On paper, 2009 was a difficult year for this patient. Her Medicare statements for that year show charges for a full leg prosthesis, parts to replace her leg with mechanical pieces from hip to foot. The total cost of the prosthetic to Medicare? $11,835.
There’s only one problem: The patient has both her legs. The Medicare invoice for $11,835 was the work of alleged fraudsters, charging for superfluous prosthetics to cash in on Medicare’s taxpayer dollars.
Of all government programs, Medicare is particularly vulnerable to fraud.
“It's fairly easy to get into the Medicare program. It's an honor system. Medicare processes about 5 million claims a day,” said Tom O’Donnell, special agent in charge of the inspector general’s New York regional office.
Here are some tips for you to join the fight against health care hustlers.
Always read your Medicare statement.
The patient, who spoke to CNBC on the condition that she be identified only as Isabel, said she discovered the Medicare fraud by religiously poring over her Medicare statements.
“Every citizen should report whenever they uncover fraud because it’s very important. Every citizen has their responsibility of reporting something that is wrong,” Isabel said.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page