Today in the news there was a flash across the screen concerning the arrest of providers for Medicare Fraud. Be aware of what constitutes fraud and what you can do to keep your practice ethical and legal. Fraud is when services are either not considered necessary because the diagnosis and patient’s condition do not require the type of treatment that you are billing for or services that are billed were not provided. The Medicare Population may not always have the best memory about the visits, so you need to protect yourself. One of the ways I would suggest is that you maintain your records accurately and obtain a signature each and every time you see a client. You can use a sign in sheet with removable labels so as not to compromise confidentiality. I would also recommend that you make sure clinical documentation backs up each and every visit. The documentation should include a note that confirms your diagnosis and prognosis on each and every visit. If Medicare comes knocking on your door you will be asked to produce this and because you are a Medicare participating provider you must comply. Some of the things these providers that were arrested are clearly fraudulent and make it really bad for the rest of providers that are merely trying to make a living. So my advice to you is keep good records. Make sure that if you are billing for a service it was indeed provided and you have the documentation to support it.