Its not easy to distinguish between a legitimate operation and one seeking to make money by
using fraud. Especially in this current economic climate, it is more important than ever for
businesses to be aware of the red flags that indicate a potential fraudster is trying to take
advantage of them.
Equipment fraud is one such red flag that any business owner or staff member should have a
high degree of awareness about. It has become much more prevalent over the past few years,
with manufacturers and suppliers now targeted by those interested in obtaining false invoices,
falsified test results, or misrepresented equipment quantities. What exactly is equipment fraud,
according to Health 2.0 Conference?

What Is Medical Equipment Fraud?

Medical equipment fraud is one of the most common kinds of healthcare fraud. Even though
youre a healthcare provider, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional working in the
medical industry, you may fall for a scam.
When it comes to healthcare fraud, many different types of scams can occur. It can occur in
many contexts, from healthcare providers to medical equipment companies to patients. It
involves doctors and other healthcare providers filling prescriptions written by other physicians
for personal use or resale. The fraudulent medications mask severe internal and external health
problems so that people wont go to their doctor for check-ups or medical treatments.
Health 2.0 Conference’ speakers reviewed and debated that hospitals and clinics are
particularly vulnerable to this type of fraud, as they often have limited resources and little control
over who comes into their facilities and what they do. Some are simple false advertising; others
involve prescribing the wrong drugs or medical devices, and others hide adverse patient
outcomes from patients or their families.

Medical Equipment Scams: Red Flags

As per reviews of speakers at the Health 2.0 Conference, medical equipment fraud is a big
problem. It costs the healthcare industry $3 billion yearly to fake legitimate medical tests,
treatments, and procedures to sell medically unnecessary or falsified medical devices. Like
most forms of fraud, it has both legal and illegal components. Its also possible to constitute
medical equipment fraud as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
However, most equipment fraud cases fall under the misdemeanor category. Health 2.0
Conference warns the readers and audience against red flags in medical equipment scams.

1. False Advertising:

It happens when a doctor claims to have used a specific medical device, but in reality,
they use a different type. This type of fraud usually involves lying on the label or bottle. It
is like clickbait for patients to lure them in. And it gives false hope to patients who are not
knowledgeable about medical equipment and healthcare. It is one of the ways to launder
money from patients.

2. Equipment Malfunctioning Scam:

It happens when a patients equipment causes damage when someone uses the device
for a reason other than what was intended. It could happen when a machine breaks
down or malfunctioning equipment is used unscheduled. Examples include Computer
and medical equipment fraud when someone uses a hacked computer or a fake device
to impersonate a medical professional. This type of fraud is often done for financial gain.

3. Defected Selling:

Sellers try to increase their monetary margin by hook or crook. Many medical devices
are designed to be used only once. If a machine breaks, it needs to be replaced, which
is expensive. The easiest way to repair it is to take it apart and put it back together with
other products parts. Its also possible to purchase replacement parts online or at a
manufacturers store, which often doesnt work efficiently.
The sale of counterfeit or substandard products also falls under defected selling
category. These products may look identical to the real ones but may not meet the same
safety and quality standards. As a result, they could put patients at risk.

4. Careless Fraud:

Hospitals, nursing homes, medical institutions, and other medical facilities often face the
unexpected expense of replacing equipment that goes wrong. Sometimes, repairs cost
more than the item was worth in the first place. Other times, the cost is low enough that
its not worth worrying about, so they keep using the defective equipment.

5. Falsified Prescriptions:

It is often associated with pharmaceutical fraud, where a doctor falsifies charts or gives
high-dosage pills to patients to bill Medicaid or Medicare. These prescriptions mislead

the patients into buying medicines of higher costs instead of budget-friendly medication,
which also would have cured the problem/disease. This facade is created to increase the
billables of the patients.
Thats what makes equipment fraud so insidious. It&s not about duplicating existing products. Its
not about selling second-hand goods market. It is fundamentally about misleading customers so
that the manufacturer can sell their product at a profit.
In healthcare equipment fraud, thieves target expensive medical devices to get their hands on
expensive banking notes. Its a bad idea for several reasons. Healthcare fraud costs the
healthcare industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This fraud can happen anywhere,
anytime. Because it doesnt use signs or symptoms, it is difficult to detect. It typically occurs
when employees are motivated by money or a need to gain a higher rank or position in the
organization.

The Reason For Medical Equipment Fraud

Medical equipment fraud is a severe problem that can have devastating consequences for
patients, providers, and the healthcare system. There are many reasons, as discussed at Health
2.0 Conference, why medical equipment fraud happens in the healthcare industry:
● One reason is that there is much money to make in the healthcare industry. Fraudsters
see medical equipment as an easy target.
● Patients may be seeking to get reimbursement for equipment that they do not need or
want.
● Another reason is that medical equipment is often complex and expensive, making it
difficult for patients and their families to know if they are being charged correctly.
● Providers may be billing for equipment never provided to the patient. And they are trying
to earn by taking false measures.
● Finally, healthcare providers may be reluctant to report fraud because they fear it will
reflect poorly on their facility or organization.
The problem of medical equipment fraud is compounded by the fact that it is often difficult to
detect. It can lead to patients being unnecessarily burdened with debt, providers being unfairly
accused of fraud, and the healthcare system losing billions of dollars each year.

Tips: Keep Your Medical Facility Safe From Medical Equipment Fraud

When it comes to medical equipment, its essential to be aware of the potential for fraud.
Unfortunately, several unscrupulous individuals and companies are willing to take advantage of
unsuspecting hospitals and other medical facilities. The speakers at Health 2.0 Conference
discussed some pointers to help healthcare facilities keep safe from such scams.

● Secure Computer Networks:
Use secure computer networks while connecting equipment or devices. A hacked
computer network can lead to medical equipment fraud. Keep the soft copies of any
transaction password protected.
● Properly Unplug The Equipment:
Ensure all your equipment is properly terminated. Ensure that all the equipment in your
facility is correctly chained and unplugged from power sources. It includes sterilizers, X-
ray machines, and blood pressure readers. Ensure devices are not left on when they are
supposed to be off.

● Use Passwords:
Keep sensitive documentation, including computer passwords, in a safe place. Dont
keep sensitive information like credit card numbers or expiration dates on the computer
desktop. Make sure to keep this information with as limited people as possible.
● System Trackers:
Tracking systems are of great help. Get help in keeping track of your equipment and
device usage. It will make it easier to identify patterns and determine if something is out
of place.
● Mindful Purchasing:
Firstly, check the credibility of the source. Do check the manufacturing dates of the
equipment purchased. While purchasing, keep in mind to buy only equipment which is
returnable upon any defectivity or malfunctioning.
● Purchase From Trusted Sources
Illegal purchasing without bills and agreements can put anyone in a vulnerable position.
Purchasing from trusted sources with clear invoices and receipts will give you the
authority to claim your right and take legal action against scammers and fraudsters.
Its essential to research and only purchase equipment from reputable sources to avoid being
victims of medical equipment fraud. If you are leasing or renting equipment, ensure to understand
the terms of the agreement and to maintain the equipment properly. By taking these safety
measures, you can help to keep your medical facility safe from fraud.
Conclusion
Medical equipment fraud is a scam that can happen to anyone in any hospital or medical facility,
and no one is prone to it. It can be committed by either the patient or the healthcare provider. It
is prevalent and isn,t going away anytime soon. However, it can reduce awareness about its
nature and increase the penalties for perpetrators over time.

Health 2.0 Conference is adamant about giving the audience the truth about equipment fraud in
the healthcare industry.