SMP’s Role in the Back Brace Bust

Did you see the recent news about Medicare’s bust of a $1.2 billion fraud scheme regarding orthopedic devices (e.g. back braces)?

Our collective efforts through Indiana’s Senior Medicare Patrol, including local Area Agency on Aging SMP staff and volunteers, have contributed to this take down. This has been a nationwide problem, involving many high-level stakeholders and other states’ SMPs. Indiana state and local SMP staff and volunteers have doggedly documented and reported an overwhelming number of “back brace” calls from concerned consumers over the past several years.

Our state SMP staff have worked with Indiana Attorney General and Secretary of State’s offices, advised the Office of Inspector General and Medicare Fraud Units at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, talked about the issue with our federal Congressional delegation, partnered with investigative reporters, provided public education on avoiding the scam, and shared information with the Senate Special Committee on Aging through former Senator Donnelly’s office. IAAAA even testified about SMP’s work at the statehouse on a telemarketing protections bill this year.

SMP doesn’t get to see these types of headline results too often, and it’s important we take a moment and appreciate the impact this program can have working in collaboration with other partners!

View a detailed graphic of the fraud scheme.

Read a text-based version of this scheme.