This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Verizon Offers Six Tips To Help Consumers Protect Their Personal Health Information And Fight Health Care Fraud

Stocks in this article: VZ

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "The best protection against health care fraud in the U.S. is a cautious and vigilant consumer, and all of us should be aware of common tactics and abuses that are driving up our health care costs," says Verizon Health IT Solutions Managing Director Renu Chipalkatti.

About 10 percent of the $2.6 trillion spent annually on health care goes to fraud and abuse, including falsified billings, false coding of services, billing for services not delivered or excessive, and billing separately for elements that should be part of a bundled service.

To help in the estimated $260 billion battle against annual health care fraud, Verizon offers six tips for consumers, including:  

  1. Guard your personal information – Provide your insurance identification only to those who provide you with medical services and don't allow anyone to borrow your insurance identification/Medicare card.
  2. Beware of "free" medical services – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A common fraud scheme has door-to-door or telephone sales people offering medical services or equipment for free in exchange for your insurance/Medicare identification number.
  3. Keep accurate medical records – Even if your doctor uses electronic medical records, you should always keep your own records. You could use a personal health information service or keep a written record of any medical services and medications you've received – just write down the doctor or doctors you saw, the services you received, and when they occurred.
  4. Review your medical bills -- Be sure to ask for your bill at the time of your doctor visit. Then check your bills and compare it with your insurer's description of your benefits to make sure you aren't charged for services you didn't receive or charged for the same service twice. Also check that the dates of services and charges match up. If you find a problem or have questions, contact your health care provider immediately. If your questions are not resolved, contact your health plan provider. 
  5. Destroy medical records before discarding – Be sure to shred or rip up any medical documents to stop your information from ending up in the wrong hands, or worse yet, having your identity stolen.
  6. Report possible fraud - If you suspect you're a victim of fraud, contact your health plan provider or the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General

In an encouraging sign that efforts to combat health care fraud and abuse are gaining momentum, public and private health insurance companies are adopting new methods of detecting and preventing fraud.  There are still some providers who use the "pay and chase" model – which is ineffective and expensive – but a growing number are focused on aggressive, proactive approaches. 

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs