Friday, September 4, 2015
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

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. 90MP0216) 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 features an undercover fraud investigation and tips for correcting your credit report.


Have a great weekend!

Undercover Investigation Leads to Health Care Fraud Charges for Chicago CEO

Federal agents arrested the chief executive officer (CEO) of a Chicago-based health care company and charged him with allegedly billing Medicare for $1.2 million in fraudulent claims. The company allegedly sent doctors to Medicare beneficiaries' homes to certify them as homebound, even though they could leave their home, so that the company could bill Medicare for in-home care. 

As part of the investigation, a 71-year old man posed undercover as a Medicare beneficiary seeking services from this company. During a visit with representatives from this company, the undercover beneficiary explained that he enjoyed gardening and leaving his home to visit friends and even went outside to tend to his dogs. The company still certified him as homebound despite the fact that he was easily able to leave his home. 

Agents also interviewed former employees who detailed how they were instructed to falsify documentation to show that patients were homebound or that more time was spent with patients than actually was.

The Chicago Tribune article titled "CEO Of Health Care Company Charged In Undercover Fraud Probe" (click here) provides a nice summary of this case. Read the U.S. Department of Justice's press release (click here) for more details. This company was certifying people as homebound so that they could receive in-home services. Read more about home health fraud in our SMP tip sheet (click here).

We hope this news will encourage consumers to continue to report potential fraud because complaints may provide helpful information to law enforcement entities. To report potential health care fraud, call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043.
Check (and Correct) Your Credit Report

At the Illinois SMP, we encourage everyone to check their credit reports regularly to detect potential identity theft. You are entitled to a free annual report from each of the three reporting companies. You could order them all at once or space each one out over the year (e.g., September, January, May). Click here to see our Identity Theft Resource page for more information.

If you see something wrong on your credit report, take steps to correct it. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently wrote a blog post called "How to Dispute Credit Report Information that Can't Be Confirmed" (click here), which includes a link to their Disputing Errors on Credit Reports booklet.

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