DOJ Files New Medicare Abuse Lawsuit Against Cigna

DOJ Audits And How DoctusTech Helps


The Department of Justice has filed a new lawsuit against Cigna for overcharging the federal government by purposefully inflating how sick its Medicare Advantage members are.


Federal prosecutors previously declined to intervene in this whistleblower case, but have now seemed to change their minds about it.


The lawsuit brings up a very important point: Medicare fraud is a widespread practice. This lawsuit has just been another push by the government to crack down on insurers who exaggerate enrollees’ conditions in order to get more money from Medicare.


Over the past 2 years, the DOJ has joined separate, similar lawsuits against Medicare Advantage plans run by Kaiser Permanente and Elevance (formerly known as Anthem) and settled cases with several other similar organizations.


The lawsuit focuses on risk adjustment

The lawsuit focuses on risk adjustment – a process in Medicare that pays insurers more if patients are sicker than average. Some patients are assigned a higher ‘risk’ score’ than others due to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, etc.


Risk adjustment is a program to encourage insurers to cover people who might be considered a higher risk, even though they might be healthy. However, the current risk adjustment program also gives incentives to insurance companies and their vendors. They may prioritize coding diagnoses and bundling them together depending on your age or other factors.


The lawsuit specifically claims Cigna abused in-home assessments, where nurses and other clinicians go into a patient’s home and conduct health screenings.


The DOJ said Cigna’s home visits were designed to generate revenue for Cigna, not to provide medical care or treatment. They cited several instances in which people were diagnosed with things like rheumatoid arthritis but never received the blood tests they needed to confirm the diagnosis.


The practice of adding more conditions without verifying their accuracy is illegal. Every year, insurers have to attest to Medicare that they are following the rules and practices set by them. The overall practice is extremely profitable for Medicare Advantage insurers – potential profits could be thousands of dollars per year for just one patient.


The lawsuit by the DoJ is a cautionary tale on why it is imperative and critical for healthcare service providers to make their doctors compliant by coding accurately, documenting everything and providing proper justification.


How DoctusTech Helps Protect Against Actions Like This

HCC Coding Education in an app: DoctusTech helps train clinicians on proper VBC diagnosis requirements in a fun and engaging app. Through clinical vignettes and gamification, doctors learn quickly and accurately how to diagnose for risk, which HCC codes to use for what, and how to meet MEAT standards on all documentation. Learn how the DoctusTech app can help keep your team compliant today.


HCC Coding Implementation In Your EMR

DoctusTech Patient Data Analytics Platform: The PDAP sits inside your EMR and provides a simple pathway to capturing unique accurate diagnosis codes, recapturing appropriate past codes, and document appropriate MEAT standards were met to ensure highest data integrity and audit preparedness. To assist admins manage recapture codes across the organization, the integrated solution provides an Admin Portal that lists the recapture rates across clinic, provider, and patient level. This ensures that you have all the necessary information at your fingertips on clinics, providers, and patients as it relates to HCC coding, documentation, accuracy, and more.

DoctusTech Helps: Decrease Clinician Workload

In December of 2021, the Mayo Clinic published an alarming report: ⅓ of physicians surveyed intended to reduce their work hours – that represents 336,000 doctors. While—and I hope you are sitting down—1 in 5 physicians intended to leave their practice altogether – 20%, or 204,000.

The cause? Burnout.

Burnout from workload, COVID-19–related anxiety/depression, and fear of contracting the disease. Now, some of those burdens have certainly eased over the past 10 months – but the prevailing concern of burnout from overwork has hardly abated.

Burnout is a widespread problem in any industry, but the stakes are even higher in healthcare with lives of patients on the line. Quality and safety of care is our top priority and errors or lack of awareness can lead to terrible consequences.

With burnout on the rise and VBC/HCC knowledge requirements continuing to grow, it can feel like there is an impossible riptide in front of today’s clinicians. And with healthcare relentlessly marching in the direction of Value-Based Care, it’s no wonder why new clinicians have a difficult time onboarding. Requiring providers to add HCC coding to their already complex workflow is not only vital to improve the industry, it is increasingly mandated by CMS.

The DoctusTech HCC Coding App is designed with a sole purpose in mind: to reduce clinician workload, and make it easier for them to diagnose, and ultimately, take care of their patients.

The Socratic method, clinical vignettes, and question and answer sessions are the most effective methods for capturing long-term knowledge. This is how doctors were taught in the first place, and this is the best way to do it. With DoctusTech, they can learn HCC coding in the same manner—from other doctors using clinical vignettes—on their own time, requiring only an average of five minutes per week.

The DoctusTech Mobile App is based on our successful HCC education and retention strategy, which relies on clinical vignettes customized to the clinicians’ weaknesses and strengths, which are sent to their mobile phones every week. With an engagement rate of 90%, DoctusTech App results far exceed any other learning tool, technology, or strategy.

After using the app for HCC coding education, clinician RAF accuracy is consistently increased based on the learning data.

What methods does the app use to accomplish this?

Our app gamifies the learning experience, connects clinicians with one another, allows them to compete for real prizes, and provides administrative support. In addition, the most advanced HCC code search tool in the world is available. Clinicians earn 25 CME hours every year as they learn HCC coding in a non-boring app!

If HCC Coding and Physician Burnout are at all on your radar, we’d love to share a solution to both. Better solutions are out there – and they outperform seminars and code-of-the-month email blasts for engagement and results. And they free up your coaches to focus on the 20% that need it the most.

To learn more, book a conversation with our team!

DoctusTech Helps: Deploy HCC coding education across your organization

HCC coding improves the quality of patient care and reduces the cost of healthcare. But, like any tool, it’s only effective if the people who use it have it mastered. That’s why it’s so important to provide HCC coding education across your organization. In this article, we will share how DoctusTech helps deploy HCC coding education across your organization.   At DoctusTech, we are always eager to assist healthcare organizations boost HCC training programs. We believe that solving the three shortcomings of risk adjustment—the data gap, the workflow gap, and the knowledge gap—is critical. Most available solutions address only the data or workflow gaps. However, if your clinicians don’t have the right knowledge, you won’t obtain the outcomes you desire no matter what you do to resolve the data and workflow issues. We strongly believe that if you resolve HCC coding knowledge challenges, your data and workflow issues will be resolved along the way.   The DoctusTech Mobile App is designed on our successful HCC education and retention strategy that relies on clinical vignettes customized to the clinicians’ strengths and weaknesses, which are sent to their mobile phones every week. With a 90% engagement rate, DoctusTech App results far surpass any other learning tool, technology or strategy.   According to the learning data, we consistently achieve a significant increase in clinician RAF accuracy after they start using the app for HCC coding education.    How does the app achieve this?   Clinicians can use our app to gamify their learning experience, engage with their peers, compete for real prizes, and receive administrative support. Our app also comes with the most sophisticated HCC code search tool available on the planet. In addition, clinicians earn 25 CME hours every year as they learn HCC coding in a non-boring app!   Clinical Vignettes – The secret sauce!   Most doctors who have just graduated from medical school or residency programs know little to nothing about coding for risk adjustment and value-based care. In the past, these clinicians were forced to sit in seminars and learn the correct codes so they could diagnose and document them properly. Every other important medical fact is learned in clinical vignettes, so clinicians have difficulty retaining and applying information learned in boring seminars or email blasts. Simply put, incorporating new HCC codes into daily practice is hard – which is why the DoctusTech HCC coding education app is so vital.    Doctors prefer to learn using the Socratic method, clinical vignettes, and question and answer sessions, because it is the most effective way to capture long-term knowledge gain. This is how they were educated, and this is the best way. DoctusTech enables them to learn HCC coding in the same manner—from other doctors, using clinical vignettes, on their own time, requiring only an average of five minutes per week.   Get in touch to learn more about how DoctusTech helps!