4R’s for fighting Medicare Fraud: You’re the first line of defense against Medicare fraud and abuse. Here are some ways you can protect yourself, your loved ones and Medicare from fraud:
*Record the dates of doctor’s appointments on a calendar. Note the tests and services from your providers. If you need help recording the dates and services, ask a friend or family member.
*Contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program to get a free Personal Health Care Journal. To locate the SMP program in your area, use the SMP locater at smpresource.org or call 1-877-808-2468.
*Look for signs of fraud, including claims you don’t recognize on your “Medicare Summary Notices” (MSNs) and advertisements or phone calls from companies offering free items or services to people with Medicare.
*Compare the dates and services on your calendar with your MSNs to make sure you got each service listed and that all the details are correct. If you find items listed in your claims that you don’t have a record of, it’s possible that you or Medicare may have been billed for services or items you didn’t get.
*Visit MyMedicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to review your Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, call your plan for more information about a claim.
*Get help from your local SMP program with checking your MSNs for errors or suspected fraud.
*Report suspected Medicare fraud by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. When using the automated phone system, have your Medicare card with you and clearly speak or enter your Medicare number and letter(s).
*If you identify errors or suspect fraud, the SMP can also help you make a report to Medicare.
*Protect your Medicare number. Don’t give it out, except to your doctor or other health care provider.
*Never give your Medicare number in exchange for a special offer.
*Medicare will never contact you and ask for personal information, like your Medicare or bank account numbers.
*Never let someone use you Medicare card and never use another person’s card.
To learn more about Medicare fraud, and how to protect yourself and loved ones, visit stopmedicarefraud.gov. You can also think about volunteering with the SMP program to help other people with Medicare and their caregivers and report suspected fraud and abuse.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS Product Number 11610 (Revised March 2014).
Disclaimer: this information is taken directly from the Medicare pamphlet of fraud. If there are any questions on the program or if you suspect fraud, please call the above number for more information.