With the home care industry on the rise and more and more elderly or disabled people in need of companionship services, there have also been increasingly fraud claims that cost the healthcare system millions of dollars each year. Learn to recognize and protect yourself from home care fraud so as to ensure you won’t fall prey to an unscrupulous scam artist. Here are a few tips that will help you prevent these common home care frauds.
What is home care fraud?
Home care fraud is any attempt to willfully and knowingly make bill medical claims with the purpose of defrauding the Medicare program. These frauds are common in the home care industry where many scam artists use common tricks and deceiving tactics to bill for services they never offered, for unbundling charges or any other attempt to make fraudulent claims or take advantage of an elderly or disabled person.
Protect yourself from identity fraud
One of your most important concerns is to protect both your social security number and your Medicare number which is equally important in this case. Identity theft occurs throughout the world, although ,in the home care industry, it can happen more often due to the vulnerability of elderly people. You should keep your social security number Medicare number and other vital personal information safe and only show them to your physician or an authorized Medicare provider.
Failing to properly protect your personal information can result in fraud or other crimes carried out in your name. You could discover later on that credits have been obtained in your name, apartment rents or any other goods have been taken on your credit cards. Protect your personal information at all costs so as to not become a victim of identity theft.
Don’t pay for services you never received
Common home care scams involve people trying to obtain money on equipment or services that are never provided. You should be wary about paying for durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, beds or even mobility scooters that can be used on fraudulent claims. You should also be aware of billing for tests, treatment or procedures that have never been performed. What’s more, remember to show your medical records only to your physician or Medicare approved provider, as there are also scams that falsify diagnosis codes only to add unnecessary treatment or services.
Don’t accept free services
You should already know by now know that there is nothing free in this world. Don’t accept any free services and be wary of people promising to provide you with free tests, treatment or services. You should also refuse to pay anything in exchange of future offers or free services.
Even though it may be disturbing to think that your home care provider may be capable of committing fraud, you should always verify his background, employment history or any other details that may give you an insight into the person you are about to hire.
Also, remember to only hire healthcare workers through reputable third party services if you want to minimize the chances of being a victim of home care fraud.