Medicare fraud is about to get a lot harder

Seniors are frequently a favorite target of scam artists, who attempt to have older people pay for services that they don’t need, or which are never delivered. One such scam is Medicare fraud, which can often include double-billing for seniors, who end up being charged for medical services which are never performed.

But as reported recently in the Washington Post, Medicare’s website is launching a new form which will help seniors better understand the complex system, and will feature larger print and more explanations of acronyms and abbreviations. These shortcuts often cause confusion, and allow many seniors to be targeted for scams, but the new changes will allow Medicare recipients to better understand the program.

“If they are paying attention to these documents, they are going to be the best defense we have,” Erin Pressley with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the newspaper. “It shouldn’t be a scavenger hunt.”

In addition to the new online format, physical forms will be introduced in early 2013.

Currently, seniors use forms which, according to the media outlet, can be as long as 12 pages, and log everything from new treatments to doctor visits. The new initiative will hopefully allow seniors, whether they live at home, in assisted living or Alzheimer’s Care communities, or anywhere else, better protection against fraud.