Some people think Medicaid fraud is relatively harmless. After all, doesn’t the government waste billions anyway? Although the Medicaid budget is a large sum by any standards, there is still only a finite amount of money in the Medicaid bucket.
Medicaid fraud takes money that could have been spent for legitimate health care purposes. In 2010, the Medicaid fraud that had been identified amounted to over $22 billion, or about 5.5% of the total expenditures. That’s not insignificant, states a Medicaid Fraud Attorney Rockland County NY.
Medicaid Fraud Abuses the Elderly
Some forms of Medicaid fraud do not directly affect an individual senior but are strictly accounting frauds. However, other types of Medicaid fraud can directly affect an elderly person’s health and well-being.
A patient may be prescribed a name brand drug, but receive a generic from the pharmacist, who will bill for the name brand. While many generics are perfectly acceptable, there are instances when a name brand is superior and the switch can be harmful to the patient.
Another fraud scheme involves a pharmacist substituting a more expensive drug for the less expensive drug prescribed for the patient. This leaves the patient unknowingly taking a drug that is not on the patient’s list of medications. In the event of a problem, such as could occur from a drug interaction, this could cause a serious health issue.
A third fraud scheme occurs when a patient is prescribed enough medication for 30 days, for example, but the pharmacist only puts 20 pills in the bottle.
A patient’s doctor could prescribe a certain treatment, but the treatment is not provided; it is billed.
A patient could receive a lesser treatment than should have been provided while the more expensive treatment is billed.
Elderly people are vulnerable to a host of phone scams.
One phone scam attempts to get Medicaid, Social Security and other information with promises to provide “free” health-related products that either never arrive or are worth much less than is billed.
For scammers, the whole point is to obtain as much personal information as possible to use in additional scams.
Mark Aberasturi dedicates his practice to Elder Law and Estate Planning. If you suspect that you or a loved one have been victims of Medicaid fraud, contact this experienced Medicaid Fraud Attorney Rockland County NY. For further information or to schedule an appointment, visit the website.