The 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)
Ghana’s Black Meteors lost 3-2 on penalties to Cote d’Ivoire in Tuesday’s semi-finals in the U-23 AFCON tournament. The exciting match ended 2-2 after extra time after Ghana came back twice to cancel two leads taken by the Ivorians.The Black Meteors started the match slowly and very quickly, were under pressure from the Ivorians who looked much better in possession and attack. After 13 minutes, they got their goal through Slavia Prague forward, Youssouf Dao.From a cross from the right, Hamed Traore, picked out Dao with a deft flick and Dao put the ball into Ghana’s net.The scoreline could have been doubled by the Ivorians but the referee waved the play on when it looked like one of their players had been tripped in the penalty area by Ghana goalie, Kwame Baah.Ghana coach, Ibrahim Tanko, made an early change by taking out Robin Polley and bringing in Kwabena Owusu after 26 minutes. but that did not change matters much for Ghana in the first half.However, things did change in the second half and on 50 minutes, Yaw Yeboah swept home a cut back from Samuel Obeng to level matters.But the Ivorians took the lead for the second time in the match through Dao again. He powered a header past Kwame Baah from a cross from the left wing in the 85th minute.However, Ghana fought back again to score through Evans Mensah. He fired home from close range after Kwabena Owusu passed the ball.Owusu himself had been tripped in the area but as the referee did not give the penalty, Owusu sent the ball to Mensah and he made it 2-2 to send the match into extra time which ended goalless.In the penalty shootout, Emmanuel Lomotey and Samuel Obeng scored for Ghana scored while Emmanuel Cudjoe, Evans Mensah and Kwabena Owusu missed their efforts.Ismael Diallo scored, Hamed Traore, Koffi Kouao were perfect from the spot for the Ivorians but Aboubakar Keita missed his kick.In the end, it was not consequential as Cote d’Ivoire won the shootout to make the finals on Friday and book the first African ticket to the Olympic football tournament.Ghana will take on the loser of the second semi-final between Egypt and South Africa for the final ticket to the Olympic football tournament in Japan.