(BROOKLYN, New York): Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, recently launched a borough-wide Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program to combat more than $600 million lost annually in Medicare and Medicaid fraud in Brooklyn — the county where taxpayers lose the most in all of New York State, according to estimates based on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data.
The announcement was made at the Shorefront YM-YWHA in Brighton Beach, an area of the borough that is particularly hard-hit by incidents of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, which have ranged from the use of stolen Medicare numbers and lying about to providers billing eligibility for services never provided and received to dispensing generic drugs billed at name-brand prices.
“It’s so important that we combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud so that our seniors are not unnecessarily scammed and forced to deal with financial problems that can be easily avoided in their golden years,” said Adams.
“The SMP is a critically important initiative to empower vulnerable Brooklynites, including those who speak a language other than English at home, with the information to identify and report fraudulent activity that can cost them dearly.”
Seniors are urged to protect themselves from Medicare and Medicaid fraud by being informed of the following information and taking the following precautions:
• Do not share or confirm a Medicare or Social Security number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email, or in person, unless you have given permission in advance.
• Medicare will never contact you (unless you ask) to ask for your Medicare number or other personal information, or to send you a new card; Medicare already has your information.
• Do not ever let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare n There is no charge for your new card, so do not pay anyone to send it to you.
• Review your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you and Medicare are only being charged for actual items and services received.
• Your new Medicare card is sent automatically by mail to the address on file with the Social Security Administration.
• If you have not received your new Medicare card, call the New York State SMP at (800) 333-4374.
• Under the False Claims Act, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is authorized to pay rewards to those who report fraud against the federal government and are not convicted of a crime related to the fraud; the reward can be between 15 and 25 percent (but up to 30 percent in some cases) of what it recovers based upon the whistleblower’s report.