The Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP, programs help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries avoid, detect, prevent and report health care fraud. In doing so, they not only protect older persons, they also help preserve the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
SMP staff and their highly trained volunteers conduct outreach to Medicare beneficiaries in their communities through group presentations, exhibiting at community events, answering calls to the SMP help lines and one-on-one counseling. Most SMP volunteers are both retired and Medicare beneficiaries and thus well-positioned to assist their peers.
Their primary goal is to teach Medicare beneficiaries how to protect their personal identity, identify and report errors on their health care bills, and identify deceptive health care practices, such as illegal marketing, providing unnecessary or inappropriate services and charging for services that were never provided. When Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are unable to act on their own behalf to address these problems, the SMPs work with family caregivers and others to address the problems, and if necessary, make referrals to outside organizations who are able to intervene.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0178, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.