Medicare unveils new form to enlist seniors in fight against fraud

Washington Post: By Susan Jaffe – March 6, 2012.

In the latest effort to enlist seniors in the fight against Medicare fraud, federal officials have overhauled Medicare billing statements to make it easier to find bogus charges without a magnifying glass.

The new, more consumer-friendly format, which goes online Saturday on Medicare’s secure Web site,www.mymedicare.gov, includes larger type and explanations of medical services in plain English. The revised paper version, which is mailed to seniors every three months, will be phased in early next year.

“You can make a difference!” the revamped statement says. “Last year Medicare saved taxpayers $4 billion – the largest sum ever reported in a single year thanks to people who reported suspicious activity to Medicare.”

And for those who might need an incentive to scour their bills, the new statements promise a reward of up to $1,000 for a tip that leads to uncovering fraud. Although the bonus isn’t new, there’s no mention of it on current forms, which are sent to about 36 million beneficiaries in traditional Medicare. Read More