. It’ll increase their profits and will cost you more than the real prescription. In the worst cases, the practice can have an everlasting negative effect on your health. This happens when a medical facility prefers a particular pharmaceutical company and earns a commission from the partnership. They’re more prone to prescribe their medicines and in some cases overprescribe to boost profits.

A great way to avoid this is to ask your doctor about each medicine. An Internet search can also give you basic information. But each medicine has multiple functions, so don’t jump to conclusions based on the primary research.


The term misdiagnosis is self-explanatory. The doctor will provide a wrong diagnosis of your medical condition and prescribe procedures and medicines accordingly. In some cases, the doctor might do it unintentionally. However, you’ll still spend extra money on your treatment. Misdiagnosis also delays the real treatment and can become fatal for you.

There is little to no chance of identifying a misdiagnosis unless you get your prescription checked by another doctor. If you continue your treatment and don’t see any improvement, consult your doctor and express your concerns.

On the other hand, if you’re a doctor, a misdiagnosis can land you in an expensive lawsuit and cancel your license. So, pay attention and maintain integrity when diagnosing a patient.

Ghost Service or Patients

In this type of deceptive practice, healthcare facilities create false prescriptions and medical bills to help a patient abuse the health insurance premium. They generate ghost services and bill them without performing them and the patient obtains illegal reimbursement from their insurance provider or government healthcare programs.

If you’re a healthcare provider, you should refrain from this practice. Even if the patient tells you that they can get away with it, authorities can conduct a thorough investigation and find out the misrepresented information. You can lose your license and have an expensive lawsuit on your shoulders, so be careful.

Identity Theft

This deceptive practice is similar to ghost service. But here, a third person uses your personal information and social security number to claim insurance or prescription drugs, which results in a financial loss for you.

Although patients are mostly victims of this deceptive practice, hospitals can also be victimized. Check with your medical facilities once every while to ensure that your details are not compromised. If you detect any fraudulent activity, inform authorities immediately.

Negligence of Malpractice

This is one of the most common deceptive practices where the medical facility fails to provide the intended services in a reasonable and acceptable time. It can lead to emotional stress, financial loss, and even death in some cases.

Just like malpractice, there’s no way to identify or prevent negligence unless it happens to you. Choose your healthcare facility carefully or check their reviews. Raise your voice if you’re a victim, and if it goes unheard, file a case to claim compensation.

As a healthcare provider, you can improve your services in many ways. Not engaging in any fraudulent activity and having a clean record can draw more patients in for you. And if you’re a patient, don’t trust your healthcare provider blindly. Ask questions if something doesn’t feel right because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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