Friday, July 7 , 2017
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

Consumer Fraud:

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Manager of Health Care Access at AgeOptions.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0216, 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. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 


In this week's Fraud Alert, a question to ask about DME calls and a PSA about the Medicare card scam.

Do You Medically Need That?
Are you or somebody in your home suffering from back or knee pain? Most people have some type of pain, and when a scammer calls you, they expect that you will answer "yes." Then they will tell you about the "wonderful Medicare benefit to which you are entitled-free back and knee braces." 

Of course, that is not the way Medicare benefits work, especially when it comes to durable medical equipment (DME) such as back and knee braces. That is when you must ask yourself, "Do I really need this equipment for my health? And if I do, why would I talk about my health care needs with a complete stranger over the phone?"

After receiving several complaints from consumers regarding this type of call over the past few months, the Illinois SMP suggests that you always talk to your doctor first when you are in need of any type of health care services or equipment, including braces. 

Medicare will cover the cost of DME when:
  1. It is medically necessary
  2. You have a prescription from your doctor
  3. The DME is measured and fitted to you
  4. The equipment comes from a Medicare approved supplier
Read more in our SMP DME tip sheet.

Don't let a stranger tell you what your health care needs are. That is a decision to be made by you and your doctor. If you receive calls like this or if you got equipment (like back or knee braces) that was not ordered by your own doctor, report that to the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions by calling (800)699-9043. 
New Medicare Card PSA from California SMP
Our friends at the California SMP just put out a new short PSA about the Medicare card scam. Click here to see it.

As this mother and son found out, Medicare is not calling people to verify information before sending you the new Medicare card, and Medicare will not charge any money or need your bank information. The truth is that the new Medicare cards will be mailed starting in April 2018 and the mailings will be staggered throughout the year (meaning you may not get yours right away). They will be free, and you do not need to do anything to get them. Do not respond to phone calls or mailings asking for personal information. 

The video ends with California SMP information, but if you are in Illinois, call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043.

Avoid the New Medicare Card Scam ~ 30 sec SMP PSA
Avoid the New Medicare Card Scam ~ 30 sec SMP PSA

Special thanks to Peg Tully, Health Care & Fraud Information Specialist at AgeOptions, for her contribution to this Fraud Alert.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to