The Numbers are Out! California SMP Saves Money for Both Medicare & Beneficiaries

The Numbers are Out! California SMP Saves Money for Both Medicare & Beneficiaries

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) numbers are out and California’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) has much to celebrate! Each year the OIG compiles an annual report on the 54 Senior Medicare Patrol projects nationwide looking at the number of volunteers, number of training hours, number of counseling and education sessions, monies recovered, and cost avoidance for beneficiaries, etc. California’s SMP is a foundational project to the entire network, as our state is home to over 4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, and contributed significantly to the SMP projects’ success for 2012.

For example, California’s SMP has:

  • 10% of the total SMP volunteer base for the country (515 volunteers)
  • 10% of the total work hours (12, 341 hours)
  • 8% of the group education sessions (1,207 sessions)
  • 16% of the complex issues received (407)
  • 28% of the Medicare funds expected to be recovered ($1,695,486)
  • 28% of the cost avoidance for beneficiaries ($32,721)
  • 100% of the Medicaid funds expected to be recovered ($102,000)
  • 70% of the actual savings for beneficiaries ($91,500)
  • 31% of the savings attributable to the SMP projects ($1,889,215)

Also, as a whole, the SMP projects nationwide demonstrate some significant successes compared to 2011 data. For example, even though the number of SMP volunteers nationwide for 2012 was down 9%, the SMP projects had a 71% increase in the number of one-on-one counseling sessions (113,457) and a 33% increase in group education presentations (14,748). In addition, the projects’ total cost savings to beneficiaries for 2012 was over 10 times more than 2011, $113,977 versus $13,657 respectively.

Congratulations to all SMP projects nationwide for a job well done! And congratulations to our California SMP team and our amazing dedicated group of 515 volunteers! We would not be able to make such a difference without our volunteers and our engaged public, who increasingly participate in preventing, detecting and reporting fraud in their own communities across the state. Thank you! Together we make a difference, stop health care fraud and preserve the integrity of the Medicare program and its benefits for current and future generations.

See a complete summary of the OIG report (PDF) and a <summary of our California-specific data.

See our Medicare fraud section for more info on fraud and abuse.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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