Medicare fraud has been estimated by the General Accounting Office to be around $50 Billion in 2013!

This results in higher healthcare costs and higher taxes for everyone.

This also means that everyone who is on Medicare needs to be vigilant and help the government to prevent or reverse those charges that are being billed  fraudulently. Some of the things that Medicare consumers can do include:

  • Review your monthly Medicare statements to be sure that all of the charges are for services that were received. This includes making sure that only doctors, labs, home care companies and other providers were actually seen on the dates indicated;
  • Make sure that there is no billing for health related services that you didn’t receive;
  • Make sure that you received any medical equipment for which there was billing;
  • Do not take money or gifts to sign any Medicare forms for services that were not received;
  • Make sure that you were not billed for more services than were provided on each date of service.

One of the reasons that we are writing this today is that we just had an experience of billing for services that were not given to my husband. We saw charges on my husband’s statement from names of physicians and labs that were not familiar to us. We don’t know how this occurred, but we felt compelled to report it. In the process of reporting, we learned that Medicare was billed for “in person” services from a physician and a lab that were about 300 miles away from where we live and that we had never seen!

Many people don’t even review their statements, especially if they are in a Medicare Advantage plan or they have a supplement. They don’t bother because once their deductibles and any co-pays are met, they feel as if everything else is “free.” Unfortunately, nothing is free and this out of control fraud ends up negatively affecting the Medicare Trust Fund and ultimately the solvency of the program. This in turn, ends up affecting the economy as a whole and public policy around sustainability of the program.

What can I do about Medicare Fraud?

If you believe that your Medicare number is being used fraudulently here is what you can do to help the government limit the liability to all of us:

  • After reviewing your statement call the MEDICARE HOTLINE at 800-447-8477 (800-HHS-TIPS) or go online to oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud.
  • Calls or reports can be done anonymously.