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Top Tips for Preventing Medicare Fraud

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 9:00 am on

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Medicare fraud results in a loss of approximately 17 to 57 billion dollars a year. In addition to the financial costs, senior victims of fraud often go through many hours of unnecessary stress trying to prove their medical charges were fraudulent. For this reason, leading Sonoma County home care agency Home Care Assistance encourages seniors and their families to put the following strategies into practice to prevent Medicare fraud.

Protect Identification Numbers

Identity thieves can generate false identification cards using a senior’s Social Security and Medicare ID number and then use these fake IDs to procure medical services. These numbers should never be given over the phone, and seniors should make sure to store their identification cards in a safe location.

Check All Medical Bills

As difficult as it is to believe, some physicians will bill Medicare for services or medical equipment that a patient never received. While an honest mistake can be made, it is best to report possible instances of fraudulent billing so they can be investigated.

Do Not Accept Unnecessary Medical Equipment

Sometimes, fraud occurs through door-to-door marketers and television advertisements in which a person convinces seniors to buy medical equipment they do not need. In these instances, seniors should always be encouraged to avoid purchasing products without their physician’s approval.

Count Prescriptions

Before leaving the pharmacy, seniors and their at-home caregivers should carefully read the label on all prescriptions and count pills. This can eliminate the risk of being billed for incorrect medications or amounts.

Cross-Check Appointment Dates

When Medicare patients receive their bills, one quick way to make sure they are not a victim of fraud is to keep a calendar of all scheduled appointments and purchases. Then, this calendar can be cross-checked with the dates on the bill to ensure that no false charges have occurred.

To learn more about ensuring a safe, happy, high-quality life for your senior loved one, call (707) 843.4368 and learn more about in-home care from the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We offer flexible hourly care for seniors who require minimal help, live-in care for seniors who benefit from 24/7 safety monitoring, and stroke, Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care for seniors with advanced conditions. Give us a call today. We are here to help.