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AARP Closer Look (SM) Survey of Experiences with Medicare Waste Fraud and Abuse

AARP Closer LookSM is a quarterly nationwide survey program, commissioned by AARP, to understand the effect of social and economic changes in the health, finances, and livable communities of Americans age 45 and older.

As part of AARP Closer LookSM, a nationally representative sample of respondents age 65 and older completed telephone interviews. Results revealed some variability in the number of respondents that reported having experienced specific forms of waste fraud and abuse.

Key findings include the following:

  • Nine percent of respondents report that they or somebody else that they know on Medicare have received a medical test or treatment that may have been unnecessary, unhelpful, or one that simply duplicated a previous test.
  • Nine percent of respondents report that they or somebody else that they know on Medicare have had someone try to sell them Medicare medical supplies (such as electronic mobility scooters, diabetes test strips, etc) that were not truly needed to improve their health or conditions.
  • Seven percent of respondents report that they or somebody else that they know on Medicare have received a medical bill for tests or treatments that they actually did not receive.
  • Nineteen percent of respondents report experiencing at least one of the above forms of Medicare Waste Fraud and Abuse.
  • Eighty percent reported that eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare should be at least one of the top priorities in health care reform.

The telephone interviews were conducted for AARP during July 23-August 9, 2009, among a nationally representative sample of 624 Americans aged 65 and older, including 112 Hispanics. For more information about this survey or AARP Closer LookSM, contact Gerard Rainville at 202-434-6295. (3 pages)

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