Medicaid fraud costs the states and the federal government billions of dollars each year, and the problem is only getting bigger as more and more people apply for Medicaid coverage. While some types of Medicaid fraud, such as illegal price-fixing or illegal advertising by pharmaceutical companies cannot be easily avoided, there are steps you can take to prevent Medicaid fraud from happening to you. Here are a couple of tips:
Tip 1: Always inspect your bills
Medicaid fraud can often occur when a healthcare provider double bills or bills for procedures, treatments, or medications that were not actually given. Many healthcare providers count on patients who don’t inspect their bills and use those oversights to overcharge patients.
Tip 2: Watch out for used versus new equipment
Some Medicaid fraud occurs when a healthcare equipment provider sells patients used equipment for the same price as new equipment. If, for example, you were prescribed a wheelchair, carefully inspect the wheelchair after receiving it to make sure there are no obvious marks of wear or prior use. If you were charged for a new wheelchair instead of use one, this could be a sign of Medicaid fraud.
Tip 3: Keep private information secure
A lot of fraudsters rely on targeting elderly Medicaid patients because they believe they can more easily obtain personal information used to then later commit identity theft. If you ever receive a phone call from someone asking for personal information, don’t give it. Scammers will pretend to be representatives from government agencies, companies, and even your healthcare provider, so always be skeptical of anyone asking for sensitive data over the phone.