It is well known that South Florida is the epicenter of health care fraud. What can we, as local residents, do about this and why should we care? It has been estimated that 3 to 4 billion of our state tax dollars are lost to health care fraud. These are dollars that could, and should, be spent toward Florida’s many other health needs including caring for our children and the elderly.
We can do something about this outrageous fraud. The Senior Medicare Patrol is a federally sponsored, volunteer program designed to empower, inform and educate. Its purpose is to help our community learn how to protect ourselves and our family members from Medicare fraud and abuse.
SMP is a national program involving over 5,000 retired trained professionals. They are committed to reaching out to their communities to let them know how to protect their personal information and report such fraud and abuse as illegal marketing and charging for services not provided and insuring the accuracy and honesty of the Medicare health care statements.
There are three easy steps that you can initiate. Protect yourself by not giving out your Medicare number to anyone except your doctor or medical professional. Detect Medicare fraud by keeping an accurate record of your doctor visits, tests and procedures and compare this with your Medicare Summary Notices. Check on suspected fraud and abuse by calling your doctor to see if it was an error that can be corrected.
If you or one of your relatives is a victim of health care fraud, identity fraud or is scammed, the SMP program has a toll free number with a member, 866 357 6677, with staff available to respond to every call. You can make a difference by taking an active role. Join us as a member of the SMP here in Miami and be a part of the solution so that our children and grandchildren will have the future benefit of your efforts.
For more information about becoming a volunteer visit the national website http://www.smpresource.org/. It’s a great way to spend your time and energy.
Judy Rosenbaum, SMP Volunteer, Coral Gables