You’re SMART! – A Good way to stop Medicare Fraud

Medicare Fraud, smiling black woman with SMP prevent, detect, report message

Many of us either have Medicare or know and love someone who does. This means that Medicare fraud is something that affects us all. And we feel it not just through billions of lost tax payer dollars and money spent on unnecessary treatments and services, but also through identity theft, loss of access to ones doctors, medications, needed medical equipment, and potential harm from receiving false diagnoses and/or unneeded treatments. The consequences of Medicare fraud are big, but our resolve to help people and stop fraud is even bigger.

We do this at our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) through empowering people to PREVENT fraud, DETECT fraud in their Medicare Summary Notices, and know they can REPORT fraud to us at our SMP at 1-855-613-7080.

And, we encourage and empower people to be S.M.A.R.T. in stopping fraud in its tracks :-).

  • Stop! Don’t show your Medicare card or give your Medicare number over the phone to strangers who claim they can help you with free items such as lotion, Ensure shakes, shower chairs.
  • Money! Don’t accept money from people who want to enroll you into a special program.
  • Ask! Ask questions. Remember, Medicare does not cover cooking and cleaning services and hospice is for those who have been diagnosed by a doctor with a terminal illness of 6 or less months to live.
  • Report! Call SMP at 855-613-7080 to report strangers asking for your Medicare information.
  • Trap! Beware of scammers trying to trap you. Always guard your Medicare number, Social Security card, and bank information and don’t share this with strangers.

Join us in being SMART and out-smarting Medicare fraudsters!

In addition, join us in spreading awareness and education to fuel Medicare fraud prevention during the national Medicare Fraud Prevention Week, June 5 – 11. This week focuses on the actions everyone can take to prevent Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse. See our flyers in English, Chinese (simplified) and Spanish for activities, educational messages for each day of the week. We’ll also be posting daily tips on our social media.

And, if you’re inspired to be a part of the solution in stopping fraud and empowering others to do the same, we’d love to have you become a volunteer and join our SMP Team! Call us at 1-855-613-7080 or see our Volunteer with SMP page for more information.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.