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Providers and Suppliers Beware: Medicare Patients Now Looking for Fraud, Too

According to a press release, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that it will be awarding $9 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to Senior Medicare Patrol (“SMP”) programs across the country tasked at fighting Medicare fraud. SMP is operated by the Administration on Aging in close partnership with CMS and the HHS Office of Inspector General. The new grants will allow for increased awareness for Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent, detect and report healthcare fraud.

According to the press release:

The SMP volunteers work in their communities to educate Medicare beneficiaries, family members, and caregivers about the importance of reviewing their Medicare notices, and Medicaid claims if dually-eligible, to identify 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.

Therefore, providers must continue to emphasize compliance within their practices and also have strong communications with patients to avoid misunderstandings by patients as scrutiny has spread beyond just government officials. The government is investing in patients to help them in the fight against Medicare fraud.

For more information on compliance, please contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Jessica L. Gustafson, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128, for more information regarding healthcare fraud and abuse, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq. or Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128 or Daniel B. Brown, Esq. at (770) 804-4700, and for more information on government investigations and healthcare litigation, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. or Alan G. Gilchrist, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128 or visit the HLP website.

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