Health Care Fraud
Medical Identity Theft and Medicare fraud is on the rise and is costing the government and consumers millions of dollars. Not every billing mistake is fraud, however, a true billing mistake is usually a simple fix. Although fraud is not an easy fix there are ways to protect yourself or a loved one from becoming a victim.
Protect Your Personal Information
- Keep your Medicare number as private as your social security number.
- Be wary of offers for free medical equipment or services. If it’s really free you don’t need to give them your Medicare number.
- Medicare and Medicaid personnel don’t do home visits.
- Loaning your Medicare number to anyone is illegal.
- Shred the documents when they are no longer useful.
- Most patients are unaware of the distinction between two categories of admittance to a hospital. Although they may be receiving the same care, the consequences can be costly if a patient who has been admitted as an “outpatient under observation” is not transferred to an “inpatient” status with 24 hours.
- Review and save Medicare Summary Notices and Part D Explanations of Benefits.
- Was I charged for any medical services or equipment that I didn’t receive?
- Do the dates of service and charges look familiar?
- Was I billed for the same procedure, item, or service twice?
- Have I received collection notices for medical services or equipment I didn’t receive?
Some Common Fraud Schemes
Free services offered by Medicare
- If you are approached in public areas and are offered any thing free in exchange for your Medicare number simply walk away.
Health Care Surveys
- Phone calls claiming to be doing a health survey and ask you for your Medicare number.
- These calls are from marketers who state to be from Medicare and they want payment over the phone. Do not provide them with your credit card, Medicare, or Social Security number. Be safe and do not give them payment at all.
Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Justice website Stop Medicare Fraud for more information or to report possible Medicare Fraud.
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