To help prevent Medicare fraud, you should report suspected instances of fraud. Whenever you receive a payment notice from Medicare, review it for errors. The payment notice shows what Medicare was billed for, what Medicare paid and what you owe. Make sure Medicare was not billed for health care services or medical supplies and equipment you did not receive.
The following is a list of tips to prevent fraud:
- Don’t ever give out your Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number (on your Medicare card) except to your physician or other Medicare provider.
- Don’t allow anyone, except appropriate medical professionals, to review your medical records or recommend services.
- Don’t contact your physician to request a service that you do not need.
- Do be careful in accepting Medicare services that are represented as being free.
- Do be cautious when you are offered free testing or screening in exchange for your Medicare card number.
- Do be cautious of any provider who maintains they have been endorsed by the Federal government or by Medicare.
- Do avoid a provider of health care items or services who tells you that the item or service is not usually covered, but they know how to bill Medicare to get it paid.
It is in your best interest and that of all citizens to report suspected fraud. Health care fraud, whether against Medicare or private insurers, increases everyone’s health care costs, much the same as shoplifting increases the costs of the food we eat and the clothes we wear. If we are to maintain and sustain our current health care system, we must work together to reduce costs.