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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You can make a difference!

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.

“We approached this redesign from the standpoint of making it a more consumer-friendly document for beneficiaries and also a better fraud-fighting tool,” said Erin Pressley, director of creative services for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “If they are paying attention to these documents, they are going to be the best defense we have.”
“It shouldn’t be a scavenger hunt,” she added.

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