Friday, February 5, 2016
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

5. "Skewed Cupid" (FTC)

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 project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0216, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 


In this week's Fraud Alert, we have a new tip sheet on how to get an MSN in Spanish, news of a fraud conviction in Illinois, and tips for avoiding the IRS impostor scam.


Have a great weekend!

How to Get Your MSN in Spanish: A New SMP Material

The Illinois SMP always encourages Medicare beneficiaries to PROTECT their Medicare number, to DETECT fraud by reading their Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), and to REPORT fraud by calling the SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043.

But what happens when you cannot read your MSN because you can only read Spanish? Medicare can send your MSN in Spanish upon request. The Illinois SMP just released a new tip sheet on how to request an MSN in Spanish called "Leyendo su Resumen de Medicare". Click here to download this new material and share with your friends or clients.
Illinois Doctor Convicted of Falsely Certifying Patients as Homebound

Last week a Tinley Park, IL doctor was convicted on federal fraud charges for falsely certifying Medicare beneficiaries as homebound. This false certification ended up costing Medicare more than $45,000 for just one patient. Sentencing is scheduled for this June. You can read more about this conviction in this U.S. Department of Justice press release (click here). 

In order to receive in-home care, Medicare beneficiaries must be certified as homebound by a doctor, which means that they cannot leave their home without assistance. To read more about how someone actually qualifies for in-home services like home health, read our article "Home Health & Medicare: An Explanation" (click here). 
Tax Impostors Are Back - Learn What the IRS Will Never Do

Scammers posing as IRS agents may call you claiming that you owe taxes and that if you do not pay right away, they will send the police to your house. Scary, right? But this is not how the IRS collects backtaxes, and in fact, the IRS claims that calls like this are one of the top scams this tax season. 

This week, the Illinois SMP heard from several Illinois residents who received an IRS impostor call just like this. The IRS just released a press release (click here) that outlines things the IRS will never do, including:
  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but they do any of the above things, it is not the IRS. Hang up. If you are concerned that you might owe something, call the IRS at (800)829-1040 to verify and explore your options.

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