Senior Medicare Patrol
Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) helps Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries avoid, detect, and report health care fraud. They both protect beneficiaries and help preserve the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs by recovering and avoiding the billions of dollars typically lost to health care fraud each year.
Because face-to-face, in-person contact is most effective, SMPs nationwide recruit and teach nearly 5,000 volunteers every year to help in this effort. Most SMP volunteers are both retired and have Medicare, and are thus well-positioned to assist their peers. Become a volunteer!
SMP reaches out to Medicare beneficiaries in their communities by hosting group presentations, exhibiting at community events, answering calls to the SMP helplines, and providing one-on-one counseling. They teach Medicare beneficiaries how to protect their personal identity, identify and report errors on their health care bills, and identify deceptive or fraudulent health care practices.
California Health Advocates runs California’s SMP, by training and working closely with Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) volunteer counselors. Find the SMP in your state.
SMPs are funded by the Administration on Aging (AoA). SMP activities support AoA’s goals of promoting increased choice and greater independence among older adults.
In 1995, the AoA became a partner in a government-led effort to fight fraud, error and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs through the implementation of a ground-breaking demonstration project called Operation Restore Trust (ORT). During its demonstration phase, ORT returned $23 for every $1 spent, looking at the fastest growing areas of Medicare fraud, including home health care, skilled nursing facilities and providers of durable medical equipment. Our SMP in California is one of the original demonstration programs and continues to be a prominent piece in the fight against fraud.
Contact California’s SMP
Senior Medicare Patrol Project
(Council on Aging of Orange County/HICAP)
1971 East 4th Street, Suite 200
Santa Ana, CA 92705
tel: (714) 560-0309
fax: (714) 560-0319
SMP Project Director
Anne Gray, SMP Project Coordinator
Marta Erismann, SMP Community Outreach Coordinator
Diane Caradeuc, SMP Liaison
Micki Nozaki, SMP Data Specialist
Sandy Diaz, Bilingual Case and Outreach Specialist
“Wow! We love your presentation and personality! Thank you for coming to class and sharing your expertise on Medicare Fraud and HICAP… you have been their favorite speaker so far!
It’s so good that the students and myself are seeing the big picture …. You gave us all something to think about. Thanks again!”
— Gina Hansen, Professor, Gerontology Dept., American River College, 2010
Updated Nov 12, 2011