An Illinois Ob-Gyn Billed Medicare for 10,399 Group Psychotherapy Sessions in 2012

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 14 2014 4:11 PM

An Illinois Ob-Gyn Billed Medicare for 10,399 Group Psychotherapy Sessions in 2012

75592211
In Washington D.C.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Here is a bizarre story courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica's Charles Ornstein: In 2012, Illinois medical providers billed Medicare for more than 290,000 group psychotherapy sessions—more than twice as many sessions than were billed in any other state. Four specific doctors—none of whom specialize in psychiatry—billed 37,864 sessions, which is more than the number of group psychotherapy sessions that were billed in 2012 in the entire state of California.

Of the Illinois OB-GYNs billing for group psychotherapy, Dr. Josephine Kamper had the highest number of sessions. She was paid for 10,399 sessions in 2012, at a cost to Medicare of $207,980.

That's just under 30 sessions a day.

Advertisement

To clarify: it seems that group therapy is billed on a per-patient basis, rather than a per-session basis—i.e. Kamper was claiming to have provided therapy for 30 individuals per day, not claiming to have run 30 different groups per day. And under Medicare rules, any doctor can conduct group psychotherapy sessions, (psychiatric training is a standard part of medical school). That said: this is all still very suspicious.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.