Phantom billing: Can you spot it in your claims?

Three seemingly unrelated imaging providers based in FL were identified in a self-funded employer’s medical claims for what was later verified as phantom billing.

The utilization patterns seen in paid claims history for an employee and his wife indicated a strong probability of “phantom” billing – billing for services never performed. Phantom billing typically involves setting up fake corporation(s) with the intent of billing non-rendered services. The individuals involved with the phantom corporations will then recruit patients by offering them an incentive in exchange for allowing their insurance to be billed.

Patients will also be offered incentives to recruit other members of the same insurance plan. Phantom providers start and stop billing within a short period of time in order to avoid detection.