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1 Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment: Protect Yourself from Fraud!

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Presentation on theme: "1 Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment: Protect Yourself from Fraud!"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment: Protect Yourself from Fraud!

2 2 What We Will Cover Today The SMP Program Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) DME and Fraud Protect, Detect, Report!

3 3 How much do you think is lost every year to health care fraud and abuse? A) $5-10 million B) $ million C) $10-20 billion D) $ billion How Much is Lost?

4 4 How much do you think is lost every year to health care fraud and abuse? A) $5-10 million B) $ million C) $10-20 billion D) $ billion How Much is Lost?

5 5 Medicare & Medicaid Beneficiaries –Loss of benefits –Higher premiums –Identity theft Taxpayers –Medicare is paid for by taxes –Billions of taxpayer dollars wasted The Medicare Program –Running out of money! Fraud affects:

6 6 The SMP Program

7 7 The SMP Program Senior Medicare Patrol National Program –SMP Programs in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands Goals of program: –Recruit volunteers to provide outreach –Educate consumers about health care fraud and abuse

8 8 SMP Staff and Volunteers… Give presentations to groups (like this one!) Share information and materials at health fairs or other events Help people with questions about billing mistakes or fraud issues Help report fraud to investigators

9 9 Illinois SMP Program Partners Illinois Area Agencies on Aging Local Agencies in Chicago & suburbs : South Suburban Senior Services of Catholic Charities Catholic Charities Northwest Catholic Charities Lake County Senior Service Associates Family Service-RSVP Program (Champaign) Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living Illinois Attorney Generals Office

10 10 Medicare & Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

11 11 What is DME? Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is reusable medical equipment, such as: –Wheelchairs –Walkers –Oxygen Equipment –Hospital Beds –Canes –Crutches

12 12 What is DME? Medicare also covers many Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies, such as: –Arm, leg, back, and neck braces –Artificial limbs and eyes –Diabetic supplies –Therapeutic shoes or inserts for people with diabetes who have severe diabetic foot disesase

13 13 When is DME Covered? Durable Medical Equipment is covered by Medicare when it is medically necessary - a doctor must prescribe it for you. Medicare Part B covers Durable Medical Equipment when you are going to use it in your home. If you are in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, the hospital or nursing facility should provide you with the equipment you need while you are there.

14 14 When is DME Covered? Medicare will only cover DME if it is provided by a Medicare approved DME supplier. To find a Medicare approved supplier in your area: Call MEDICARE ( ) OR Go to Medicares website: Click on Find Suppliers of Medical Equipment in Your Area.

15 15 Power Wheelchairs and Scooters Medicare will cover power wheelchairs and scooters when they are necessary for your medical condition. Medicare will NOT cover a power wheelchair or scooter if it is only needed/used outside of the home – these devices are meant to be used mostly inside the home.

16 16 How Much Does DME Cost? If you have Original Medicare and the DME supplier accepts Medicare assignment, Medicare will usually pay 80% of the cost of medically necessary DME. You will usually pay the remaining 20%, after you have paid your Part B deductible for the year. (Note: If you have a Medigap or other supplement plan, that plan may cover this 20%.)

17 17 How Much Does DME Cost? If you have Original Medicare and the DME supplier does NOT accept assignment, there is no limit to what the supplier can charge you!

18 18 How Much Does DME Cost? If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan must cover the same items and services as Original Medicare. However, the costs will depend on the plan. Call your plan to find out if your DME will be covered and what it will cost.

19 19 Buying vs. Renting DME Medicare has rules about when DME will be rented and when it may be purchased. In general, certain types of equipment are usually rented (for example, oxygen equipment), but other types of equipment may be bought (canes, walkers, etc.). To find out if a particular piece of equipment will be rented or bought, ask the DME supplier or call MEDICARE ( ).

20 20 How Do I Get DME If I Need It? If you think you may need medical equipment, talk to your doctor. S/he will write a prescription, and if necessary, complete a Certificate of Medical Necessity – a form that your doctor sends to Medicare to get approval for certain kinds of equipment.

21 21 How Do I Get DME If I Need It? Before ordering equipment, ask the supplier if they accept Medicare assignment. If a supplier is enrolled in Medicare, but does not accept assignment, they can charge you whatever they want. If a supplier is not enrolled in Medicare, Medicare will not pay for the supplies.

22 22 Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Fraud

23 23 DME and Fraud – Medicare Rules NO unsolicited telemarketing –DME suppliers may only contact you if: 1) you have given the supplier written permission to contact you 2) the contact is about an item that the company already provided to you, OR 3) the supplier has provided you with at least 1 item in the last 15 months –This rule also applies to solicitations through , instant messages, in-person contact, or internet advertising

24 24 DME and Fraud – Medicare Rules DME suppliers must maintain a physical facility that is open and accessible to the public –In most cases, the supplier must be open to the public at least 30 hours a week –The facility must be staffed and accessible during posted hours of operation DME suppliers must have a primary business telephone number – cell phones may NOT be used as primary business numbers

25 25 DME and Fraud – What is Fraud? Billing for equipment that you never received Billing for equipment that is different than what you received Billing for more advanced equipment than what you need Giving false or misleading information, such as offering of free equipment when they are going to bill Medicare

26 26 DME Fraud Schemes: Scooter Scam A DME salesman visits a senior center and offers everyone at the senior center a free scooter. The salesman asks each person for his/her Medicare number. The company then bills Medicare as if they provided each person with an electric wheelchair. As a result, when one of these people needs an electric wheelchair two years later, Medicare will not pay for it.

27 27 DME Fraud Schemes: Scooter Scam Problems: –Billing for a more expensive item than what was provided (wheelchair instead of scooter) –Equipment given was not medically necessary – scooters were given to everyone at the senior center, regardless of medical necessity –Salesperson offers scooters as free and waives copayments – false and misleading information

28 28 DME Fraud Schemes: Diabetic Shoe Scam A DME supplier sets up a table in the lobby of a senior building with a sign that says Free shoes for Medicare beneficiaries! When senior residents approach the table, they are given a pair of shoes from a local convenience store, in exchange for their Medicare numbers. The supplier then bills Medicare for medically necessary diabetic shoes for each person.

29 29 DME Fraud Schemes: Diabetic Shoe Scam Problems: –False/misleading advertising – free shoes –Lack of medical necessity – shoes are being given to anyone with Medicare coverage, regardless of whether they have diabetes and actually need the shoes –Billing for diabetic shoes while providing cheaper, non-medical shoes

30 30 DME Fraud Schemes: Arthritis Kit Scam One Saturday morning, Joe receives a visit from a man who asks if he has arthritis. When Joe answers, yes, the man tells Joe that he is going to give him a great new product – an arthritis kit – for free! All he needs is Joes Medicare number. Joe gives it to him, and the man gives Joe a package containing a lamp, a knee brace, and a box of gloves. Two months later, Joe receives his Medicare Summary Notice, which shows charges for thousands of dollars worth of orthotic braces!

31 31 DME Fraud Schemes: Arthritis Kit Scam Problems: –No such thing as an arthritis kit – this is always a scam! –Unsolicited door-to-door marketing, asking for Medicare number –No prescription or certificate of medical necessity by a doctor –Billing for products different than what was given

32 32 DME Fraud Schemes: Telemarketing of Diabetic Supplies While watching TV one afternoon, Sonia receives a phone call. When she answers, a robotic voice asks her to press 1 if she has diabetes. Sonia presses 1 and speaks to someone who offers to send her free diabetic supplies. Sonia gives the caller her Medicare number, but she never receives any supplies. Now, Sonia is concerned about identity theft because she realizes that her Medicare number is the same as her Social Security number.

33 33 DME Fraud Schemes: Telemarketing of Diabetic Supplies Problems: –Unsolicited telemarketing, asking for Medicare number over the phone –Possible billing for supplies never provided (if the company is billing for the supplies that have never been given to Sonia) –Possible identity theft – the caller could be using Sonias Social Security number to gain access to other information and accounts.

34 34 Protect! Detect! Report!

35 35 PROTECT Yourself From Fraud!

36 36 PROTECT Yourself From Fraud! If you need durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, or supplies, contact your doctor. Do NOT accept services from DME suppliers who: –Ask you to use their doctor –Contact you without your permission –Tell you that their equipment is free

37 37 PROTECT Yourself From Fraud! Do NOT give your Medicare number to people you do not know! –On the phone –At the door –At a presentation, exercise class, free screening, etc. (Free services do not require a Medicare number!)

38 38 PROTECT Yourself From Fraud! Do NOT accept services from someone who calls or visits you unexpectedly, even if they say that your doctor sent them!

39 39 PROTECT Yourself From Fraud! When you order DME, prosthetics, orthotics, or supplies, ask for a copy of all documentation for the equipment or supplies. Do NOT sign any forms or paperwork without reading them first. Never sign blank forms.

40 40 DETECT Fraud!

41 41 DETECT Fraud! Read your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company! Watch for: –Services or supplies that you did not get –Services or supplies that were not ordered by your doctor –Billing for the same thing twice –Other billing errors

42 42 REPORT Fraud!

43 43 Why Report Fraud? Healthcare fraud puts you at risk for identity theft! ITS YOUR MONEY! Saving the Medicare Program!

44 44 Why Report Fraud? People who commit fraud are STEALING from you, not helping you! When things are not ordered by your doctor, they may not fit or work properly. When someone gives you something that you do not need: Your health may get worse Your Medicare benefits may be used up

45 45 REPORT Fraud! If you have questions about services that you did receive, contact your doctor or the DME supplier first. If this does not work or you suspect fraud (for example, you see a claim on your Medicare Summary Notice for a service that you never received), call the Illinois SMP program at: (800)

46 46 Volunteers are the key to spreading the SMP message! We need YOUR help!

47 47 Thank you! If you have questions, contact: AgeOptions (800) TTY: (708) Funds for this publication were provided through a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging.


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