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June 29, 2022 General Interest

How and Why to Use a Health Care Tracker

A health care tracker is a journal of all the health care services you have received.

Why Do I Need a Health Care Tracker?

We recommend you keep track of your own health records so that you can make sure there are no discrepancies in your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) with the services, tests, and/or medical equipment you actually received. Since those statements are sent after the visit, you will have a written record of exactly what happened instead of having to rely on your memory.

Using a health care tracker can help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of healthcare fraud, abuse, and errors. If you have a record of what services you receive, it will be easier to spot a fraudster using your information. If it’s not a fraudster and instead was an error, discovering the error might reduce the amount you need to pay.

Maintaining a health care tracker will also help protect the Medicare program from paying for services you never received or were mistakenly billed multiple times for. This, in turn, ensures the Medicare program can carry on for future generations.

How Do I Use a Health Care Tracker?

The first step is making sure you have somewhere to record everything related to your health care. The Wisconsin Senior Medicare Patrol is happy to send you a complimentary journal. Order your Health Care Tracker here.

Keep track of the following information at each appointment:

  • Appointment date and length of time
  • Provider(s) seen
  • Reason for the visit
  • Names of tests or services received (x-rays, blood draw, urine test, ultrasound, etc.)
  • Medical equipment or prescriptions received

Once you receive your MSN or EOB, compare the information. If there are any discrepancies, make sure to contact your provider. Ask for clarification if there are charges for health care services or equipment you did not receive, do not understand, or that your doctor did not order. You should also contact your provider if you believe you were billed twice for the same visit, test, equipment, or prescription.

The SMP National Resource Center created this great two-minute video about how to use your Health Care Tracker.

Senior Medicare Patrol Can Help!

If you need help reconciling your records with the statements you receive, Wisconsin SMP is happy to help you! You can call our toll-free and confidential helpline at 888-818-2611 if you have questions or believe you may be a victim of healthcare fraud, abuse, or errors. Please make sure you do not include any sensitive personal medical information in your message.