Aging Services News
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 11:51

Fraud alert--Durable Medical Equipment

Have you ever received a postcard in the mail saying you’re eligible for a free back brace? Maybe someone has called to tell you that your doctor has approved you for a free knee brace—all you need to do is provide your Medicare number! Sounds too good to be true?

Unfortunately, it is. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) scams are some of the most common forms of health care fraud.

Remember: A sales person who calls you on the phone CANNOT:

Diagnose or assess your health care needs: That is your doctor’s job. Your health care provider knows you and your medical history. Don’t let a sales person talk you into something you do not need.

Prescribe DME for you: Would you take medicine from a person other than your health care provider? Of course not! The same holds true for DME. Only your doctor can order DME for you.

Fit you for DME over the phone: It is impossible for someone calling on the phone to make sure equipment will fit you, and that is the job of the DME supplier. A good DME supplier will work with you until the equipment fits you just right and works properly for you.

Knowledge is power. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone or toss that postcard in the trash. Be proactive and report any suspicious activity to the New York Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-877-678-4697.

Adapted from New York SMP Fraud Alert, Spring/Summer 2017

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