The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week pumped $9 million into funding Senior Medicare Patrol programs, a national effort to combat Medicare fraud.
The senior patrols, which have 5,000 volunteers nationwide, educate Medicare beneficiaries on how to protect not only themselves from fraud, but also the Medicare program itself.
“We’ve dedicated $9 million in grants this year on top of another $9 million last year to expand the state-based Senior Medicare Patrol Programs, which are vital to empower seniors to identify and fight fraud,” said Peter Budetti, deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and director of the Center for Program Integrity.
Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers work in their communities to educate Medicare beneficiaries, family members and caregivers about the importance of reviewing their Medicare notices—and Medicaid claims if dually-eligible—to identify errors and potentially fraudulent activity.
HHS has funded Senior Medicare Patrol projects since 1997. According to the agency, more than 4 million Medicare beneficiaries have been educated since.