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Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

SMP The Mission

Senior Medicare Patrols (SMPs) empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

This program was developed to help you understand more about health care fraud. It involves recruiting retired persons to teach Medicare and Medicaid clients to recognize and report health care fraud.

If you have questions or concerns about health care fraud, are interested in volunteering, or would like to schedule a free speaker, call Arkansas SMP 1-866-726-2916. You may also email Kathleen Pursell at

Contact Your SMP

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ARKANSAS SMP – 866-726-2916 / Email:

SMP projects serve every state, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C. To find your SMP click here.

Press Release – June 15, 2022

Senior Medicare Patrol Offering New Fraud Prevention Tool
(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — There is an easy way to record what happens at your doctor appointments – and it also happens to be a fraud-fighting tool used nationwide. 

A My Health Care Tracker is a free resource in which you can take notes about products and services received at appointments and then compare your notes to your Medicare statements. If a product or service you received does not match your Medicare statement, you can contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP, for help. There may be an error or possibly even fraud committed against you. 

“SMPs help beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report possible Medicare fraud. They’re in every state and province, including here in Arkansas at the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging, Adult & Behavioral Health Services in Little Rock,” said Kathleen Pursell, Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol. “We educate people in groups and also work one-on-one to help people with their specific situations. Much of the SMP work is done by volunteers, who are often retirees and want to help their peers.”

Why should you care about detecting mistakes or fraud?
•    You may owe less money.
•    You might be able to figure out, early, if your medical identity has been stolen.
•    You could protect the Medicare program for generations to come.

My Health Care Trackers also give information about the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), which provide local, in-depth, and objective insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers. 

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is ready to provide you with the information you need to PROTECT yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; DETECT potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and REPORT your concerns. SMPs help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud. 

Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns, or complaints about potential fraud and abuse issues. If you need help reading or understanding your Medicare statements, visit the national SMP webpage Read Your Medicare Statements:  

To request a FREE My Health Care Tracker (Spanish and English), contact the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol at 866-726-2916 or email

Become a SMP Volunteer

The SMP program offers volunteers an opportunity to make an important difference in their communities. Volunteers take pride in working to ensure that the Medicare program will be protected for future generations. In 2019, 54 Senior Medicare Patrol projects had 6,875 active team members who conducted 28,146 group outreach and education events, reaching an estimated 1.6 million people. In addition, the projects had 320,590 individual interactions with, or on behalf of, a Medicare beneficiary.

The Importance of SMP Volunteers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke to SMPs at the August 2011 national SMP conference and she had this to say about the role of SMP volunteers:

“…We know that one of the most effective and direct steps we can take to improve Medicare’s long-term health is ridding the program of waste, fraud, and abuse. And for the last 14 years, the Senior Medicare Patrol has been on the front lines of that fight. No one feels more strongly about keeping criminals out of Medicare than seniors themselves. When someone defrauds Medicare, it means higher premiums and co-pays for beneficiaries. It also threatens the program that they have worked so hard for – and that they want to make sure is there for their children and grandchildren.”

What SMP Volunteers Do

SMP projects match a volunteer’s skills and interests to the needs of the program. As a result, SMP volunteers may serve Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers in many creative ways. However, there are six types of activities most commonly conducted by SMP volunteers nationwide:

  1. Assist with administration: Help with work such as copying, filing, data entry, and placing outbound phone calls in support of SMP activity
  2. Distribute information: Help with transporting and disseminating SMP information materials to sites and events; may include presenting prepared copy or performing scripted activities for small groups
  3. Staff exhibits: Help by staffing information kiosks or exhibits at events such as health fairs; also may provide general information about SMP to the public and answer basic questions
  4. Make group presentations: Help by giving presentations on SMP topics to small and large groups; may interact with the audience by answering questions and through discussion
  5. Counsel: Help by having direct conversations with beneficiaries about their individual situations; may include review of personal information such as Medicare Summary Notices, billing statements, and other related financial and health documents
  6. Manage complex interactions: Help with in-depth interactions with beneficiaries who are reporting specific instances of health care fraud, errors, and abuse; may act on behalf of a beneficiary to correct an error or refer suspected fraud and abuse to the appropriate authorities

Watch this video to see volunteers in action.

To volunteer click the “YES! I WANT TO VOLUNTEER” link below. The SMP Volunteer Contact Form will be available online to fill out and a link to email the form to Kathleen Pursell, the volunteer coordinator, is available on the form. Once your form is received, you will be contacted about the many wonderful opportunities available.

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