Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Medicare ID Theft Growing as Quickly as Boomer Elders

Digital medical records have become the favorite fraud outlets for ID theft hackers. Published reports from late last year stated that approximately $47 billion were stolen from questionable Medicare payments.

The Medicare system has become the "single biggest victim" of health care fraud in America, according to Rob Montemorra, chief of the FBI's Health Care Fraud Unit.

The payoff for health care identity fraud is mind boggling. In 2008, criminals pocketed more than $19,000 per incident of health care fraud, which is more than three times the amount gained through overall ID theft, according to Javelin. The cost to the individual victim was nearly $1,200, more than double that of overall ID theft.

Health care identity theft has outgrown all other crimes in the field last year, according to Louis Saccoccio, executive director of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA).

"Since we all pay taxes, we are all our victims because the cost of this [crime] is coming out of our pockets," according to Montemorra.

Continue to encourage your clients to review their Medicare receipts and be cautious about who they share their medical health and billing information with. Promoting awareness and support about this issue will help strengthen relationships and prevent Medicare ID theft in your community.

Additionally, when Medicare fraud becomes rampant, it’s an easy decision for legislatures to tighten the belts on the Medicare system. It saves the system some money, and looks great on election day. Unfortunately, it means that the true savings are often negligible, yet the additional expense and increased scrutiny for good quality Medicare providers is a hardship.

Source: CNN

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hispanics More Likely to be Admitted to Poor Quality Nursing Homes

Mary Fennell, study leader and professor of sociology and community health at Brown University, found that the elderly among the Hispanic population are more likely than non-Hispanics to live in nursing homes of poor quality.

In traditional Hispanic households, care for family seniors has been handled by adult daughters at home. The dilemma is that there are an increasing amount of young Hispanic women that work outside the home.

When daughters are working full time and unable to attend to older family members during the day, they must seek out a solution. According to Fennell’s study, some 4.5 million senior Hispanics are expected to need care sometime in 2010.

From 2000-2005, the percent of Hispanic residents increased from 5 percent to 6.4 percent, but the percentage of non-Hispanic white residents dropped from just under 83 percent to 79.4 percent.

To reach the oringinal article that this post was inspired from or for more information about this study, click here.