The North Carolina Senior Medicare Patrol Program
By Kendra Knouff
eMedicareSupplements Senior Writer
The North Carolina Department of Insurance is offering a new program through the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), called the North Carolina Senior Medicare Patrol Program (NCSMP). NCSMP was created as an educational program, seeking to inform seniors about healthcare loss prevention. The program works to empower seniors to prevent healthcare fraud. Their goal is to decrease Medicare and Medicaid error and fraud through educational and promotional outreaches. NCSMP also encourages seniors to report to the program any discrepancies made by Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries or caregivers.
Every year, over 19 billion dollars in taxpayer money is spent within the Medicare program on billing errors, fraud, abuse and waste. Many of those fraud and abuse issues have actually been found to be billing errors or discrepancies that have occurred but have not been reported or resolved.
The purpose of the North Carolina Senior Medicare Patrol Program is to educate those receiving Medicare or Medicaid and their caregivers about the benefits they receive. Providing a better understanding of Medicare Summary Notices, Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP), Explanation of Benefit Notices (EOB) and other Medicare Statements will allow seniors to better identify, resolve and report billing errors, fraud, abuse and waste to the NCSMP.
A few of the tips NCSMP recommends to seniors and caregivers in order to avoid fraud, billing discrepancies and the like are to be sure to carefully review all Medicare statements to ensure that all of the services or products billed for accurately reflect services or products that you received, to always protect your Medicare number and to remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It is also important to remember that Medicare never solicits door-to-door, and that Medicare rarely offers any services free of charge. It is important to learn what your Medicare benefits are to better protect yourself against fraud, abuse and billing errors.
In order to report billing errors, discrepancies, fraud, abuse or waste, please call NCSMP at 1-800-443-9354.
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