Seniors Can Prevent Health Care Fraud
Often those Medicare statements that come in mail -- Medicare summary notices, explanation of benefits and secondary insurance statements and provider bills -- are confusing to beneficiaries and tend to pile up at home.
SHIIP knows that these statements can be confusing and even annoying to people with Medicare, but did you know that Medicare fraud and abuse wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year? Some of that waste could be found piled up on the kitchen counter in unopened Medicare statements; that's why it is important to read statements and report any charges for services that you didn't receive.
The North Carolina SMP program, which stands for Senior Medicare Patrol, is an organization that can assist seniors with sorting out their statements and correcting any errors. North Carolina SMP Program is a preventive educational program whose goal is to reduce Medicare/Medicaid error, fraud and abuse. It provides statewide coordinated efforts of educational and promotional activities designed to encourage the reporting of Medicare/Medicaid discrepancies.
Protecting North Carolina's 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries from health-care fraud takes everyone working together, and North Carolina SMP and SHIIP encourage all Medicare beneficiaries to take an active role in preventing fraud and abuse.
To protect seniors from Medicare fraud and abuse follow these steps:
- Treat Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security numbers like a credit card number.
- Save Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) and Part D Explanations of Benefits (EOB), then shred them with a cross-cut shredder when they are no longer useful.
- Always review MSNs and EOBs for mistakes -- look for charges for services not received, double-billing and services that were not ordered by the doctor.
- Compare them to prescription drug receipts and record the information.
- Visit www.mymedicare.gov to access a Medicare account online.
- Report mistakes or questions: If you suspect errors, fraud or abuse, report it immediately. Call the provider or plan first. If not satisfied with their response, call the North Carolina SMP Program at 1-800-443-9354.
For more information about the North Carolina SMP program, call 1-800-443-9354 or visit www.ncshiip.com.
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