Posted and filed under Compliance, Fraud, FWA, Healthcare.

Retired OIG Special Agent and Advize’s Director of Litigation & FWA Support will be stepping in each week to examine current fraud trends from the lens of an investigator. Stay tuned for weekly insights, updates, and information on healthcare’s most expensive crimes.

I’m going to preface this by saying what I’m about to write about is dark and terrible, but it is something to think about. Do you have a will and a healthcare directive in place?  I’m sure many of you have it on your list of life things but have been busy.  I know it took me several years of badgering, bothering and annoying my parents (who are both close to 80) to revisit the topics more recently.

After 9/11, I made sure I had all the required documents in place and have been good about keeping them updated with technology advances and life changes. With the current situation; people dying at numbers we didn’t think would or should be possible, this is a stark reality.

So now, the collateral consequences of COVID-19.  If you do not have your affairs in order, think about all the financial consequences. Let’s take a hospitalization resulting from this terrible virus from a financial perspective. You get admitted, and it becomes dire. Take any other ailment that lands you in a similar place. The hospital does not have clear instructions about what your wishes would be.

Let’s say you go into cardiac arrest, and the medical staff take measures to bring you back to life, but you have been without oxygen for long enough, so you are in a vegetative state. If you had a directive, your wishes would have been understood – that maybe you did not want this. From a financial perspective, you are throwing money at something you do not, or did not, want. From a fraud perspective, think of all the providers coming to give you some “wave” therapy, and you are not in a position to say otherwise.

Essentially, we could have a lengthy conversation about the financial ramifications of being remiss by not having the necessary documents in place. I almost think of it as being selfish to disregard getting it done. You can download templates for wills and healthcare directives online for free. MyDirectives.com is a site that I recently learned about that lets you complete a directive, send copies to people who will carry out your wishes, and has an option for a downloadable card for your wallet with a QR code for easy mobile access. Note: I have never spoken to, and am not affiliated with this site, but I liked the fact that it really could not have been easier.

As we all continue to navigate the current environment, and the massive amount of fraud that is already starting to show, we actually do have the power to stop somethings in death or crisis.  Death is scary and terrible when it comes on your family unexpectedly. Do something proactive to lessen the emotional and financial burden by completing a will and directive.  There’s not much we can control in life, so we should all take advantage of the things we can plan and control.

Advize Health LLC is a healthcare advisory and consulting company that provides a breadth of healthcare industry services in the payer, provider, and legal communities. Contact Eric Rubenstein for more information on our Fraud Spotlight series.