Genetic Testing Scam Targets Medicare Beneficiaries

August 14, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Fraud and Abuse | Medicare and Medicaid

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Fraud Alert on August 13 regarding a genetic testing scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries. The scammers will offer a “free” screening for genetic testing but then submit a claim to Medicare, which will likely deny the claim as medically unnecessary. The beneficiary could then be held responsible for the full cost of an expensive test.

The scammers are finding their victims at health fairs and other public events, or through telemarketing calls or even door-to-door visits. The scammee’s Medicare number may also be used in medical identity theft. The OIG’s alert urged people not to give out their Medicare numbers or accept a genetic testing kit unless it was ordered by one’s own physician.

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