LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – AARP is warning people about Medicare Fraud, which can happen in a number of different ways. According to records, in 2017, Medicare spending hit nearly $706 billion. Experts said at least 10 cents of every dollar spent was lost to fraud or improper payments.
AARP Volunteer Warren Searls has two important pieces of advice for Medicare beneficiaries: Safeguard your Medicare number and hang up on telemarketers who hawk medical remedies, supplies, tests and devices.
“Usually, people let information out without knowing it and that information makes its way to other fraudsters and it may be awhile before you hear from a fraudster,” Searls said.
One of the things fraudsters have to have to commit fraud in Medicare or Medicaid is the patient’s personal identification information.
Some examples of Medicare Fraud are:
- Fraudsters bill for unnecessary tests, drugs and equipment
- Recent frauds happen in large spectrum: unnecessary hospitalizations, tests and durable medical equipment; physical therapy that never occurred; ambulance transports that never happened; and home-health products, such as portable oxygen, that never reached the patient.
For more tips, visit AARP.org/AR. There you can also order a free copy of AARP’s Watchdog Alert handbook, which is full of helpful information and resources.