The Montana Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is a national program funded by the Administration for Community Living, administered by Missoula Aging Services. SMP empowers people to prevent healthcare fraud, mainly through educating people on Medicare about fraud, waste, and abuse.
According to Modern Healthcare, one in eight Americans have had their medical records in some way compromised. The average cost to rectify that is $13,500 and 200 hours of your time.
Medical ID theft is difficult to fix because no centralized source keeps all medical records. The best way to fix it is to keep it from happening in the first place.
So what can people do other than to never give out their Medicare number unless they know exactly who they are speaking to? The number-one deterrent to Medicare fraud is to read your statements.
If you see something you don’t recognize or understand, call your provider, or call SMP. A $9 mistake once returned $1.37 million to Medicare. To find out how, or for help understanding your statements, call the closest Office on Aging at 1-800-551-3191 to reach your local SMP office.