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The Medicare Fraud Squad is here and needs your help. On a national level about 3 percent of all healthcare spending, some $86 billion, is lost to fraude each and every year.
Because Florida has one of the largest senior populations with over 3 million beneficiaries, Medicare fraud costs taxpayers betwen $3 and $4 billion each year.
And when you consider Florida’s Medicare program runs in excess of $176 billion annually, this has really got to hurt.
The official name of this program, which was started in Central Florida in 1999 and expanded statewide in 2005, is Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP. With primary funding by the Administration on Aging, the mission of the SMP is to educate all seniors on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse and report such cases to the SMP at 1-866-357-6677.
This Medicare Fraud Squad, as I prefer to call it, is supported by the state Department of Elder Affais, SHINE (Seniors Health Insurance Needs of Elders), AARP and the Florida Office of the Attorney General.
Examples of fraud and abuse are with doctors, hospital billings for services not furnished, the use of stolen Medicare numbers to bill ficticious claims, alleged free exercise and social activities suchas physical therapy and doctors working with equipment suppliers to bill for items never needed and never furnished. Equipment suppliers billing for a $5,000 electric wheelchair when a $1,500 scooter was provided, as an example. And the list just goes on and on.
So do your part, review your Medicare summary, which may be two to three months old for things like what the doctors ordered, such as prescriptions you did not get and did not need, equipmentd allegedly furnished, such as wheelchairs, oxygen, beds and scooters, and so on.
Should you have questions and concernes, phone the Medicare Fraurd Squad at 1-88-357-6677. Remember, all 800 phone lines are free to the caller, so do your part and stop Medicare fraud.