Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stop Medicare Fraud-They're Taking YOUR Money

Medicare fraud can take shape in many forms. It basically is when Medicare is charged for a service or medical supply for something that was not given or supplied to the patient. Here are some examples on the website:

  • A health care provider bills Medicare for services you never received.
  • A supplier bills Medicare for equipment you never got.
  • Someone uses another person’s Medicare card to get medical care, supplies, or equipment.
  • Someone bills Medicare for home medical equipment after it has been returned.
  • A company offers a Medicare drug plan that has not been approved by Medicare.
  • A company uses false information to mislead you into joining a Medicare plan.
There are many other examples, such as duplicate billing, billing for a higher acuity than actual, requesting more visits than typical requirements (breaking a simple visit into two), and more.

They warn to Be suspicious of doctors, health care providers, or suppliers that do anything on this list:
  • Equipment or service is offered free and you are then asked for your Medicare number for “record keeping purposes”.
  • Medicare wants you to have the item or service in exchange for your Medicare number.
  • Tell you how to get Medicare to pay for the item or service and all that is needed is your Medicare number.
  • You are told the more tests provided, the cheaper the tests become in the future.
  • Don’t charge copayments without checking on your ability to pay.
  • Advertise “free” consultations to people with Medicare.
  • Call or visit you and say they represent Medicare or the Federal government.
  • Use telephone or door-to-door selling techniques.
  • Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you expensive medical services or diagnostic tests.
  • Bill Medicare for services you never received or a diagnosis you do not have.
  • Offer non-medical transportation or housekeeping as Medicare-approved services.
  • Bill home health services for patients who are not confined to their home, or for patients who still drive a car.
  • Bill Medicare for medical equipment for people in nursing homes.
  • Bill Medicare for tests you received as a hospital inpatient or within 72 hours of admission or discharge.
  • Bill Medicare for a power wheelchair or scooter when you don’t meet Medicare’s qualifications.
If you want to report fraud, the hotline is 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477)

or U.S. Mail tol:
Office of Inspector General
Department of Health & Human Services
PO Box 23489
Washington, DC 20026

Has anyone approached you in a public area and offered FREE services, groceries, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number?


This is a common fraud schemeButton - Report it Now

Think it's not happening near you? Check out this list by state and see if you recognize providers in your area.

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