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CHA News Editor/Writer:
Karen Fletcher
MPH, Publications Consultant

E-Newsletter Archive
Are You Getting an Endless Supply of Supplies?
Beware of Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Scams
Apr 6, 2016 Did you see the ad for the free back brace in the newspaper? The one covered 100% by Medicare? If you did, it’s a scam and this article explains new trends to watch out for.
Medicare Open Enrollment – Making Good Choices
Oct 8, 2015 Open enrollment is the time each year where beneficiaries can review their current coverage and plan changes for the coming year and make a change. While there is a lot of good information out there, there is also bad, misleading info and scams to steer clear from. Learn some helpful tips on reviewing your Medicare coverage and making a good choice for 2016.
Seniors Pay Skyrocketing Price for "Free" Ice Cream
Mar 2, 2015 Have you or groups of elders you know been offered a free ice cream social AND a “free” Medicare-covered cheek swab genetic test? If so,it's a scam that is happening around the country.
Anthem Insurance Data Breach Effects Millions ~ Tips on Best Response
Feb 11, 2015 Tens of millions of Americans may be affected by the latest corporate data breach at Anthem Insurance. Learn some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how best to respond and protect yourself and/or loved ones.
Medicare Marketing Do’s & Don’ts for 2015
Nov 17, 2014 Learn what agents and plan sponsors can and cannot do as they market Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to beneficiaries. Also, Medicare recently expanded the scope of what plan sponsors and agents can call their enrollees about to include other Medicare plan products as well their current plan.
Getting HIP at Walgreens! SMP/HICAP Expands Community Outreach in CA Pharmacies
Jul 16, 2014 SMP/HICAP are creating partnerships with pharmacies across the state as a way to reach more Medicare beneficiaries and spread the word on fraud prevention. This partnership program is known as HIP – Health In Pharmacies.
Tips to Prevent Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Fraud
Mar 10, 2014 Are you getting the most out of your Part D benefit? Does your doctor prescribe less expensive generics when they're available? Do you receive the correct number of pills in your prescription bottles? Learn several simple tips to make sure: you are making the best use of your drug benefits; you know how to prevent fraud and abuse, and you know how to detect fraud if it occurs.
SMP Forms Fruitful Community Outreach Partnership with Local Pharmacy
Feb 24, 2014 Chico Rite Aid's "Wellness Ambassador" reached out to HICAP and our Senior Medicare Patrol program to see if we'd come to the pharmacy on a regular basis to offer an information table on Medicare fraud to help educate their customers on fraud. This is turning out to be a win/win partnership and can easily be modeled in pharmacies statewide.
Celebrating SMP Successes in 2013!
Jan 13, 2014 2013 statistics demonstrate our staff and volunteers' great work that benefits tens of thousands of beneficiaries, providers and the integrity of the Medicare program.
California SMP Recovers $5.8 Million to Medicare
Nov 6, 2013 Our California Senior Medicare Patrol recovered over $5.8 million to the Medicare system for just one case, thanks to the persistent and dedicated efforts of our SMP casework team.
Protect Yourself from Obamacare Scams this Fall
Sep 20, 2013 The roll out of the new health care program known as "Obamacare" begins in October, with enrollment from October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014. This enrollment period is not to be confused with Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment which is October 15 – December 7, 2013. Learn important tips to avoid scams both for people with Medicare and those without.
Take Simple Actions to Prevent Phone Scams & Protect Yourself If Scammed
Sep 20, 2013 Use this quick action plan checklist if you feel you have been scammed or your identity compromised.
The Numbers are Out! California SMP Saves Money for Both Medicare & Beneficiaries
Aug 6, 2013 The Office of Inspector General (OIG) numbers are out and California’s Senior Medicare Patrol has much to celebrate! Our SMP, serving over 4.5 million beneficiaries across the state, accounts for 10% of the total SMP volunteer base, 28% of the Medicare funds expected to be recovered, 28% of the cost avoidance for beneficiaries, and 70% of the actual savings for beneficiaries.
New Health Care Reform Scams Target the Young and Old
Jul 25, 2013 Impostors are already calling Medicare beneficiaries saying they need their Medicare and credit card information because of changes from the new health care reform law to take effect in 2014. These scammers are also targeting younger people who will, for the first time, be guaranteed the right to health insurance under each state’s health care exchange, called Covered California in our state.
A Baby Boomer Alert: Who Is Stealing From Your Elderly Parents Today?
Jul 18, 2013 MetLife’s Mature Market Institute estimates that seniors lost $2.9 billion due to financial abuse in 2010, an increase of $200 million from 2009. Because many seniors have saved a "nest egg" in the form of home equity and some savings, they are attractive targets, and vulnerable to a variety of investment fraud, credit card fraud and identity theft.
Beware of Insurance Agents Giving Misleading Information on Cal MediConnect
Jul 17, 2013 We have reports of insurance agents giving beneficiaries false information about losing access to their doctors' this fall unless they switch plans. This false information may be given deliberately to secure enrollment commissions or may stem from a misunderstanding about a new demonstration called Cal MediConnect.
SMP Stops Fraudulent Payment & Helps Client Get Wheelchair He Needs
Jun 26, 2013 KQED's California report recently aired one of our Senior Medicare Patrol success stories.
Beneficiaries Avoid Growing Medical Alert System Scam
Jun 26, 2013 Our recent fraud notice about a Medical Alert company offering to give free equipment has attracted much media coverage and helped numerous beneficiaries statewide avoid this scam. Notices are translated into 5 languages.
SMP Success! Riverside Couple’s Case Uncovers Costly Fraud Scheme
Jun 17, 2013 A Riverside couple reported a scam in 2009; their report led to a successful investigation and shutdown of a DME supplier that now owes Medicare $244,689.
Avoid New Phone Scams: Don’t Give Your Personal Information to Strangers
Apr 5, 2013 A recent phone scam claims that Medicare is issuing new cards, and beneficiaries must pay a fee and give out their personal information to receive a new card. Learn the details and help yourself and others avoid this and other scams and report them our Senior Medicare Patrol project.
Korean Officials Meet with CA SMP to Learn How We Fight Fraud
Jan 18, 2013 Last fall several Korean officials came to visit our California Senior Medicare Patrol. They are on a mission to stop the corruption in their public health care system, and came to learn about our SMP’s activities and accomplishments in preventing and detecting health care fraud, waste and abuse.
Alert! New Scam Targets Elderly Asian Women
Aug 7, 2012 A new type of scam targeting elder Asian women has law enforcement, advocates, Asian beneficiaries and their family members all on edge. Since January 2012, well over $1 million in cash and jewelry have been stolen from elderly Asian women in the San Francisco Bay Area.
KTVU's Bay Area People Program Interviews SMP Volunteer & FBI Rep on Medicare Fraud
May 23, 2012 San Francisco SMP Volunteer, Pat Macholl and a local FBI rep aired on the KTVU Bay Area People TV program. Their 9-minute interview reviews Medicare fraud, simple protection and detection tips, how to report it and where to get assistance. Help spread the word and share the video!
SMP Liaison Emphasizes Fraud Prevention on Local TV
Mar 13, 2012 One of our Senior Medicare Patrol Liaisons, David Juberg was featured in KCET TV's SoCal Connected program Ghost Clinics, a local news segment on the national epidemic of Medicare fraud. He reminds beneficiaries about the key role they play in collapsing the fraud cycle.
Phone Scammers Continue to Target Seniors
Feb 23, 2012 With phone scams on the rise, California's SMP alerts beneficiaries to be wary of scam artists trying to get their personal information such as their Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers.
Spotlight On... Fraud & Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities
Sep 26, 2011 How can medical facilities bill Medicare for services on a day when they're closed, or if they don't even exist in a physical location? Yet, this is what Office of Inspector General is finding on their site visits to Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities (IDTF), particularly in the Los Angeles area.
Help Get Fraud Public Service Announcements Into the Media
July 27, 2011 We can use your assistance in spreading awareness on Medicare fraud.
Slew of 2010 Claims Show Up on Beneficiaries' Medicare Summary Notices
July 27, 2011 Medicare recently made a mass adjustment to many previously processed claims from the 1st quarter of 2010.
Stand Out in Your Outreach: Tips for Success at Health Fairs
July 27, 2011 How do you stand out amongst the crowd and attract and engage the public? Marta Erismann, our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Community Outreach Coordinator, can tell you.
New Medicare Fraud Tools to Help Curb Rising Diabetes Supply Scams
May 3, 2011 A growing number of seniors are reporting suspicious and persistent phone calls from diabetes suppliers. Around the clock, callers are offering "free supplies" regardless of whether beneficiaries have diabetes, and requesting beneficiaries' Medicare numbers and personal health information.
Successful Strategies in Reaching Hmong Elders: A Case Study in Medicare Fraud Outreach
Apr 8, 2011 Marta Erismann, our SMP Community Outreach Coordinator, and Michelle Lee, a registered HICAP volunteer counselor have teamed together to inform Hmong elders across the state about Medicare fraud. They've presented in both Fresno and Sacramento, California's cities with the 1st and 2nd largest Hmong populations respectively.
Dept. of Health Secretary, Attorney General Announce New Tools to Prevent and Fight Fraud
Jan. 11, 2011 New tools and technologies to fight fraud are announced, with examples of what's been accomplished in the last year.
Insurance Agent Arrested & License Revoked for Alleged Fraud, Forgery and Grand Theft Involving Seniors
Oct. 26, 2010 The California Department of Insurance is cracking down on agents committing insurance fraud; in a recent case, the CDI revoked Ghassan Ibrahim’s insurance license for allegedly making a false statement in an insurance claim, forgery and grand theft in a case involving many senior citizens.
California’s SMP “Educates and Advocates” at the L.A. Fraud Summit
Oct. 26, 2010 Julie Schoen and Diane Caradeuc, of CA SMP, presented on SMP’s vital role in eliminating Medicare fraud at the second of a series of summits spear-headed by Attorney General Eric Holder and U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Alaska Invites California’s SMP Program to Provide Fraud Prevention Training to Volunteers
Oct. 26, 2010 Anne Gray, our California SMP Project Coordinator was invited to Anchorage, Alaska on October 22nd to provide Medicare fraud prevention training to a group of over 60 volunteers from around the state.
Congratulations SMPs! CA and National SMP Programs Receive Prestigious Awards
OCT. 26, 2010 California’s Senior Medicare Patrol project was granted two Outstanding Performance Awards from the Administration on Aging this fall.
Insurance Agents Trained to Take Advantage of Seniors
June 30, 2010 Agents for Bankers Life and Casualty, a prominent 100-year-old insurance giant, were caught on tape training new recruits how to take advantage of the elderly. Learn about the recent report that has prompted an investigation by the Senate Committee on Aging.
Scam Artists Beware! Health Care Reform Makes Medicare Fraud Prevention a National Priority
June 15, 2010 Now is one of the worst times to engage in health care fraud as the newly passed health care reforms is one of the strongest pieces of anti-fraud legislation in history. Learn about local fraud investigation efforts and successes.
Offer for Free Shoes Masks Common Medicare Fraud Scam
Feb. 23, 2010 Chico case highlights a common fraud scenario happening in California on a daily basis. Learn what footwear Medicare covers for certain diabetic beneficiaries.
On the Fraud Front: Medicare Advantage Plans “Tell On” Each Other
March 2, 2009
Easy Resources to Stop Unsolicited Mail, Emails and Telemarketing Calls
November 19, 2008
Telephone Scams in California Continue – Protect Your Medicare and Credit Card Info
JULY 1, 2008
California’s Senior Medicare Patrol Project Saves Medicare Over $7 Million in Fraud Claims
JUNE 16, 2008
State and National Bills Introduced to Protect Seniors from Fake Financial Experts
SMP Volunteer Highlight of Recent CMS Press Conference
Los Angeles and Florida Pilot Program Targets Medicare Fraud
National SMP Conference Launches a Fresh Look in a New Era of Consumer Protection
CMS Tip Sheet Provides Simple Suggestions on Preventing Medicare Fraud
Los Angeles County Home Health Agency Identifies Potential Fraud Scam
MEDIC is Here to Monitor Part D Fraud

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