September 23, 2019
Genetic Testing Fraud Scams Featured
on CBS This Morning
Watch the Feature on CBS This Morning (09/12/19)
CBS This Morning featured a report about the genetic testing scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. In this report, you can see how recruiters swab unsuspecting beneficiaries not only at health fairs, but at art fairs and even door to door! One recruiter even shares how these companies handle swabs in an unsanitary manner before they are sent to the laboratory.

These reports also feature a recruiter explaining how the scam works to a potential new employee. This will give past Fraud Alerts on the genetic testing fraud scheme some context on what really happens when your doctor doesn't prescribe these tests.

The report ran on September 12th and 13th, and you can watch the video above or read both articles from CBS News. You can read the Part 1 article here and the Part 2 article here.

This report explains how the recent genetic testing fraud is happening not only in Illinois but across the United States. If something like this happens to you or someone you know and you live in Illinois, call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043.
Opioid Epidemic Hits Beneficiaries Hard Too

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a nationwide public health crisis. According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Medicare beneficiaries have among the highest and fast-growing rates of diagnosed opioid abuse. You can read more from ACL on this topic here. While opioids can be useful in treating acute pain, they can be highly addictive with use over a long period of time.

Our colleagues at the California SMP created these signs of opioid fraud and abuse. Remember opioid fraud and abuse occurs when:
  • Medicare beneficiaries are over-prescribed medications.
  • Pharmacies are involved in drug diversion which is a transfer of any legally prescribed controlled substance from the individual for whom it was prescribed to another person for any illicit use.
  • Medicare is billed for medications not prescribed.
  • Medicare is billed for medications not received.

Protect yourself and others by:
  • Discussing non-opioid alternatives for treating chronic pain with your provider.
  • Properly disposing of opioid medications after treatment is finished. Most opioids can be flushed down the toilet and there are local drug take back locations to dispose of unused medications.
  • To prevent misuse and abuse, do not share your prescription drugs with others.

The Illinois SMP is here to offer assistance if you feel your Medicare number has been affected in a fraud scheme related to opioid diversion, please call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-6043.
Have a wonderful week!

Travis Trumitch
Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you would like to sign up to receive the Fraud Alert directly, visit click here.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0036, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions partners with agencies across the state to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area and visit our website to sign up for our Fraud Alert email list.