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Medicare enlists patients to report fraud

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 17, 2013

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Redesigned summary notices for Medicare services will help beneficiaries detect potential fraud and abusive billing practices, federal officials stated in a June 6 announcement.

The notices detail for Medicare patients their benefits, coverage decisions and claims for physician and other health care services in an easy-to-read format, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said. Beneficiaries will receive the new notices on a quarterly basis.

“A beneficiary’s best defense against fraud is to check their Medicare summary notices for accuracy and to diligently protect their health information for privacy,” said Peter Budetti, MD, CMS deputy administrator for program integrity. “Most Medicare providers are honest and work hard to provide services to beneficiaries. Unfortunately, there are some people trying to exploit the Medicare system.”

CMS has proposed offering higher incentives for reporting possible fraud. Patients can receive rewards of up to $10 million for tips that lead to recovery of improper Medicare payments.

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