Health care fraud is said to be causing 80 to 160 billion dollars of annual losses to the US government and from the side of the consumers or the patients, the annual losses amount to around 10 billion. Such losses are mainly due to different types of fraud, medical billing errors and abuses of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Setting aside the financial losses, such fraud can also cause harm to a person’s health while, in certain instances, the damage may cost people their lives. Given the dangerous and the enormous nature of health care fraud, it is time to act vigilantly and prevent such acts in the future by making use of the following suggestions.
Double-checking the Medicare summary note, which a person receives following receiving medical care, is one method of avoiding health care fraud. When checking, one should look for items, which are billed twice, which have been included without being prescribed by the doctor or else charges for services that were not received. If there are discrepancies, one should make a note of it and inform the same to the proper authorities.
Protecting the information related to medical treatment and care is another aspect that needs to be looked into as information theft can lead to many fraudulent activities without the knowledge of the person concerned. Thus, it is advised, Medicare bills and other related documents be torn before discarding, not to leave mail unattended in the mailbox for several days, not to disclose any information related to medical care without the consent of the doctor or the health care provider to a third party…etc, in order to prevent vital information from falling into the wrong hands. In simple terms, the Medicare and Social Security numbers should be protected in the same way as if someone protects his or her credit card details.
Carefully selecting the place or the person from whom the medical care or services are obtained is another important element in preventing health care fraud. Thus, one should always keep to a single health care professional or a primary care service and seek referral only from these professionals. Thus, there would be less chance of being caught up in fraudulent activities practiced by unknown entities.
In addition, it should be remembered that Medicare agents do not sell or reach out to their customers by ringing their doorbell. At the same time, the all in one cures and miracle cures available on the Internet almost always deceive consumers and therefore it is a good idea to always consult a health care professional before investing or trying out such ‘online treatments’.
Lastly, in healthcare, anything that promises something too good to be true may in fact be a fraud.