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Durable medical equipment fraud

Friday, January 31, 2020

Be wary of phone calls from companies wanting to give you free medical equipment. This equipment is not free. It may be free to you, but in many instances, the company will bill Medicare and HealthChoice for your “free” equipment. Free medical equipment is a scam that primarily targets seniors. The HealthChoice Medicare supplement plans pay the remaining allowed expenses that Medicare does not pay of approved charges.

How the scam works:

You get a call saying you qualify for a piece of medical equipment, and it’s totally free to you because Medicare will pay for it. The caller may claim to be from Medicare or a durable medical equipment company. They repeatedly call until you give in. They may submit an order to your doctor or they may use another physician involved in the scam. You may say no, but the equipment may just appear on your doorstep and Medicare and HealthChoice receive the bill. Once the equipment is received, it is often difficult to return.

How to protect yourself, HealthChoice and Medicare from DME fraud:

  • If you receive an unsolicited call, just hang up. 
  • efuse all unsolicited offers and report anyone offering free equipment, supplies or services.
  • Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice and HealthChoice explanation of benefits for any charges for equipment you do not need, did not receive or your physician did not order. Review your HealthChoice EOBs at
  • Protect your Medicare, Medicaid, HealthChoice and Social Security cards by keeping them in a safe place at home. Only get them out when you visit a healthcare provider.
  • Report DME fraud to the Medicare fraud hotline at toll-free 800-633-4227 (800-MEDICARE) and to HealthChoice at toll-free 866-381-3815 or email [email protected].
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