Older Adults - Media Release

Contact Carolyn S. Hiatt, Project Coordinator, Senior ESP
317-202-0500, extension 203

Suspected Medicare fraud and abuse can now be reported to a statewide toll-free hotline number through the Senior ESP (Examine Services Provided) project. The number is 1-800-986-3505, which is the toll-free hotline number for the Area Agencies on Aging. All suspected fraud and abuse case information is confidential.

An example of fraud is when Medicare is intentionally charged for a service that was never performed such as a laboratory test. Or when Medicare is billed for a service that is free, such as a blood pressure check at a health fair. Incidents of abuse happen when suppliers of medical services charge for items or services that are not medically necessary. Such as a nursing service administering flu shots at a senior housing complex, and visiting each apartment to give the shots, check blood pressures and take temperatures, then charging Medicare for a first-time home visit.

IAAAA Education Institute is in charge of the Senior ESP project that has been in operation for two and a half years. During that time, the project is credited with recovering $4,441 as a result of filing suspected fraud complaints.

The Senior ESP project is funded by a grant received from the Administration on Aging, and is one of 57 projects operating around the country as part of the Senior Medicare Patrol projects.

The project focus is to train volunteers around the state to help educate more consumers about how to prevent and report suspect Medicare fraud and abuse. Volunteers train others how to read a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and the steps to take if billing errors are found, including calling the toll-free hotline to report suspected fraud and abuse.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports since the inception of the first Medicare Patrol projects in 1997, closed investigations have resulted in the recoupment of $4,679,644 in Medicare funds nationally, and, reportedly, $77,446,583 to other payers.