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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Meininger

COVID-19 Test Kit Scams on the Rise Again

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Are your patients receiving phone calls from individuals promising free COVID-19 supplies? How about unmarked packages containing COVID-19 test kits they never ordered? If so, your patient may have been the target of a Medicare scam.

This scam is currently on the rise, but is not new. Its increased prevalence led to Congressman Jim Costa (CA) recently sharing that his mother, like many older adults, was a target of this type of scam. Costa added, "... it's not just happening here, we've seen these kinds of fraudulent activities take place... around the country."

In this scam, patients will receive COVID-19 tests they didn’t need. Soon after, their Medicare account will show reimbursement claims for services rendered, despite the fact these services were not wanted. For this scam to work, the scammer first needs sensitive information like your patient’s social security number and Medicare number.

Remind your patients that their sensitive personal information will never be solicited over the phone by a legitimate provider. Also, if they receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be a pharmacy employee, they should hang up and dial your phone number directly. They should also know they can access their Medicare claims history at any time by going to Medicare.gov.



Sources:

https://kmph.com/news/local/congressman-costa-addresses-surge-in-medicare-fraud-cases-linked-to-covid-19-test-kits

https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/fraud-alert-covid-19-scams/

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