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 email@example.com.
Contact Your SMP
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ARKANSAS SMP – 866-726-2916 / Email: Kathleen.Pursell@dhs.arkansas.gov
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: https://www.smpresource.org/Content/You-Can-Help/Read-Your-Medicare-Statements.aspx.
To request a FREE My Health Care Tracker (Spanish and English), contact the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol at 866-726-2916 or email Kathleen.Pursell@dhs.arkansas.gov
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:
- Assist with administration: Help with work such as copying, filing, data entry, and placing outbound phone calls in support of SMP activity
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Alert Arkansas Podcast
Fraud in the News
- Cardiovascular Genetic Testing Used in New Fraud Trend
2020 Health Care Fraud Takedown Details
- New Medicare Cards with new numbers are being mailed from July 2018 until the end of 2019. Are you ready?
- Largest Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action in Department of Justice History – 76 Doctors Charged – 84 Opioid Cases
- Largest Health care Fraud Takedown in History–412 People Charged
Scam and Fraud Alerts
- Census Bureau Survey – Is It Legit? – July 2022
- Top 10 Scams – June 2022
- Law Enforcement Impersonator Scam – June 2022
- Durable Medicare Equipment (DME) Fraud & Scams – May 2022
- Cardiovascular Genetic Testing Fraud
- New Medicare Card Scam
- Pharmacy and Prescription Drug Fraud – March 2022
- Romance Scams – February 2022
- Annual Wellness Visit Phone Questionnaire – February 2022
- COVID 19 At-home Test Scams – January 2022
- Money Mule Scam Alert
- Medicare Open Enrollment Flags
- New Medicare Card Scam Alert
- Protect Yourself from Home Health Care Fraud
- Cardiovascular Genetic Testing Fraud – August 2021
- New Medicare Card 2021 Scam Alert – July 2021
- Is This Really Medicare? – July 2021
- Protect Yourself from Nursing Home Fraud – July 2021
- Medicare, is That Really You?
- Medical Identity Theft – May 2021
- Durable Medical Equipment Fraud and Scams – May 2021
- COVID-19 Vaccination Card Fraud Alert – April 2021
- Vaccine Survey Scam – March 2021
- Ignore Bogus COVID-19 Vaccine Surveys – March 2021
- Ignore Bogus Vaccine Survey Scams
- New Card Scam Alert – March 2021
- SCAM ALERT – Healthcare.gov SEP Scams – March 2021
- Avoid Scams When Searching for Vaccine
- Medicare and Covid19 Vaccine Scams – February 2021
- Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams – January 2021
- Medicare Card 2021 Scam Alert – January 2021
- Coronavirus Fraud Scheme May 2020
- Scammers Using Social Security in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams
- Economic Impact Payment Scam Alert (May 2020)
- Economic Impact Payment Visa Debit Card Publication
- Contact Tracing Scam – July 2020
- Genetic Testing — When to suspect fraud.
- Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Scam — Have you received unwanted package(s) containing braces?
- Imposter Scam – Who’s Really Calling?
- COVID-19 Consumer Tip Sheet
- COVID-19 Consumer Alert
- Coronavirus Scam Watch
- Coronavirus Scam Alert March 2020
- COVID 19 SCAMS
- Recognizing and Avoiding Fraud and Scams – Ask the Experts (Duration 33 min, 31 sec)
- Watch Out for Medicare Phone Scams (Duration 45 seconds)
- DME Fraud: The Facts (Duration 3 minutes, 17 seconds)
- Genetic Testing Medicare Fraud (Duration 1 minute, 25 seconds)
- SMP National Resource Center 10 Examples of Hospice Fraud (Duration: 56 seconds)
- Understanding Medicare: Episode 1 – Bill Learns About SMP (Duration: 2 Minutes, 42 seconds)
- Understanding Medicare: Episode 2 – Bill Learns About Keeping Track of His Medicare Statements (Duration: 2 minutes, 52 seconds)
- Understanding Medicare: Episode 3 – Bill Learns How to Read His MSN (Duration: 3 minutes, 53 seconds)
- Understanding Medicare: Episode 4 – Bill finds a Quick Fix (Duration: 3 minutes, 10 seconds)
- 2021 Medicare Card Scam Alert (Duration: 3 minutes, 31 seconds)
- Fraud and Scams Related to COVID-19 (Duration: 26 minutes, 59 seconds)
- New Medicare Cards Are Coming June 2018 through December 2019 Must see video and please share! (Duration: Three minutes, 50 seconds)
- Arkansas SMP Group Volunteer Recruitment in Senior Housing (Duration: One minute, 54 seconds)
- Watch out for Scammers with New Medicare Cards (KTHV Channel 11 Segment)
- Recognizing the Bad Guys (English) (Duration: 7 minutes, 38 seconds)
- Recognizing the Bad Guys (Espanol) (Duration: 7 minutes, 35 seconds)
- Joining the Good Guys (Duration: 10 minutes, 22 seconds)
American Sign Language Videos
- New Medicare Card/Social Security Card Scam (Duration: 3 minutes, 56 seconds)
- Arkansas SMP Free Glucose Monitors Scam (Duration: 3 minutes, 43 seconds)
Use this information to share with Medicare/Medicaid consumers and caregivers to help spread information that will empower everyone and to avoid Medicare and Medicaid Fraud.
- 2018 Medicare Basic Toolkit for Arkansas State Retirees, Public School Retirees, and Military Personnel
- How to Read Your Medicare Summary Notice
- Arkansas SMP Fraud Prevention Information
- Arkansas SMP History
- Diabetes Scam Prevention Brochure
- Diabetes Scam Prevention Brochure – Spanish Version
- Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol Brochure
- Scam – Protect. Detect. Report.