FAIRBURY, Neb -- A Southeast Nebraska Hospital is receiving reports about some area Medicare recipients receiving COVID tests by mail which they did not order or request.  Jefferson Community Health and Life in Fairbury recommends reporting this to Medicare, as it could be a sign of fraudulent use of the person’s Medicare number.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General states that scammers are sending COVID-19 home test kits to Medicare beneficiaries and then billing Medicare for reimbursement.

According to officials, being targeted once can mean a Medicare recipient is a target for future scams, so it is very important to report anything that is a red flag.

It is also important for Medicare recipients to check their Explanation of Benefits documents (which are provided quarterly by mail.) If a recipient is billed anything he or she did not receive it should be reported – including tests, medical supplies, procedures, etc. If Medicare has paid for an item once, beneficiaries may not be able to get it when they really need it – regardless of whether they actually received it.

Officials state that if you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or online at https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/