Medicare awards $50,000 grant to Vermont Senior Medicare Patrol program

first_imgThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the award of a $50,000 grant to help the Vermont Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program fight Medicare fraud. The grant went to the Community of Vermont Elders and it is part of President Obama’s mandate to educate seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent fraud in Medicare.‘This grant is one of more than 50 awarded throughout the country to put more feet on the ground in the fight against Medicare fraud,’ said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D. ‘We are concerned about Medicare fraud and activity by criminals seeking to defraud seniors ‘ and we want to ramp up our local community resources to educate seniors and people with Medicare about how they can help us stop it.’The grant will provide additional funds to increase awareness of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries of health care fraud prevention, identification and reporting through expansion of SMP program capacity. States identified as high-fraud areas received higher amounts to support additional targeted strategies for collaboration, media outreach and referrals. The Administration on Aging will administer these grants in partnership with CMS.‘Unfortunately, scam artists are using the new health care provisions of the Affordable Care Act as an opportunity to scare and steal from seniors,’ said Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee. ‘Additional funding for the Senior Medicare Patrol in Vermont will help us significantly increase our outreach and education to people with Medicare. We applaud CMS for its commitment to fighting Medicare fraud.’SMP volunteers work Vermont to educate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, family members, and caregivers about the importance of reviewing their Medicare notices to identify billing errors and potentially fraudulent activity. Program volunteers also encourage seniors to make inquiries to the SMP Program when such issues are identified, so that the project may ensure appropriate resolution or referral.Since 1997, HHS and its Administration on Aging have funded Senior Medicare Patrol projects to recruit and train retired professionals and other senior volunteers about how to recognize and report instances or patterns of health care fraud. Close to 3 million Medicare beneficiaries have been educated throughout the country since the start of the program, and more than 1 million one-on-one counseling sessions have taken place with seniors or their caregivers. The SMP program funds projects in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/(link is external) or http://www.cms.gov/FraudAbuseforConsumers/(link is external)last_img

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