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Medicare Fraud Real Concern in Some Localities

Amidst the widespread healthcare U.S. debate and increased focus on the Medicare program, some seniors and their healthcare providers may have to defend themselves against allegations of Medicare fraud. In an article by the Associated Press that was published today, it was revealed that Miami-Dade County, Florida, received about “half a billion dollars from Medicare in home health care payments intended for the sickest patients in 2008, which is more than the rest of the country combined.”

Only 2 percent of the patients who receive home health care live in Miami-Dade County, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. According to authorities, there are more than $3 billion in false Medicare claims each year. One example of Medicare fraud that has been uncovered is when agencies bill Medicare for home health services for homeless people or when home health aides visit patients and do very little for the patients.

As attention is focused on Medicare fraud and Medicare payments are being reduced across the country, many Medicare beneficiaries may want to look into getting Medicare Supplemental insurance to help protect them from reduced coverage.

Another common example of Medicare fraud happens when diabetic patients claim they are blind and bill the Medicare system for night and day nurses to give them insulin shots. “What we’re finding in a lot of the cases is the patients don’t even have diabetes and certainly aren’t blind,” said Kirk Ogrosky, who heads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force across the United States for the Department of Justice.

Medicare beneficiaries who participate in Medicare cams are sometimes given between $700 and $1,400 per month in cash for their participation. “In one Medicare scam, prosecutors charged eight Miami suspects with bilking $22 million from the system. They were accused of recruiting patients for services that were unnecessary, and even faking medical tests to prove they were entitled to the payments,” according to the Associated Press article.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and options provided by different Medicare Supplemental insurance programs, contact a Medigap Medicare Supplemental insurance specialist for more information today at 866-323-1441.

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.

 

 
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