June 13, 2018
On June 8, 2018, the Administration for Community Living announced the award of the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) grant to the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. (GWAAR). This five-year grant is designed to raise awareness and identify Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse. Grant projects focus on educating Medicare beneficiaries about the signs of Medicare fraud and what to do if fraud is suspected.
The Senior Medicare Patrol project began in 1997 with 12 pilot projects and expanded to the 54 SMP grants currently funded across the United States. Each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands all receive grants. Grantee SMP projects include local outreach, education, and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries through a trained volunteer workforce.
Wisconsin’s SMP grant projects will be based out of GWAAR’s Elder Law & Advocacy Center in Madison, also home to the Elder Benefit Specialist Supervising Attorney program and the Wisconsin Guardianship Support Center. The Center’s four Benefit Specialist Supervising Attorneys have significant expertise reviewing Medicare claims, drafting Medicare publications for consumers, appealing Medicare denials, assisting in coordination of benefits cases, and performing outreach to Medicare beneficiaries. The co-location of the SMP grant with GWAAR’s array of elder law and aging programs provides a solid foundation of expertise and strong ties to the aging network, both vital to the success of this project.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General estimates that Medicare loses billions of dollars each year to errors, fraud, and abuse. Although it is hard to quantify the savings derived from this program, the Office of Inspector General has documented over $124.8 million in savings attributable to the SMP program since its inception 21 years ago.
Contact Atty Kate Schilling, Legal Services Manager