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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Medicare Fraud and Abuse

Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 8:43 AM

With the states' and the Federal Government's financial woes it is making everyone concerned about what is going to happen next. People are wondering what social programs are going to be cut. We hear accusations of the government "trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and elderly". In our own budgets in our own homes, we have to make choices of what we need and what we want and how much money we have to spend. The state and Federal Government are the same way. Only with much more money and many more needs and many more wants and many more people that have a say in how it's done. The simple fact is that responsible people do not spend more money than they take in, and they continually watch for places where they can save. If they have a hole in their pocket they sew it up.

The latest figures show that Health care fraud, waste, and abuse costs American taxpayers (read government) $60 billion each year. That is $6.85 million per hour! To put this into perspective a MILLION minutes ago was 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago. A BILLION minutes ago was just after the time of Christ! Remember we are talking about $60 BILLION lost to health care fraud, waste, and abuse.

Just think how much better we could make the United States roads, parks, social services, military and other programs that our government pays for now, if we could "sew up the hole in our pocket."

Remember back in World War II when everyone was growing a victory garden and buying war bonds? The entire nation was pulling together to fight the war. Well, now is our chance to pull together again and fight the war against Health Care Fraud and Abuse. If you are interested we would love to have you join the fight. Become a Missouri SMP Volunteer Specialist and make a difference in your community.

As a SMP Volunteer Specialist you will work in your community to help stop the over $60 billion dollars lost to Medicare fraud and abuse each year. Keeping your own flexible schedule, you can promote community awareness by providing information on the latest scams, educate seniors on how to protect themselves against fraud and abuse, and provide one-on-one counseling to individuals with questions or concerns about their Medicare Summary Notices. SMP Volunteer Specialists represent Missouri SMP at health fairs and other events, pass out informational brochures and send public service announcements to local media.

A two-day SMP Foundations training session is required to arm SMP Volunteer Specialists with the information and tools to carry out their mission to prevent, detect and report Medicare fraud and abuse in their area. One year of service is requested with one or more activities per month reported. The Missouri SMP Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging and is administered by Care Connection for Aging Services. Contact Valery Johnson, Missouri SMP Volunteer Coordinator at vjohnson@goaging.org or call 888-515-6565. Visit the SMP website for more information at http://www.smpresource.org .

If you are interested you can call me as well at 1-800-392-8771 or locally at 335-3331.



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Age Spots
Ruth Dockins
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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