Don't bill for dead people, says New York Medicaid program

Sixty-six New York state healthcare providers billed Medicaid for services provided to 287 patients they later admitted were "deceased at the time of service," says the office of state Medicaid Inspector General James Sheehan. The inappropriate billings, which the providers attributed to clerical mistakes, totaled less than $1 million.

Hospitals, pharmacists and physicians were among those who made the billing errors. For example, Bellevue Hospital in New York City received "received the body of a [clinically dead] Medicaid patient to harvest organs for transplant--but billed Medicaid as though they were treating the live patient," says Sheehan.

Bellevue representatives said Medicaid was mistakenly billed for an admission for the patient, who was on life support pending organ removal for donation. After the state audit identified the error, the hospital issued a policy that Medicaid cannot be billed in relation to organ or tissue harvesting from brain-dead patients.

To learn more about the inappropriate billing:
- read the New York Post article