FAIRBURY, Neb -- A Medicare fraud attempt using the pretenses of an offer from Jefferson Community Health & Life has been reported by a Fairbury resident. JCH&L reminds patients to never give their Medicare number, social security number or other personal information over the phone.

The Fairbury resident reported that they had received a call which showed caller ID of JCH&L Fairbury Clinic, and claimed to be her physician’s office letting her know about an opportunity the patient would have to receive a genetic testing kit for neurological issues. The call stated the patient would receive another call. In that call, the patient was asked to give a Medicare number.

A press release from 2019 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of  Inspector General website gives information about this particular scam.

It states: “Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by a Medicare beneficiary’s treating physician.

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries "free" screenings or cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain their Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes. Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, and door-to-door visits.

Beneficiaries who agree to genetic testing or verify personal or Medicare information may receive a cheek swab, an in-person screening or a testing kit in the mail, even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary.

If Medicare denies the claim, the beneficiary could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.”

JCH&L recommends that if you receive such a call, don’t give your Medicare number. If you have given you Medicare number, call the number on your card and report possible Medicare fraud. If you have questions or concerns about calls which appeared to come from JCH&L Fairbury Clinic, please call Ashley Norden, clinic administrator, at 402-729-3351, extension 7125. Medicare questions may go to Kim Shadduck, business office manager, at 402- 729-3351, extension 7124.

 

 

The OIG has this advice for Medicare recipients:

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don't accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender's name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you "free" genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • A physician that you know and trust should assess your condition and approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician's office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
  • If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the HHS OIG Hotline.
  • If you get a call, text or email asking for your Medicare number, don’t respond. Don’t give your Medicare card for Medicare number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it. (The Fairbury Clinic would not typically ask for your Medicare number over the phone.)
  • Check your Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) or claims statements carefully. If you see a charge for a service you didn’t get or a product you didn’t order, it may be fraud. If you suspect fraud, report it at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227.)
  • Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card.