Prostate cancer centre under investigation for ‘double dipping’

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A prostate clinic is under investigation for alleged Medicare fraud, after claims the same work is being charged twice


A prostate cancer clinic is under investigation for alleged Medicare fraud, after claims that the same work is being charged for twice.

The head of the clinic run by the APCRC, a private clinic for men with prostate and urologic conditions, is also the urology department head at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

An anonymous email claiming to be from two senior medical staff from the hospital accuses the clinic of using staff who are receiving wages from the hospital, according to ABC News.

While the organisations are separate, they have a patient-sharing agreement covering consultation, diagnosis, testing and treatment.

But the email sent to the administrative heads of the hospital earlier this month questioned whether there was “double-dipping by billing the Feds”, and whether the clinic was receiving state funding for patients it was not treating, according to ABC News.

Professor Tony Costello, the centre’s clinical director, described the allegations as scurrilous and defamatory, Fairfax Media reported.

The Victorian Department of Health commissioned Ernst and Young to investigate governance and patient referrals between the two organisations, according to a spokesperson.

A spokesperson from the health department said the “review will investigate whether the operation of the private urology clinic run by APCRC is within the terms of the existing service agreement between Melbourne Health and APCRC.”

And, “Specifically, whether the billing arrangements for patients referred from Melbourne Health to APCRC comply with the required Medicare guidelines.”

Melbourne Health, which runs the Royal Melbourne Hospital, has also launched an independent review into the billing practices.

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