The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a doctor and ordered him to complete further training after he billed the ACC with almost 100 fake claims.

The doctor sent claims to ACC for appointments that never occurred and recorded them as having taken place in the business’ computer system.

Additionally, when attending sports events he would provide services that were advertised as free and required patients to provide their details.

He would later sign the claims and forward them to ACC. In 13 instances the doctor forged the patients’ signatures on the ACC forms.

Suspicions were eventually raised, and the police investigated and charged the doctor. Following orders in the District Court, he repaid $7,294 to ACC.

However, the Tribunal felt that further disciplinary measures were required to protect the public and dissuade other practitioners from engaging in similar conduct.

The Tribunal held that the doctor’s conduct amounted to malpractice and brought the profession into disrepute.

The Tribunal censured the doctor and ordered him to complete a training course on billing and timekeeping practices. Conditions on his continuing practice were also included and require the doctor to tell his professional body if he changes employer, and to allow them to audit his work should they choose.

It is important that medical professionals maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Departing from these high standards may result in serious disciplinary consequences.

If there are concerns about a medical professional carrying out their work, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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