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How an Oklahoma law is protecting elderly from fraud

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jun 30, 2024

TULSA, Okla. —  A law going into effect on Nov. 1, 2024, increases the punishment for Medicare fraud, abuse, or neglect toward an elderly individual.

Nancy Vitali checked her Medicare benefits and discovered she was a victim of Medicare fraud.

"Charges for $4,000 in urinary catheters, which I have never used in my life,” said Vitali.

She immediately reported it after finding multiple other charges to her account. Vitali couldn’t believe someone could do such a thing.

"Money that's supposed to be going to care of senior citizens is going into the pockets of cheaters and crooks,” Vitali said.

According to the senior Medicare patrol, Vitali's situation is part of the $60 billion in Medicare fraud that occurs annually.

That's why Oklahoma lawmakers passed House Bill 3668, known as the Miller Bill, which increases the punishment for Medicaid and Medicare fraud.

"I'm very excited that the legislator cares enough to make sure that this stops happening,” said Vitali.

Roxanne King with Life Senior Services said this couldn't be better for seniors, "Absolutely, a lot of times, they don't know where to go when they feel like something happened to them. Whether it's a Medicare fraud thing or loved one taking advantage of them.”

Vitali said everyone should help seniors tackle the problem of Medicare fraud.

"Everyone should educate their seniors to watch out for fraud and also follow up on the reports that they get," said Vitali.

If you or you know someone who is a victim of Medicare fraud, report ithere.

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