Medicare fraud has been the cause of up to $60 billion in overpaid claims in 2015 alone. Upcoding occurs when a healthcare provider has submitted codes for more severe conditions than diagnosed for the patient to receive higher reimbursement. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of Medicare and Medicaid fraud to determine the magnitude of upcoding inpatient and outpatient claims throughout reimbursements.
The methodology for this study utilized a literature review. The literature review analyzed physician upcoding throughout present on admission infections, diagnostic related group upcoding, emergency department, and clinic upcoding. It was found that upcoding has had an impact on Medicare payments and fraud. Medicare fraud has been reported to be the magnitude of upcoding inpatient and outpatient claims throughout Medicare reimbursements. In addition, fraudulent activity has increased with upcoding for ambulatory inpatient and outpatient charges for patients with Medicare and Medicaid.
Coustasse A, Layton W, Nelson L, & Walker V. Upcoding Medicare: Is Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Increasing? Perspectives in Health Information Management. Fall, 2021.
This is the authors’ manuscript. Copyright © 2021 AHIMA. The version of record is available from the publisher at https://perspectives.ahima.org/fall-2021-introduction/