The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that we – all those who have paid into the Medicare trust funds all our lives – are losing about $70 billion to criminal fraud each year.
Seventy billion dollars in a program that is facing a number of challenges in the coming years, including rising health care costs and a growing number of people entering the program.
See Also: AARP Health Record Tool
“That $70 billion in fraud would go a long way to extend the security of the Medicare program and even add more benefits,” said AARP New Hampshire fraud fighter Harold Moldoff. “All Medicare beneficiaries can be more vigilant. This is definitely an area where one person can make a difference.”
Some of waste is simple Medicare billing errors that need to be reported and corrected. Other waste is Medicare abuse when doctors or suppliers don’t follow good medical practices which results in unnecessary costs – unnecessary tests, unnecessary medical supplies or billing for name-brand drugs when generic drugs were dispensed.
And then there’s Medicare fraud when criminals file false claims for services not provided or equipment never received. Medicare numbers can even be stolen and sold to unscrupulous individuals!
“There are several things we can do to prevent Medicare fraud,” continued Moldoff. “Think of it as the three Rs: Record, Recognize and Report. Record on a calendar each medical appointment and reconcile to your Medicare and insurance statements. Recognize charges not incurred by you. And Report to the proper agencies those charges that are not yours.”
To help AARP members and others understand Medicare fraud, AARP New Hampshire fraud fighters are offering free presentations to community groups around the state. The 30- to 40-minute presentation will answer these questions:
… Back to Article
Join/Renew for Just $16 A Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- Free membership for your spouse or partner