CMS revokes physician's Medicare billing privileges over $670 in questionable charges

Bryan Merrick, MD, a physician at McKenzie (Tenn.) Medical Center who has been practicing medicine for more than three decades, says CMS is pulling his Medicare billing privileges due to clerical errors, according to The Jackson Sun.  

Dr. Merrick said CMS revoked his Medicare billing privileges for three years in April.

He claims he is being dropped from the Medicare program because he billed Medicare for 10 patients he didn't see. However, he argues the billing mistakes were clerical errors. For example, he said in one case a staff member mixed up two patients with similar names.

"I didn't do anything personally wrong, professionally wrong or unethical," Dr. Merrick told WBBJ.

He said CMS is questioning $670 billed over a 20-month period. The federal government reviewed 30,000 claims submitted by Dr. Merrick and only 30 billings for 10 patients were identified as improper.

Dr. Merrick appealed CMS' decision, but his appeal was denied in August. He plans to take his case before an administrative law judge, but there is not a set timeline for that process, according to The Jackson Sun. He has also enlisted the help of former Tennessee Sen. Roy Herron, who is asking Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to review the case.

Commenting on Dr. Merrick's situation, Mr. Herron said, "This is the worst and most egregious abuse of an individual by government that I have seen in over a quarter-century of dealing with the government."

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