Every industry has opportunities for scams and fraud, and the medical industry is far from exempt. Even people within the industry or workplace may not realize when fraudulent practices are going on around them. Because fraud schemes typically originate near the top of an organization, people who keep the books, fill out the forms, or input the data into the computer may be totally oblivious. Likely, they have no idea that they are helping to scam the government. Others may suspect something but are afraid to speak up for risk of putting their jobs in jeopardy.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers to be wary of callers claiming to be with Medicare and asking for personal information like social security and bank account numbers. Some seniors have reported receiving calls offering “free” items such as diabetic supplies or claiming, “all seniors are getting a new Medicare card”, and for verification purposes, they ask for personal financial information.
“Consumers should be suspicious of unsolicited calls from anyone claiming to be from Medicare,” said Kim States, BBB President. Medicare will not make unsolicited calls to update information, issue a new card or offer free medical equipment. We recommend seniors hang up and call a trusted Medicare number if they have questions regarding their benefits.”

BBB warns that callers may have information from public databases that make the call seem legitimate. The BBB offers the following tips for safeguarding personal information and protecting against Medicare
scams:

  • Medicare, Medicaid and the Social Security Administration will not call to update information or issue a new card. If you receive a call, hang up and report it to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Medicare related scams usually involve some form of identity theft. Do not give out personal information to unknown callers.
  • If you aren’t sure a call is legitimate, hang up and verify by calling the agency or checking with the BBB.
  • Be suspicious of any door-to-door or telephone solicitations claiming to be affiliated with Medicare.
  • Be wary of anyone offering you something for “free” in exchange for your Medicare number. Remember, Medicare will not pay for medical equipment without a physician’s signature certifying that it is necessary.
  • Review medical bills, Medicare Summary notices and insurance Explanation of Benefits for medical equipment or service charges that you did not incur. If you find questionable charges, contact your health provider at once.
  • Only give your insurance/Medicare information to those who have provided you with medical services.
  • Keep accurate records of medical appointments, procedures and medical equipment.
  • Ask your medical provider what they will charge and how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Never sign blank Medicare insurance forms.

Conclusion

Eасh fraudulent bill sent tо Mеdiсаrе is mоnеу cheated frоm US taxpayers. In оrdеr tо саtсh these ѕсhеmеrѕ, thе country rеliеѕ on whiѕtlеblоwеrѕ. If уоu hаvе information rеgаrding fаlѕе billing practices, you саn ѕtер fоrwаrd аnd роtеntiаllу rесеivе a sizeable rеwаrd undеr the Federal Fаlѕе Claims Act. If уоur information rеѕultѕ in соnviсtiоnѕ аnd rеturn оf frаudulеntlу-оbtаinеd mоnеу to the government, nоt only do уоu gеt a роrtiоn оf the rесоvеrеd fundѕ, but еvеrу Amеriсаn tаxрауеr will bе grateful fоr thе rеliеf. Hоnеѕtу pays. Prеvеnt frаud. If you do hаvе infоrmаtiоn аbоut роtеntiаl billing scams, contact a lаwуеr whо саn rеviеw уоur саѕе, аdviѕе уоu оf your орtiоnѕ, and еnѕurе your rightѕ are рrоtесtеd.

Chad Foster is a trusted family law and divorce lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.

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