The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has received inquiries from Medicare beneficiaries stating that they have been billed for genetic testing or cancer screenings performed at community events and senior centers.
Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries 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.
Under this scam if a beneficiary agrees to genetic testing or verifies personal or Medicare information, a testing kit is sent even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary.
- 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 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.
Protect Your Information
- Do not give out your Medicare number or Social Security number unless you are certain of the identity of the person you are talking to. Be cautious of unsolicited requests for your Medicare or Social Security numbers. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
- Do not consent to any lab tests at senior centers, health fairs, or in your home. Be suspicious of anyone claiming that genetic tests and cancer screenings are at no cost to you.
- Genetic tests and cancer screenings must be medically necessary and ordered by your doctor to be covered by Medicare. Random genetic testing and cancer screenings aren’t covered by Medicare. If you are interested in the test, speak with your doctor.
- Monitor your Medicare Summary Notice to see if there are any services you didn’t have or didn’t want but were billed for. Medicare Summary Notices are sent every three months if you get any services or medical supplies during that 3-month period.