Fraud, Waste and Abuse
Protecting your personal information is the best line of defense in the fight against health care fraud and abuse. Use the following tips to help you identify fraud, waste and abuse and keep your health information safe.
Take these three steps to keep yourself safe from identity theft:
- Don’t provide your personal information (e.g., your Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security numbers) to anyone except your doctor, health plan or Medicare approved provider. You can check if a provider is Medicare approved by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (TTY users 711).
- Keep a personal health care journal or calendar to record your doctor visits, tests and procedures.
- Save and review your Medicare Summary Notices and Part D Explanation of Benefits.
Keep a watchful eye out for any doctors or health care providers who:
- Ask for your Medicare number in exchange for free equipment or services, or for “record keeping purposes.”
- Tell you that the more tests that are provided the cheaper they are.
- Advertise “free” consultations to people with Medicare.
- Call or visit you and say they represent Medicare or the federal government – Medicare will not call or visit your home.
- Use telephone or door-to-door selling techniques.
- Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you expensive medical services or diagnostic tests.
Monitor your billing statements and review your medical records for potential errors, such as:
- Charges for prescriptions or services you didn’t receive.
- Double billing for the same prescription or service.
Ask your provider whenever you:
- Don’t understand your billing statement.
- Are not sure if you received a service that is listed.
- Feel a service your provider is recommending is unnecessary.
Independent Health is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract offering HMO, HMO-SNP, HMO-POS and PPO plans. Enrollment in Independent Health depends on contract renewal.