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Monday, August 26, 2003 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4541


The Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded $9.4 million to 25 new Senior Medicare Patrol projects and 32 continuations that will train retired professionals to help older Americans become better health care consumers by identifying potential and unintended Medicare and Medicaid billing errors as well as potentially deliberate abuses. AoA provides these grants to state and local non-profit organizations.

“ These projects help expand this program by providing more volunteers to ensure that older Americans understand and can act on, if necessary, errors they may find in their billing statements,” Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson said. “As a result, they become better educated health consumers and join HHS and the medical community in helping to prevent fraud and abuse of our nation’s health care system.”

The Senior Medicare Patrol projects teach volunteer retired professionals, such as doctors, nurses, accountant, investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys and teachers, to help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to be better health care consumers. Since 1997, these projects and other AoA grants have trained more than 35,000 volunteers and conducted more than 200,000 training sessions in which almost 1.1 million Medicare beneficiaries were educated. In addition, closed investigations have resulted in the recoupment of over $81 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds.

“With the support of our national aging network, thousands of volunteers are working to educate older citizens across the nation so that they can identify deceptive health care practices, such as overbilling, overcharging, or providing unnecessary or inappropriate services,” Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell said.

With the addition of Kansas, North Dakota and Vermont, these 57 Senior Medicare Patrol Projects--25 new projects and 32 continuations--operate in all states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The project roster also includes for the first time a faith-based organization in Kansas and a Federally recognized tribe in Wisconsin. The new awards averaged $169,000 each.

The 25 new Senior Medicare Patrol Projects are as follows:

  • Aging 2000, Inc. – Providence, Rhode Island
  • California Health Advocates, Sacramento, California
  • Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Community of Vermont Elders, Montpelier, Vermont
  • District III Area Agency on Aging, Warrensburg, Missouri
  • East River Legal Services Corporation, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Executive Office on Aging, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin
  • Indianapolis Association of Area Agencies on Aging Education
  • Institute (IAAAA), Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Iowa Department of Elder Affairs, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Legal Assistance of North Dakota, Inc., Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Maryland Department of Aging, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Minnesota Board on Aging, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Mississippi Department of Human Resources, Jackson, Mississippi
  • NE Department of Health & Human Services, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • NH Department of Health & Human Services, Concord, New Hampshire
  • New York State Office for the Aging, Albany, New York
  • North Carolina Department of Insurance, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • SC Department of Health & Human Services, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Suburban Area Agency on Aging, Oak Park, Illinois
  • Utah Legal Services, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Vernon Parish Council on Aging, Inc., Leesville, Louisiana
  • Via Christi Foundation, Inc., Wichita, Kansas
  • Wyoming Department of Health, Cheyenne, Wyoming

The states and territories where continuation grants have been awarded are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (2), Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio (2), Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas (2), Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Continuation awards were also awarded to the territories of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. (2).

To help beneficiaries and others report suspected fraud, the HHS Office of the Inspector General maintains a toll-free hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). For more information about the Administration on Aging’s Senior Medicare Patrol grants, go to