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October 21. 2012 7:45PM

AARP offers fraud fighter presentations

MANCHESTER — AARP New Hampshire’s volunteer fraud fighters are gearing up efforts to help squash the billions of dollars lost in Medicare fraud each year by offering free presentations with tips on spotting Medicare fraud to community groups, law enforcement, fraternal organizations and others across the Granite State.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that about $70 billion is lost to criminal fraud each year, AARP wrote in an email.

“That 70 billion dollars in fraud would go a long way to extend the security of the Medicare program and even add more benefits,” said AARP New Hampshire fraud fighter Harold Moldoff in the email. “All Medicare beneficiaries can be more vigilant. This is definitely an area where one person can make a difference.”

Some of the waste is simple Medicare billing errors that need to be reported and corrected. AARP says other waste is Medicare abuse when doctors or suppliers don’t follow good medical practices, which results in unnecessary costs — unnecessary tests, unnecessary medical supplies or billing for name-brand drugs when generic drugs were dispensed.

And then there’s Medicare fraud when criminals file false claims for services not provided or equipment never received. Medicare numbers can even be stolen and sold.

“There are several things we can do to prevent Medicare fraud,” Moldoff said. “We refer to it as the three Rs: Record, Recognize and Report. Record on a calendar each medical appointment and reconcile to your Medicare and insurance statements. Recognize charges not incurred by you. And Report to the proper agencies those charges that are not yours.”

To help AARP members, their families and others understand Medicare fraud, AARP New Hampshire put together 30- to 40-minute presentations to answer these questions:

-- What are the top scams and how can you spot them?

-- What are the red flags you should watch for?

-- What is medical identity theft and how can you avoid it?

-- Why should you only carry your Medicare card when you access the health care system?

-- How can carefully reviewing your Medicare Summary Notice cut down on costs?

To request a fraud fighter presentation or to get involved as a volunteer fraud fighter, email nh@aarp.org or call (866) 542-8168.


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