Friday, October 24, 2014
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
SMP Resources for LGBT Older Adults
Medicare Open Enrollment is Now
Dermatologist Convicted of Fraud: Treated Patients for Condition They Never Had
Medicare Scam Warning for TRICARE Members
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.


 Health Care Fraud:

2. "Is that Health Insurance Website for Real?" (FTC): blog/health-insurance-website-real


Consumer Fraud: 


3. "Fall Fallout: It's Time for Front-Door Fraud" (AARP): 17/fall-fallout-its-time-for-front-door-fraud/

4. "Beware of Mystery Shopper Scams" (FTC): blog/beware-mystery-shopper-scams

5. "'Free' Products Weren't Really Free" (FTC): blog/free-products-werent-really-free

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.


This document was supported in part by a grant (No. 90MP0163 & 90SP0061) from the Administration on Aging (AoA), Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Grantees carrying out projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Therefore, points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official AoA, ACL, or DHHS policy. 


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Dear SMP Readers, 


This week's Fraud Alert contains new SMP resources targeting LGBT older adults, articles on scams during Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, news of a health care fraud conviction in Illinois, and a warning for TRICARE beneficiaries. 


Have a great weekend!

SMP Resources for LGBT Older Adults
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) has produced two new SMP related tip sheets targeting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Medicare beneficiaries as a part of a demonstration project with the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL). 

While these two resources are targeted towards the LGBT community, the fraud prevention tips can apply to anyone on Medicare. The Illinois SMP has added these resources to our website and included our number for residents of Illinois. Please share these tips sheets with friends, family, or your clients.

For the "Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Older Adults & Medicare Fraud Prevention" Tip Sheet, click here: LGBOlderAdultsMedicareFraudPrevention TipSheet_IllinoisSMP.pdf

For the "Transgender Older Adults & Medicare Fraud Prevention" Tip Sheet, click here: TransgenderOlderAdultsMedicareFraudPrevention TipSheet_IlinoisSMP.pdf 
Medicare Open Enrollment is Now


Medicare's Open Enrollment has begun. You have until December 7 to make changes to your health care coverage if you want. AARP's Sid Kirchheimer has a new article titled "Beware of Medicare Open Enrollment Scams" about common scams during open enrollment. Read his AARP article here:

Find out more about Open Enrollment with our Illinois SMP article, which you can read here: SMPOpenEnrollmentArticle2014.pdf
Dermatologist Convicted of Fraud: Treated Patients for Condition They Never Had


On October 20, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the conviction of a Lombard, IL dermatologist for defrauding both Medicare and private insurance companies. The dermatologist was falsely diagnosing patients with a skin condition that, if real, had the potential to become cancerous. The doctor then falsely billed health insurers, including Medicare, for supposedly removing skin lesions. The case against this doctor involved more than 800 patients and more than $2.6 million in losses to this fraud scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for February.

Medicare Scam Warning for TRICARE Members

TRICARE, the health care program for uniformed service members (active, Guard/Reserve, retired) and their families administered by the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Health Agency, has issued a fraud alert warning for its beneficiaries. You can read it here:


In this scam, someone calls claiming to be with Medicare or TRICARE and that they can get you a back brace (or any other equipment) for free if you give them your Medicare number, social security number, or TRICARE information. Federal health insurance programs, like Medicare or TRICARE, never call their beneficiaries, especially not to sell something or to ask for personal information (they already have that). If you ever get call like this, you can call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.

AgeOptions Ideogram


Jason B. Echols, MSW,
Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
phone (708)383-0258 fax (708)524-0870


AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity of older adults and those who care about them - through leadership and support, community partnerships, comprehensive services, accurate information and powerful advocacy.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to