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Preventing Elderly Medicare Fraud and Abuse

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Medicare fraud happens every day across the United States, affecting both patients and consumers, and likely won’t end anytime soon. However, Oklahoma home care agencies encourage family members and seniors to learn how to protect private information and take the first step in preventing fraud.

Keep Personal Numbers Secure

Social Security numbers and Medicare numbers need to be secure at all times. People can unlawfully use these cards to access personal information and steal a senior’s identity. Do not pack these cards in a wallet or purse on an everyday basis, and have a secure spot at home to store these numbers and other important documents.

Medical Care Is Not Free

The old adage “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies to health care. If someone is touting free medical care or in-home medical devices at a significantly reduced cost, just say “No, thank you”. This is a common way people scam unsuspecting seniors and abuse the system.

Hang Up the Phone and Shut the Door

Medicare does not try to sell anything to seniors over the phone or door-to-door. If someone is trying this method, simply hang up or shut the door and report the incident to the authorities as well as to Medicare.

Look Closely at Billings

Billing for services that were never provided or unnecessary charges is more common than one would think. These fraudulent acts are illegal and are part of a fraud scam perpetrated on the elderly all too often. Checking billing statements when they arrive is one way to prevent companies from filing fraudulent paperwork and seeking reimbursement for services that were never provided.

Keep Records

Keeping a journal of all doctor visits, procedures, and tests helps seniors stay organized and are essential when checking the monthly billing statements. Scammers are often successful operating on the fact that no one will notice if additional charges are added on to the bill. If billing charges aren’t aligned with what’s in the journal, call Medicare immediately.

To learn more about promoting a safe and comfortable life for your senior loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance. As a trusted provider of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Oklahoma, senior health and wellness is our top priority. All of our care services, including hourly and live-in care, use the Balanced Care Method, designed to promote mental, emotional, and physical health, to help seniors maintain overall wellbeing. Give us a call at 405-285-4191 to learn more.