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by Nam Kim on 03/30/2012 17:55
Post Medical equipment fraud penetrates Korean community

Medical equipment fraud penetrates Korean community

Korea Times, Monday, March 12, 2012

For the past few years Medicare and Medicaid fraud has been on the rise around the country, and despite authorities’ efforts to eradicate the problem it appears that more and more citizens are becoming victims of fraud. Although it is undoubtedly illegal for medical equipment manufacturing companies and persons offering medical services to make direct calls to households or to go door-to-door in order to make contractual agreements, it is said that while these very same types of cases are being committed, cases of fraud consequently have not been decreasing.

According to Hanul Family Alliance, a member organization of Illinois state government’s Senior Medicare Patrol program, 83 year-old suburb resident “S” had to endure one medical equipment company’s persistent attempts to get them to sign a contract with them when “S” was in need of a walker. Unable to withstand the barrage of attempts by the company “S” had eventually signed a contract and purchased a walker, but it turned out that the walker that “S” had received was broken and so they demanded a replacement. However, the only word that came from the company was to wait, and later the company went so far as to stop answering “S”’s phone calls. As a result “S” had looked into whether or not it was possible to purchase a walker through another company, but because Medicare had compensated them with a walker already--despite the fact that it was faulty--they would have to wait another 6 months in order to receive any additional Medicare benefits.

In a separate case 90 year-old Chicago resident “L” could not win over one medical equipment company representative’s attempts when they came to their children’s house. They signed a contract and put in an order for adult diapers. They had later received two boxes of diapers and then placed another order after using up the first two boxes. However, the company had refused to provide them with more adult diapers, saying that there weren’t anymore available. Having an awkward feeling “L” had carefully over-looked the bill statement and it turned out that the diapers that “L” had received were well overpriced as compared to Medicare CMS standards.

Nam Kyu Kim, Hanul Family Alliance’s family support coordinator, stated that in order to prevent medical fraud “a person should never--for any reason--give their social security number, Medicare number, or Medicaid number to someone over the phone or to someone who comes to their door. If someone has determined that they were victim to fraud, they should report it immediately,” he added

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