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Is your family member being scammed at a time when they need help the most? It is called hospice fraud and abuse and, unfortunately, happens more than most people realize. Worse, these criminals can be doctors and nurses with little regard for your loved one’s well-being or medical insurance.
This type of healthcare fraud is one the rise and the ramifications of this crime can destroy a person’s ability to be cared for and cost the government millions of dollars. While it is difficult to fathom anyone being tricked by those there to serve them, 31% of the time hospices do not give the care to patients that they claim they do.
Hospice care is when chronically or terminally ill people are cared for by specialized medical staff. This staff may include doctors, nurses and others who provide healthcare, attention, medicine, and spiritual care.
The focus of hospice care is generally about the quality of life, as opposed to extending life or length of life. The severe reasons behind any human needing hospice care are part of why hospice fraud is one of the most horrific types of fraud in our world.
Hospice fraud might look like:
Hospice fraud often targets Medicare recipients. According to the government, there has been an increase in hospices in the United States of about 43% over ten years (2006-2016). However, Medicare fraud has also increased. For one year, improper billing in healthcare is thought to reach as high as $60 billion.
Report suspected fraud immediately. The FBI states: “If you suspect fraud, contact your health insurance company (most have toll free numbers to report fraudulent activity). Medicare fraud can be reported to 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). You also can contact your local FBI or HHS-OIG offices or your state’s Medicaid fraud office.
While Medicare has been attempting to correct these actions with an investigation and public awareness, this is still a widespread problem, and your loved one’s safety is ultimately in your hands. Do your part with a medical staff search at Social Catfish and trust your intuition! If something doesn’t feel right about your loved one’s care, you may be correct!