Hospice Fraud Alert!
Hospice is most commonly known as a benefit covered by Medicare and is meant for Medicare beneficiaries with terminal illness. As a Medicare beneficiary you qualify for hospice care if you have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and meet all of the below conditions:
Your hospice doctor and your regular doctor (if you have one) certify that you are terminally ill (with a life expectancy of 6 months or less).
You accept comfort care (palliative care) instead of care to cure your illness.
You sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered treatments for your terminal illness and related conditions.
Hospice fraud is rampant and most are unaware that they have fallen prey until it is too late.
Beware! You may have been a victim.
According to Senior Medicare Patrol, some hospice agencies may approach you outside of supermarkets or may show up to your home unannounced and recruit non-terminally ill Medicare beneficiaries by offering free items or services and calling themselves a “program that helps seniors”. During these interactions, you may have shared your Medicare information before you realized it and you have now become a victim.
Most likely you would have no idea since you told them you were uninterested and moved on with your day.
Look for red flags, like the ones below:
Have you suddenly lost access to your doctor?
Are your specialists refusing to see you?
Can’t get your medications at the pharmacy?
If you or someone you know signed up for free services but ow face issues accessing medical care, please contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol Liaisons at HICAP (559) 224-9117 Monday –Friday 8am – 5pm for help.