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As an at-home caregiver of an older relative, it’s important to be aware–and help make your loved one aware–of the signs of Medicare fraud. Knowing how to protect his or her information and spot the signs a scam are the first steps in keeping your family member’s identity safe.
First, make sure your elderly loved one knows never to give his or her Medicare information or Social Security number to anyone over the phone or to strangers in person. Santa Clarita elderly care agencies note that official Medicare business is conducted by mail only. Never let anyone besides providers review your loved one’s health information.
Keep a list of all the medical care your loved one has received, and compare it against his or her Medicare Summary Notices and Part D Explanation of Benefits. Notify Medicare immediately of any unfamiliar visits, tests, or procedures that have been recorded, and talk to the provider right away if there are any items you don’t understand on a bill.
Make sure you dispose securely of any medical information, including prescription labels, by shredding them rather than throwing them in the regular trash. Have your loved one keep his or her Medicare card in a safe place at home, never in a wallet or purse unless they are en route to a doctor appointment.
Remind your loved one never to accept offers of free medical care or services in exchange for Medicare information. He or she should also never visit a doctor for unneeded services and should be wary of any provider who says they “know how to bill Medicare” for a service that isn’t usually covered.
If you suspect your loved one has fallen victim to Medicare fraud, report it immediately by calling 1-800-MEDICARE and by calling the Office of the Inspector General at 1‑800‑447‑8477.
You can learn more about promoting senior safety and wellness from the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of home care in Santa Clarita, including stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care for seniors in Santa Clarita. Our caregivers are thoroughly vetted and trained, our dedicated Care Managers are available 24/7, and we never require long-term contracts. Call 661.259.9914 today and request a complimentary in-home consultation.