As we have discussed in past Fraud Alerts, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) fraud is one the biggest scams we see in Illinois. Earlier this month, the Office of Inspector General with the help of the FBI, IRS, and other federal agencies announced federal indictments against individuals allegedly involved in DME fraud. Additionally, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) took action against 130 medical equipment companies.
According to these indictments, international call centers were used to up-sell or give “free” braces to beneficiaries regardless if they needed them. These call centers then allegedly gave kickbacks to telemedicine companies for the DME orders. The telemedicine companies then would allegedly pay doctors to write medically unnecessary DME orders. Doctors are needed to sign off on the orders in order for Medicare to pay for the braces.
You can read the whole article and more details about this scam and indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice here.
Remember, Medicare will never call you, and you should only give your Medicare card number out to your doctors or providers. If you have received one of these phone calls and have given out any information, you can report this with the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.
This report from CBS 2 Chicago, showcases the stories of two beneficiaries in Illinois whose Medicare accounts were billed for braces that they did not need. CBS 2 Chicago aired this story when they reported the recent federal indictments, you can read the whole story here
This scam begins with a phone call from someone who takes your Medicare number. The company then has doctors sign off on the prescriptions and bill Medicare for braces. Sometimes you may receive braces or other equipment in the mail, but sometimes you may receive nothing.
You can watch the original CBS 2 Chicago story that ran in October 2018 here.
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I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
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