The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is providing an award of $9 million in grants to help more than 50 Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs fight Medicare fraud. The grants further the Obama Administration’s efforts to educate seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent fraud in Medicare. The increased funding is directed for states identified with high-fraud areas will support additional targeted strategies for collaboration, media outreach and referrals.
“These grants will put more feet on the ground in the fight against Medicare fraud,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D. “We are concerned about Medicare fraud and activity by criminals seeking to defraud seniors – and we want to ramp up our local community resources to educate seniors and people with Medicare about how they can help us stop it.”
The SMP volunteers work in their communities to educate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, family members, and caregivers about the importance of reviewing their Medicare notices to identify billing errors and potentially fraudulent activity. Program volunteers also encourage seniors to make inquiries to the SMP Program when such issues are identified, so that the project may ensure appropriate resolution or referral.
“Unfortunately, scam artists are using the new health care provisions of the Affordable Care Act as an opportunity to scare and steal from seniors,” said Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee. “Additional funding for the Senior Medicare Patrol grantees will help us significantly increase our outreach and education to people with Medicare. We applaud CMS for its commitment to fighting Medicare fraud.”