Friday, November 9, 2018
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Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

Consumer Fraud: 
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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. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 

In this week's Fraud Alert, watch a news report about a DME scam happening in Illinois and know what to ask older friends and family over the holidays. 

Have a great weekend!

Brace Scam in Illinois Make the News

Travis Trumitch, Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator at AgeOptions, was featured in an investigative news report about Medicare fraud involving durable medical equipment.  Watch the v ideo and read the full story in this CBS 2 News article " Medical Supply Phone Scam Targets Seniors, Costs Medicare Millions ." 

This report showcases the stories of two beneficiaries in Illinois whose Medicare accounts were billed for braces that they did not need. This scam begins with a phone call from someone who takes your Medicare number. The company then have doctors sign off on the prescriptions and bill Medicare for braces. Sometimes you may receive braces or other equipment in the mail, but sometimes you may receive nothing.

The Illinois SMP recommends the following to prevent this scam:
  • Always work with your own trusted doctor if you need medical equipment like a brace or have any other medical need.
  • Never give your Medicare number over the phone to someone you do not know. (Remember that Medicare never calls you.)
  • Read your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) looking for anything billed to Medicare that you never received or is different than what you received.
  • Call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043 if you gave your Medicare number to a stranger or find something on your MSN.
Medicare scams involving DME, including braces like these, are very common in Illinois. For more information, read our SMP tip sheet " Durable Medical Equipment (DME): Make Sure That Medicare Will Cover It" (also available in Spanish).

Home for the Holidays? Ask These Questions

The holiday season brings friends and family together, including people you don't get to see throughout the year. If you see an older family member or friend this holiday season, check in on them with our Home for the Holidays guide

If you know someone on Medicare, ask if they have checked their prescription drug or health plan for 2019 to make sure they are in the best plan for their needs. Medicare's Open Enrollment Period is now until December 7 and is the time to make changes in your Medicare plan. For assistance comparing your options in Illinois, call the Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) at (800)252-8966.
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