Deep Dive: Medicare Fraud and Abuse Part 3
Medicare is one of the most popular government run programs in the nation. Every day, 10,000 Americans enroll in Medicare and around 37 million rely on Medicare for their preventative health services like flu shots and cancer screenings.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 6 in 10 Americans report that the program is working well. That number climbs when you look at seniors, 8 out of 10 of whom believe Medicare works well for them. But working well and working perfectly are two separate things.
A major flaw in the Medicare program is the risk for both fraud and abuse. Fortunately, there are ways for concerned seniors to help combat both, thanks to the Senior Medicare Patrol.
What Is the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)?
The SMP is a network of specially trained volunteers who seek out evidence that abuse or fraud has occurred and report it to the proper authorities. In doing this, the SMP helps to prevent undue burden on the Medicare system that could potentially cause a rise in the price of senior health care.
Who Are the Volunteers?
The vast majority of the roughly 5,000 nationwide volunteers are civic-minded Americans who are retired and on Medicare. Like a neighborhood watch, these volunteers are among the first defense against the sort of fraud that could have devastating effects on the Medicare system.
What Do SMP Volunteers Do?
SMP volunteers are responsible for a number of services geared towards improving the life of Medicare beneficiaries and their families. Among the most common tasks are:
- Help with administrative tasks like data entry and more.
- Provide community outreach by supplying senior centers and events with informational materials about Medicare fraud and abuse.
- Give presentations about the risks of Medicare fraud and abuse, and how best to detect them.
- Counsel fellow seniors struggling to make sense of their situation. This might even include reviewing personal information, preventative health services records, and looking out for red flags that abuse or fraud might be occurring.
Whether you are looking for a way to help combat the issues of insurance fraud and abuse, or you are looking for a way to find out if you yourself might be at risk, SMP offers a number of services and opportunities that might interest you. To learn more about this important program, visit the official website.
This concludes our three-part series on Medicare fraud and abuse. Knowing what to watch out for can make a real difference in your risk of being taken advantage of.
If you have any additional questions, give us a call at Bankers Fidelity at (866) 458-7500.
The Commonwealth Fund, "Medicare's Numbers Game," April 2015
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, "The Public's Health Care Agenda for the 113th Congress," January 2013
Senior Medicare Patrol, "Become a Volunteer"
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