Grassroots Fraud Prevention Efforts Expanded by Federal Government

CMS announced the award of $9 million in grants to help more than 50 Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs fight Medicare fraud. This is part of President Barack Obama’s mandate to educate seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent fraud in Medicare.

“These grants will put more feet on the ground in the fight against Medicare fraud,” Donald Berwick, MD, CMS administrator stated in a press release. “We are concerned about Medicare fraud and activity by criminals seeking to defraud seniors – and we want to ramp up our local community resources to educate seniors and people with Medicare about how they can help us stop it.”

The announcement to double the funding for SMP activities was made earlier this year in conjunction with Obama’s appearance at a senior center in Wheaton, Md., along with Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary. The grants will provide additional funds to increase awareness of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries of health care fraud prevention, identification and reporting through expansion of SMP program capacity. Increased funding levels for states identified with high-fraud areas will support additional targeted strategies for collaboration, media outreach and referrals. The Administration on Aging will administer these grants in partnership with CMS.

“Unfortunately, scam artists are using the new health care provisions of the Affordable Care Act as an opportunity to scare and steal from seniors,” Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging stated. “Additional funding for the Senior Medicare Patrol grantees will help us significantly increase our outreach and education to people with Medicare. We applaud CMS for its commitment to fighting Medicare

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