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Medicare fraud is a growing problem costing the government tens of millions of dollars each year and resulting in millions of seniors becoming victims of identify theft. You can protect your elderly loved one from Medicare fraud and help stop the theft of government money by following these tips.
Review Medicare Claims
Help your loved one review his or her Medicare claims as soon as possible to make sure they’re accurate. If you see anything that isn’t correct, report it so Medicare can investigate. Make a note of the dates your loved one receives any equipment or services and save statements or receipts to compare against Medicare claims.
Be Suspicious of Marketing
One common form of Medicare fraud involves medical equipment suppliers who offer equipment for free. In these cases, elderly people are often given cheap medical equipment while the supplier bills Medicare for a much more expensive version. In one case, a podiatrist offered pedicures to seniors at a nursing facility while billing Medicare for costly diabetes foot surgeries that were not performed.
Watch for Signs of Fraud
Elder care providers in Albuquerque encourage caregivers and seniors to be suspicious of any medical equipment provider, doctor, or provider who:
- Tells you Medicare wants to provide a service or equipment to you
- Bills Medicare for a power scooter you do not need
- Offers you money or benefits to use your Medicare number or join a plan
- Offers non-medical transportation or housekeeping and claims they are approved by Medicare
- Uses scare or high-pressure sales tactics
Protect Personal Information
Seniors and their hourly or live-in caregivers can also guard against Medicare fraud by protecting personal information. The information on insurance or Medicare cards has everything a thief needs to submit a fraudulent claim for reimbursement. Do not give out information to anyone who calls or stops by the home or offers an amazing deal or “free” equipment or services. Be suspicious of anyone who calls claiming to represent the government while asking to “verify” personal information. Only give information while in a clinic, doctor’s office, or pharmacy you both trust.
If you’re aging loved one needs help getting to doctor’s appointments, reviewing bills and medical statements, or could just use a helping hand around the home, call Home Care Assistance at 505-798-0800. We’re a trusted provider of hourly and live-in care, as well as stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care in Albuquerque. Our care services are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and our dedicated Care Managers are available 24/7 to address concerns, answer questions, or change your loved one’s care schedule.