June 1, 2022 Fraud & Scams
Medicare Fraud Prevention Week Kicking Off 6/5/22
The first-ever Medicare Fraud Prevention Week will be held June 5-11, 2022. 6/5 is the perfect kickoff date since most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. The focus of Medicare Fraud Prevention Week is to teach people how to protect themselves from Medicare fraud as well as what services the Wisconsin SMP offers.
Healthcare fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion per year. Throughout Medicare Fraud Prevention Week, we will share the important roles we all can play in preventing healthcare fraud. For example:
- Medicare beneficiaries can monitor their insurance statements to make sure products and services received match what is on the statements. They can request free My Health Care Trackers from the Wisconsin SMP.
- Caregivers can help by being on the lookout for items such as durable medical equipment (like boxes of knee braces) lying around the house that may have been shipped to the beneficiary without their or their doctor’s approval. They can remind their client or loved one to never give out their Medicare number or other personal information over the phone.
- Families can help by talking to their loved ones about protecting their Medicare number just as they would a credit card number. They can help their loved ones create a Medicare.gov account to access their Medicare statements online or remind them to open and review them when they come in the mail.
- Partners and professionals can help by sharing SMP information on social media, referring clients and consumers to the SMP, and inviting the SMP to speak during a shared event.
- Health care providers can help by talking to patients about health care-related scams such as those related to durable medical equipment and genetic testing schemes. They can remind them that products and services should only be ordered by physicians they regularly see. Needed medical items should never be ordered through TV ads or unsolicited calls.
- Community members can help by looking out for older neighbors. When in public, they can be aware of older individuals purchasing gift cards in large amounts. They can encourage those they know to talk to a trusted source about their Medicare questions and tell neighbors about the most recent Medicare scams. They can even consider volunteering with the local SMP!
To help get our message across, we are launching a radio campaign in early June highlighting the SMP program, who we are, and what we do. Stay on the lookout for advertisements and interviews on your local radio station!
If you have any questions or need help reporting potential Medicare fraud, abuse, or errors, please contact the Wisconsin SMP on our toll-free helpline at 888-818-2611 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not include any sensitive personal information such as Medicare or Social Security numbers in your messages to us.