Out of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in America each year, over $65 billion lands in the pockets of fraudulent caregivers, according to a recent study social workers, security regulators, lawyers, and doctors about the amount of medical and financial fraud they have noticed in recent years.
The result: It seems that America’s elderly is being ripped off, day after day, and not only by crook doctors. 79 percent of the experts surveyed said that family members will steal from their grandmothers, parents, great-aunts, and other trusting relatives. 49 percent said that caregivers stole from the elderly by charging for false exams, false medical records, and even performing unnecessary operations. Some medical scammers billed Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers for the same procedure, which may have not been performed at all. 47 percent of the experts said that the elderly are falling victim to financial scams from telemarketers, Internet health-care scams, and drug ads.
Elderly people, including veterans, sometimes have impaired mental health or trouble processing memories, and open their wallets and bank accounts to people who could care less about their health. Some are trusting, some are skeptical, but all older Americans grew up in a world much different than the one we live in today. Scams were not as complex in those days; the Internet didn’t exist; and the promise of medical solutions was not as extravagant. Today, it takes little more than a list of identification numbers to create a fraudulent medical charge.
Here is a list of ways that you can help yourself or a loved-one avoid health care scams:
Sharina Grace is a freelance writer that focuses on healthcare and the medical industry.
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