University of Missouri Extension

Medicare Fraud

In the past six years, the government has enlisted armies of officials to combat Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. Since 1996, estimated overpayments by the governments health care program for seniors and the disabled have been cut in half. Still that leaves half of overpayments.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have teamed up with AARP to recruit Medicare recipients and their caretakers to help cut even more. In rallies nationwide, AARP teaches seniors to examine bills for questionable charges to Medicare.

Examples include services or supplies the patient never received, items not authorized by a doctor or goods that were inappropriate to the patients diagnosis. "We don’t expect people to have medical degrees," says AARP’s Lee Norrgard. "But if you have tennis elbow and were charged for a wheel chair, there’s obviously something wrong."

Source: Senior alert: wanted--medifraud whistle blowers. (1999, May).  Consumer Reports.

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