CMS doubles funding for Senior Medicare Patrol program activities

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday disclosed the availability of $9 million in grants to expand Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs across the country. The purpose of the programs is to educate seniors about ways to prevent fraud.

The new grants double the existing funding for the program, which helps organize community volunteers to educate Medicare beneficiaries, family members and caregivers about ways to prevent fraud. SMP volunteers encourage all beneficiaries to closely review their Medicare notices to identify billing errors and other potentially fraudulent activity, according to CMS. If beneficiaries uncover a problem, they should contact the SMP program, which will help resolve the issue.

Many scam artists are using the new healthcare reform laws, and the confusion surrounding them, to both scare and steal from seniors, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee said in a statement. More information on the program, as well as a list of the grants awarded to each SMP, can be found at the Administration on Aging website.