Danger Lurks Around With Every Signature!
The truckload of documents on my table every single day waiting to be signed. Some are prescription refills, other are papers from the scooter people and not to mention those requests for prior authorization. Now if you have the same story there is a lot of risk hiding in those papers.
No doctor has time to read all of these papers. They all rummage through it and sign wherever the signature needs to go. After all there are atleast 100 or more signatures to be done everyday for which there is no compensation.
Among these papers are those sent by some shady vendors and companies. Here are few examples of those:
1) Diabetic Supplies:Diabetic Supply is a big business. That is why you hear those ads about free diabetic supply delivered to your door. Automatically! It is not that automatic. Once the patient requests diabetic supply from the company, they will send a form to the physician to sign. This form has the diagnosis codes and frequency of use, which is usually already filled out by the company salesmen. What they won’t tell you is that they documented the patient needs to check his or her sugar 5 times a day. Even when they are not on insulin. If you sign this form without correcting it, they will send the patient enough supply so they can check their sugars five time a day. This is called Upselling – Selling more than what someone needs. If Medicare comes after them, they have a good defence – “the doctor told us to do that!”
The doctor did not even have the time to read the form thoroughly and gets dinged for overutilization of medicare resources!!
2) Motorized Wheelchair and Scooters: You get these prefilled forms that patient needs a scooter. He may not need it. He probably will do fine with a manual wheel chair. But those sell cheap. So these wheelchair dealers will try to get you to sign a motorized wheel chair for the patient. If Medicare audits, then your neck is on the line.
3) Change Meds to Generic and save $$$: But they won’t tell who saves the dollars. The company or the patient. The patient many a times still pays the same. But if you sign it thinking patient would not mind saving this money, you will be in for a surprise. The Pharmacy will turn around and tell the patient that the doctor asked us to change it. The patients will be angry that they were not consulted before doing so.
4) Refill these prescriptions: Patients who have not followed up with you in a year may go to the pharmacy to see if they can get their meds. The pharmacist will send you a fax. Sign it for refills for next few months will increase your liability as you are now responsible for the side effects of the meds if not monitored. If such a request comes in just give out enough pills to give the patient time to et to your office. Definitely NO REFILLS!
Moral of the story: No one can read everything. But know what to check for each document before you sign it.