Selling medical supplies, such as respiratory devices, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on organizations– quotas to meet, new clients to secure, and fierce competition on their heels.

While many respiratory device companies are able to navigate the competitive landscape with integrity and honest approaches, there are some who resort to fraudulent tactics to get ahead. When that happens, it’s critical that the behavior is recognized and reported.

Individuals can step up and report deceitful and/or illegal practices and potentially earn rewards for doing so. Here are tips for identifying fraudulent activity in the respiratory industry:

  • Data Mining patients in order to put them on more expensive and medically unnecessary devices.
  • Routinely and continually billing monthly for non-compliant patients
  • Routine waivers of patient co-insurance
  • Billing insurance companies for respiratory products or services that never occurred
  • Companies forging or changing medical orders to obtain payment of respiratory products or services
  • Avoiding or delaying lawful return of rental equipment
  • Multiple billing for home sleep testing

High-pressure sales tactics

There’s a fine line between being an aggressive salesperson and participating in fraudulent activities that warrant reporting. It should raise a red flag if your organization is promoting the following:

  • Emotional Manipulation (White Coat Marketing) – praying on people’s emotional state is unfortunately easy in the respiratory industry. Using fear tactics to convince someone their health or life is at stake without your product is unethical at the very least.
  • Reciprocity – guilting someone into making a purchase because of a free gift, sample product, or other “throw in” is not acceptable.
  • Inflating or falsifying claims – making false claims, outrageous promises, and exaggerating past results is unethical and illegal.

These are just a few examples of high-pressure sales tactics. As a general rule of thumb, if your organization is asking you to sell in a way that makes you uncomfortable or that would make you feel pressured as a client, it’s worth taking a closer look.

Offering kickbacks

The Anti-Kickback Statute exists to prevent medical companies from offering kickbacks to hospitals, physicians or any referral source when federal monies are involved. This statute even applies to commission only sales people. Violators of this act can face imprisonment and/or tens of thousands of dollars worth of penalties.

Kickbacks can look like gifts of a certain monetary value, discounts, incentive bonuses or even compensation. Be very careful when there are offers of exchanging anything of value for sales of a certain service or device. Familiarize yourself with the Anti-Kickback Statute so you have a guideline of when it’s being broken.

Data mining

If your organization is using information about existing patients as part of your sales strategy in order to push unwanted medical services or equipment there’s a chance it may be considered unethical and possibly illegal.

What to do if I suspect fraud in the respiratory industry?

Discovering fraudulent activities is undoubtedly a scary realization. You might not know what the first step is, or how to protect yourself during the reporting process.

It’s important to know that you are not alone — you have professionals to support and guide you through the brave process of speaking up for what’s right. The experts at the Daniel Ocasio Whistleblower Law Group are here to support you every step of the way.

Your information could be valuable. To take the first step, send us a message today and our experts will respond with your confidentiality guaranteed. You deserve the peace of mind of being protected along the way.

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