Talking About Medicare Fraud

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Posted November 1, 2010

A few weeks ago, I went out to Los Angeles, California and participated in a Health Care Fraud Prevention Summit. The event was the latest in a series of fraud prevention summits held by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to bring together federal, state, and local partners; beneficiaries; providers; and other interested parties to discuss innovative ways to eliminate fraud within the U.S. health care system.  

I also had the chance to visit the Freda Mohr Senior Multipurpose Center, where I was joined by the CEO of Jewish Family Services Paul S. Castro, who oversees the Freda Mohr Multipurpose Center, as well as a local Senior Medicare Patrol, volunteer, Joyce Rosenthal, who was able to share her own experiences with the Senior Medicare Patrol program and urge others to join. We talked with the seniors present at the Center about how to spot potential scam artists and alert the authorities in order to protect themselves and others.

Here are some useful tips to stop Medicare fraud:

  • Guard your Medicare and Social Security numbers. Treat them like you would treat your credit cards.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free medical equipment or services and then requests your Medicare number. If it’s free, they don’t need your number!
  • Do not let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare ID card or your identity. It’s illegal, and it’s not worth it!

Stopping Medicare fraud is a priority for the Obama Administration. Taxpayer dollars must be safeguarded, and people with Medicare should be protected from fraudsters. Check out our new ad about this issue, which reiterates fraud prevention tips for people with Medicare:

Our next fraud prevention summit will be held in Brooklyn, NY on this Friday, November 5, 2010, and we’re looking forward to continuing this conversation in other communities. For more information, make sure you check out