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My Health Care Tracker Tool Helps Medicare Recipients Prevent Fraud

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Friday, July 1, 2022   

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help spot and prevent Medicare fraud.

My Health Care Tracker is provided by Senior Medicare Patrol and instructs recipients on how to compare the health care services, tests and medical equipment items they receive to what was billed on their Medicare statements.

Seth Boffeli, adviser for the AARP Fraud Watch Network, said Medicare fraud can be committed against both the government and against seniors enrolled in the programs. He advised the best way to stay safe from scams is to be your own detective.

"The way a lot of Medicare waste, fraud and abuse is caught is that people are careful," Boffeli observed. "They get that statement, they go through it, and they say, 'Hey wait. I didn't get this drug, or I didn't get this treatment.' And they're able to flag that."

As of late 2021, there were nearly 652,000 residents enrolled in Medicare in Arkansas, which is more than 21% of the state's population.

Arkansans can request My Health Care Tracker, in Spanish or English, by contacting the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol at 866-726-2916.

Boffeli explained catching fraud early is crucial because not only does it save people money, it could have ramifications for access to future care. He added there are small things Medicare recipients can do to prevent scams.

"It's just really important that when you're giving out your Medicare information, or you're agreeing to a test or a device that Medicare is going to pay for, that you're doing that in consultation with your doctor," Boffeli recommended.

AARP's Fraud Watch Network offers tip sheets on more than 70 kinds of scams affecting older adults. My Health Care Tracker also gives information about State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, which provide local insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families and caregivers.

Disclosure: AARP Arkansas contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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