Senior Medicare Patrol
The Purpose of the Program and How it Works
Billions of federal dollars are lost annually due to health care fraud, error and abuse. Since 1997 AoA has funded SMP projects to recruit and train retired professionals and other senior citizens about how to recognize and report instances or patterns of health care fraud.
The SMP program empowers seniors through increased awareness and understanding of healthcare programs. This knowledge helps them to protect themselves from the economic and health-related consequences of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, error and abuse. SMP projects also work to resolve beneficiary complaints of potential fraud in partnership with state and national fraud control/consumer protection entities, including Medicare contractors, state Medicaid fraud control units, state attorneys general, the OIG and CMS.
These activities support AoA’s goals of promoting increased choice and greater independence among older adults. The activities of the SMP program also serve to enhance the financial, emotional, physical and mental well-being of older adults — thereby increasing their capacity to maintain security and independence in retirement, and to make better financial and healthcare choices.
The National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center (the Center) provides training and technical assistance to SMP projects, promotes national visibility and shares best practices. The Center disseminates information for consumers and professionals and maintains the online SMP Locator .