California’s Senior Medicare Patrol project was granted two Outstanding Performance Awards from the Administration on Aging in late September. They are:
- Outreach Vision Award: Most Beneficiaries Attending Group Education in 2009; and
- Volunteerism Award: Largest Volunteer Workforce in 2009.
These awards demonstrate how California’s SMP consistently shines as a bright example and leader in preventing and detecting Medicare fraud and abuse. And they do this by effectively educating California’s large and diverse Medicare population on how to detect and report fraud, and prevent becoming a victim. Through this education, some beneficiaries are also inspired to join the SMP volunteer core to help inform their peers. With increased focus and dedicated funding for fraud prevention and detection, particularly as a result of the health care reform legislation, SMP programs and their volunteers continue to play a critical on-the-ground role in this effort.
This focus is reflected in the special recognition the national SMP program recently received from the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA). SMP was selected as the recipient of the 2010 NHCAA Excellence in Public Awareness Award. Louis Saccoccio, Executive Director of NHCAA, stated that “this award is given annually to an organization or individuals who have done the most in the past year to raise public awareness about the problem of health care fraud in our nation’s health care system.” The SMPs have shined above and beyond in informing “seniors about the dangers of Medicare fraud.”
Mr. Saccoccio also acknowledged that it is the SMP programs’ cooperation with authorities in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia that has been critical to raising awareness among seniors and younger beneficiaries with disabilities “about Medicare fraud and what they can do to help combat it.”
Congratulations to our CA SMP and to all SMPs nationwide, our volunteers, supporting agencies, and partners for these great honors!