INDIANAPOLIS – More than 35 percent of U.S. seniors fall victim to fraud in their lifetime, says the Retirement Industry Trust Association.
The Indiana SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) is offering personal health care journals created by the U.S. Administration on Aging to help seniors be better prepared to prevent, detect and report fraud.
“The goal is for seniors to make note of appointments, medications prescribed, tests/procedures performed and medical equipment used,” says Tamra Simpson, program director of SMP. “In addition to receipts, you can then check your journal entries against your incoming Medicare and health care statements for increased accuracy and more lead time to report suspected errors, fraud or abuse.”
The journals can also be used to record:
- Physician and emergency contact information
- Personal habits and allergies
- Family history and health conditions
- Specific details on each physician visit (answered questions, services received, special instructions, health data)
- Descriptions of frequently-performed tests and screenings
- Information on how to report suspected fraud
The SMP urges patients not to release any Medicare or personal information to people they don’t know and to be aware of current scams. If you suspect Medicare fraud of any kind, please contact the Indiana SMP at (317) 205-9201 or your local Area Agency on Aging at 800-986-3505.