Recently, the Baltimore, Md-based Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) received a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC, to assist Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs in protecting against Medicare fraud. A total of $9 million in funding was awarded to the CMS in order to educate Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud.
Peter Budetti, CMS deputy administrator and director of the Center for Program Integrity, emphasizes the organization’s commitment to eliminating health care fraud and abuse. Budetti says that the recent $9 million arrives on the heels of a previous $9 million grant, awarded to the organization last year to expand state-based SMP programs.
Both grants facilitate and expand beneficiaries’ awareness of healthcare fraud and provide increased funding levels to support tactics for collaboration, media outreach, and referrals to states with high levels of fraud. The Administration on Aging (AoA), headquartered in Washington, DC, has been working in tandem with the CMS, and says it will continue to administer the grants during its partnership with CMS.
The HHS’s award is rooted in an ant-fraud initiative put forth by President Obama. The initiative is designed to protect Medicare beneficiaries. Volunteers of the SMP programs work within their communities to the same end, encouraging seniors to alert the SMP program to errors and potential fraud.