Fraud is a major issue in the healthcare industry. Healthcare fraud costs billions of dollars a year, and healthcare reform is investing new resources and requiring new screening procedures for healthcare providers in an effort to reduce fraud.
Many different programs like Medicaid and CHIP are affected by fraud. However, the Medicare program plays a huge role in this issue. There are a few things seniors can do to help prevent fraud.
- Keep their Medicare number in a secure place. A Medicare number is just as important as a Social Security number and should be treated as such.
- Never allow others to use your Medicare card. This is illegal and can cause many headaches down the line.
- Do not give your Medicare number out to anyone you are not familiar with.
- Do not give your information to anyone who is offering you free medical services or equipment. There is no reason for them to have that information if the services are truly free.
Be safe and smart with Medicare information. If a patient has questions they can contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services at (800) MEDICARE (633-4227). For more information on Medicare fraud you can visit http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
As an medical administrative assistant you are the first person who comes in contact with the patient. Remember to verify their identity and make sure all their information is currently. It is important that you as a healthcare professional helps keep fraud down in the industry.