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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 357-3507
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Senior Medicare Patrol Program honored for fraud prevention

HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee announced that the Administration on Aging’s (AoA) Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program has been awarded the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) 2010 Excellence in Public Awareness Award. This award is given annually by the NHCAA to an organization or individuals “who have done the most in the past year to raise public awareness about the problem of health care fraud in our nation’s health care system.” The award was presented today at the NHCAA Awards Luncheon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The best defense against healthcare fraud is educated consumers,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Across the country, Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers have helped return more than $100 million to the Medicare trust fund over the years, creating a powerful deterrent for anyone thinking of ripping off seniors.”

AoA’s Senior Medicare Patrol Program recruits and trains retired senior volunteers to educate their peers in local communities to prevent, detect and report Medicare, Medicaid and other health care fraud. The program has grown from a five-state demonstration program in the mid 1990’s to 54 projects nationwide with one in every state, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well as a National Hispanic Senior Medicare Patrol project. AoA invests $9.3 million in grants to states for Senior Medicare Patrol programs, along with an additional $3.3 million in support activities for these projects. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently awarded $9 million in separate, but complimentary grants to Senior Medicare Patrol Programs to increase the capacity of the program to reach more Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, particularly in targeted cities with high risks for fraud.

“We are so proud of our SMP program and their part in this Administration’s aggressive efforts to prevent fraud,” said Assistant Secretary Greenlee. “Nearly 5,000 dedicated senior volunteers, some of whom have experienced health care fraud first-hand, are fighting back in their own communities by teaching seniors how to protect Medicare for future generations. This award is greatly deserved.” To sign up to be a volunteer or learn more about the Senior Medicare Patrol program, visit www.aoa.gov or www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

The NHCAA is the leading national organization focused exclusively on the fight against health care fraud. Members comprise more than 100 private health insurers and those public sector law enforcement and regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over health care fraud committed against both private payers and public programs. For more information, please visit http://www.nhcaa.org/eweb/StartPage.aspx