Date: June 28, 2019 | Category: News
July’s Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) Fraud Fact addresses durable medical equipment fraud. Durable medical equipment, or DME, refers to wheelchairs, surgical supplies, catheters, and respiratory nebulizers, as well as nutrition and tube feeding supplies.
While many reputable companies provide this equipment, many scams have cropped up. This kind of scam relies on three ingredients: a Medicare number, a physician willing to bill for services, and an unscrupulous DME dealer.
Here’s how it works. A scammer approaches a doctor or uses the stolen identity of a physician. The doctor, or his imposter, writes an order for the equipment. This same fraudulent equipment company may use stolen Medicare numbers to bill Medicare for wheelchairs or something else.
The DME company gets the money, but no one ever gets the equipment. Sometimes, a shady DME company may offer meals, food, or supplements in exchange for a person’s Medicare number. These same companies may offer diabetic shoes, oxygen, nebulizers, and therapeutic mattresses in exchange for the Medicare number. DO NOT fall for it.
In all these cases, you should question whether there is abuse or fraud. Give your Medicare card number only to trusted physicians.
DO NOT accept so-called free medical equipment or services in exchange for your Medicare number. There is NO such thing as free. When you get your Medicare Summary Notice or explanation of benefits, review it to see if Medicare is charged for items you did not receive. If you suspect fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project is supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.