Terri arrives at the emergency room after a car accident. Doctors immediately review her electronic medical records. They note the prescription drugs she’s been taking, and make decisions about her care based on that information. The problem: Terri’s not taking any drugs.
Peter calls his insurance company to inquire about the coverage of his new cholesterol medication. The provider informs Peter that coverage of that medication has been denied because he is currently being prescribed a different brand of cholesterol medicine. But there is a bigger issue for Peter – he’s not taking any cholesterol prescription pills now.
Terri and Peter’s experiences represent two possible medical fraud cases – specifically, they are victims of prescription fraud. Medical fraud is on the uptick in the United States: 1.84 million people were victims of medical fraud in 2013 with the out-of-pocket cost to consumers reaching $12.3 billion.
The cost of prescription fraud is both personal and financial. Correcting medical records, receiving the wrong treatment, clearing your name, and paying for services you never received are time-consuming, frustrating and often costly experiences.
Here are 5 tips to help protect yourself and your family against prescription fraud:
- Never buy prescriptions from unauthorized websites.
- Carefully review all insurance bills and Explanation of Benefits statements that come in the mail. Immediately report charges for services you have not received.
- Keep medical bills and receipts in a secured location, and only for as long as you need them. Shred all medical paperwork before disposing of it.
- Report lost or stolen insurance cards.
Finally, take action and let LegalShield proactively monitor your medical identification information so it doesn’t fall into the hands of an identity thief and result in medical fraud.