State Takes Aim at New Medical Supply Scam

( – Medical brace scams are something that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants the public to be aware of.

A scam involving orthotic braces and other medical equipment has also been brought to the public’s attention by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

The following is the scam’s mechanism, as described by the Better Business Bureau:

You will receive a call informing you that Medicare paid for a back or knee brace. Scammers often use fictitious identities, such as those of Medicare or medical equipment manufacturers, to trick victims into parting with their money. They keep calling, saying you’re eligible for the free equipment, and eventually, you give in and let them make a request to your doctor.

Alternatively, you may decline, and the firm will still send the brace.

On other occasions, the equipment is delivered to your door, and Medicare is billed for it.

Customers often find it challenging to return the unused items.

According to the report, it is against the law to contact people regarding durable medical equipment by phone.

Nessel’s office has received stories of seniors being sent unnecessary medical supplies, and the burden of paying for them falls on them.

Someone impersonating a woman’s doctor called her and tried to scam her.  The attorney general’s office determined the call’s origin to be from Med Leaf Supply.  According to Nessel, she and the corporation ended its commercial relationship in Michigan.

The Office of the Inspector General of the United States and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives guidance on how to handle such cases:

Before accepting any medical equipment, be sure you have the approval of a doctor you trust.

Avoid giving your Medicare number to anybody claiming free medical equipment. This information might fall into the wrong hands and lead to various forms of fraud.

Should you suspect Medicare fraud, notify the HHS Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

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