MILLTOWN–Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County’s Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) was recognized at this year’s SMP Regional Conference in Philadelphia. Project Director, Charles Clarkson and Coordinator of Volunteers, Joanne Bartosik were presented with a Certificate of Achievement Award for extraordinary efforts in the use of local media by Barry Klitsberg, Aging Services Program Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SMP is a federally funded endeavor created to help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, waste, and abuse. Health care fraud is an enormous problem. According to the FBI, health care fraud costs the country an estimated $80 billion a year. The SMP of New Jersey is part of a network of 54 national SMPs educating seniors about Medicare fraud and presenting practical tips for becoming wise health care consumers such as safeguarding Medicare numbers, reviewing Medicare Summary Notices, and counting prescription pills.
Last year SMP of New Jersey conducted approximately 400 educational workshops to over 19,000 Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, and participated in over 60 community events reaching an additional 9,000 beneficiaries. At the center of the program is a group of highly trained volunteers who help conduct educational sessions, hand out material and answer questions at street fairs and senior fairs, and work one-on-one with beneficiaries to research and resolve Medicare and Medicaid issues.
If you have a concern about health care fraud, are interested in a free presentation, or would like to get involved by becoming a volunteer, call the SMP of New Jersey at Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, 1-732-777-1940.