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PATIENTS SCAMMED

OIG issues genetic testing fraud alert

Have your patients got themselves involved with a genetic testing scam?

The Office of Inspector General has issued a fraud alert warning of a genetic testing fraud scheme. According to the OIG, scammers are using telemarketing calls, booths at health fairs and public events and door-to-door visits offering Medicare beneficiaries cheek swabs for genetic testing. The objective is to get beneficiaries to reveal their Medicare information and use that information for fraudulent billing and/or identity theft. If the beneficiary agrees to genetic testing or verifies personal or Medicare information, a testing kit is sent even if it’s not ordered by a physician or medically necessary. You can tell your patients the fraud alert lists the things they can do to protect themselves, including:

  • Not accepting a genetic testing kit mailed to them unless their physician ordered it;
  • Keeping a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items; and
  • Being suspicious of anyone who offers them free genetic testing and then requests their Medicare number

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