Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) – was created by the U.S. Administration on Aging (AOA) to empower Medicare Beneficiaries and caregivers to help prevent healthcare fraud, waste and abuse. In the United States, we lose as much as $80 billion each year to health care fraud and billing errors. Medicare loses more than $10 billion a year to fraud, abuse and billing errors. The Medicare program provides security to over 40 million Americans. Combatting Medicare fraud is critical in helping preserve Medicare for the generations to come.Connecticut’s SMP program is operated in partnership with the CT Dept. of Social Services and the five Area Agencies on Aging. The SMP program provides education and outreach to Medicare beneficiaries to help them become informed consumers of their health care. Here are three steps you can take to combat fraud and abuse:
- Protect – your Medicare number and personnel information.
- Detect – Read your Quarterly Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and your Monthly Part D Explanation of Benefits (EOB).
- Report -Tell the right people about it.
What does the SMP Program in Connecticut Do?
Through the direction of the Statewide SMP Coordinator and the five regional CHOICES/SMP Coordinators located at the five Area Agencies on Aging across Connecticut, the SMP program provides one on one counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. Each regional program recruits and trains volunteers on Senior Medicare Patrol. SMP counselors are available to help seniors understand and review their Medicare Summary Notices and health care bills. SMP counselors can help you address billing discrepancies and investigate cases of fraud and abuse. In addition to individual counseling, presentations to groups and caregivers on Medicare fraud can be scheduled. If you are interested in becoming trained as a SMP counselor, please contact CHOICES at 800-994-9422 and ask for the SMP Coordinator. Trainings are conducted once a year in each region of the state.
The CT SMP program has created a number of brochures to help you protect your identity and not become a victim of healthcare fraud.
- Actions You Can Take To Protect Your Personal Information
- Guidelines for Shredding & Saving Personal Documents
- Don’t Be a Victim of Potential Medicare Fraud, Waste or Abuse
- Dont’ Be a Victim. Protect, Detect & Report
- Call the service provider – maybe it was a mistake.
- Call the secondary insurance provider.
- Call the doctor that ordered the service / product.
- Call 1-800-Medicare and report concerns.
If you have questions or concerns about Medicare or Medicaid fraud, are interested in volunteering or would like to schedule a free speaker for your group, call your regional CHOICES-SMP program at 1 800-994-9422.
If you are interested in becoming a SMP Volunteer Counselor please contact Lisa Alhabal.
The Official U.S. Government site for Medicare offers free, secure online services for accessing personalized information regarding all claims processed within the past 15 months.
You are not alone, the following partners help beneficiaries and caregivers fight fraud, error and abuse within the healthcare system. SMP Partners.
- CT SMP Program
- Stop Medicare Fraud
- Center for Medicare Advocacy
- Administration on Aging
- AARP’s Medicare Summary Notice De-Coder
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