Avoid and Report Medicare Fraud
Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) can assist you with suspected fraud complaints and referrals. The Virginia SMP uses volunteers to educate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries about health care fraud, waste and error.
Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC) offers the services of an ombudsman, someone who can advocate on your behalf if you suspect Medicare or Medicaid fraud. Inquiries may be directed to Linda Shortt at 276-964-7127. All discussions and complaints are confidential.
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from Medicare fraud:
- Only your personal doctor, hospital or clinic should make referrals for special equipment, services or medicine.
- Always read your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or health care billing statement. Your MSN is the piece of mail stamped “This is Not a Bill” that you receive after you get medical care.
Look for three things on your billing statement:
- Charges for something you didn’t get.
- Billing for the same thing twice.
- Services that were not ordered by the doctor.
- Never show anyone your medical or prescription records without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
- If someone comes to your door and says s/he is from Medicare or Social Security, shut the door. These agencies do not make home visits, nor do they sell services.
- Treat your Medicare and Social Security numbers like credit cards. Do not sell your Medicare or social security number. It’s illegal.
Since 1997, SMP has recovered $4.5 million in Medicare funds and reported more than $3.1 million in savings to beneficiaries. Savings are attributable to the prevention of errors, fraud and abuse by the more than 1.9 million seniors who have participated in group sessions or received one-on-one counseling from their local SMP volunteer.
AASC is one of Virginia’s 25 Area Agencies on Aging designated by the Virginia Department for the Aging to carry out the department’s mission to foster the dignity, independence and security of older Virginians by promoting partnerships with communities at the local level. AASC offers information and services for older adults residing in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell counties. Visit the organization’s website at www.aasc.org or call toll-free at 1-800-656-2272.