The Coalition has a longstanding position that medical providers who earn most of their income from insurance should have their state license yanked or suspended for committing insurance fraud. That’s a key provision of our model insurance fraud law.
A license is a privilege the state bestows, and not a right.
Why should states act so decisively? Because medical boards rarely act on their own. We surveyed medical boards several years ago and very few actively punished providers who commit insurance fraud. Some only discipline providers for violating their medicine practice, and that insurance fraud isn’t constitute such a violation.
There are enough honest docs practicing ethically that we can afford to get rid of crooks.
Medicare can now impose stiff sanctions. Docs who bilk Medicare can be kicked out of the system. They still can practice but can’t receive Medicare reimbursements. Many cheaters who specialize in fleecing Medicare thus are put out of business.
Minnesota is debating a similar move: Medical providers convicted of insurance fraud can be denied payments by the state’s auto-insurance system under a bill being considered in the statehouse.
The cheaters still can keep their medical license. They’re just out of the no-fault business. And like Medicare swindlers, the no-fault fraud specialists face potential ruin if their main source of income is shut off.
New York started booting dishonest medical providers from the state’s no-fault system several years ago. The state is showing success; more than 18 providers have been removed.
The Coalition holds up New York as a model that other no-fault states should emulate.
Crooked medical providers risk their patients’ health and wellbeing, and steal brazenly from insurers. They shouldn’t be tolerated. No-fault states should follow New York’s lead and weed out crooked docs.
The Coalition strongly believes that dishonest providers who abuse their state license to commit insurance fraud should face strict license review to determine if their license should be suspended or permanently revoked.
About the author: Howard Goldblatt is director of government affairs for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.