Could unnecessary medical care be fraud?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Fraud

Unfortunately, the medical industry in New York and through the U.S. functions as other industries do in that providers often act on financial incentives to provide as much “care” as possible, regardless of whether the patient truly needs it or not. Many people have heard of car mechanics who perform unnecessary work on a vehicle just to generate more revenue; when doctors do it, the damages are more severe than just the financial loss of getting an extra oil change. Unnecessary care can also be fraud when the health care provider knowingly provides these services with no medical justification to support them.

The pervasiveness of unnecessary care

The United States spends more per capita on medical care than any other nation by far. One of the drivers of that higher spending is unnecessary testing and procedures. Data shows that health care fraud by “dirty doctors” results in $210 billion of additional costs to patients every year with little to no benefit to the patients’ health. That money could be better spent in countless ways.

What happens when unnecessary care becomes dangerous?

Unnecessary care doesn’t only add greater financial burdens to patients: It can also endanger their health by subjecting them to greater pain and suffering to undergo testing and treatments that do not provide any notable benefit. New York doctors who engage in unethical behavior, such as providing unnecessary care, are increasingly subject to fraud charges as awareness of the widespread problem of fraud in the health care sector increases.

Unnecessary care is both a waste of precious resources and a potential danger to patients’ wellness. Doctors who commit fraud in this respect may be held legally accountable for their actions.