As we have discussed in past Fraud Alerts, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) fraud is one the biggest scams we see in Illinois. Earlier this month, the Office of Inspector General with the help of the FBI, IRS, and other federal agencies announced federal indictments against individuals allegedly involved in DME fraud. Additionally, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) took action against 130 medical equipment companies.
According to these indictments, international call centers were used to up-sell or give "free" braces to beneficiaries regardless if they needed them. These call centers then allegedly gave kickbacks to telemedicine companies for the DME orders. The telemedicine companies then would allegedly pay doctors to write medically unnecessary DME orders. Doctors are needed to sign off on the orders in order for Medicare to pay for the braces.
You can read the whole article and more details about this scam and indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice
Remember, Medicare will never call you, and you should only give your Medicare card number out to your doctors or providers. If you have received one of these phone calls and have given out any information, you can report this with the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.