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DHS news release

Aug. 14, 2006

 

Contact: Tom Towslee, 503-947-5207


Program contact: Lee Girard, 503-947-1199

 

Oregon's anti-fraud efforts win national recognition




The Department of Human Services' statewide effort to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud is among three state initiatives receiving national recognition.


The National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center is honoring DHS, which worked with the Oregon Senior Medicare Patrol to hold 36 training sessions in 18 Oregon cities during 2005 and 2006.


The 789 people who attended the sessions on "Helping Caregivers Fight Fraud and Abuse" were paid home care workers, home health agency staff, adult foster home staff, family caregivers, respite caregivers and law enforcement officers. They were given information on how to recognize Medicare and Medicaid fraud and how to report it. They, in turn, shared the information with as many as 2,300 hard-to-reach homebound people.


In honoring the program, the center said it was "innovative in that it brings the Senior Medicare Patrol message to new segments of the population who may be traditionally overlooked. This product is the result of strong partnerships, and a well researched and designed module."


The National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center was created three years ago with funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging. The center provides services to health care consumers and Senior Medicare Patrol programs located throughout the nation. Oregon was one of three states honored by the center for empowering healthcare beneficiaries and protecting the federal healthcare system.


"We invested in this effort because it was a way to get information out to hard-to-reach populations regarding Medicare and Medicaid fraud," said James Toews, DHS assistant director for Seniors and People with Disabilities. "We knew that caregivers and those for whom they provide care needed this information and we figured out a way for the trainees to share what they learned with their clients."

 

The trainings were held between August 2005 and May 2006 and conducted by the State Unit on Aging, Seniors and People with Disabilities. The training was the result of a partnership with the Oregon Home Care Commission, the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisers (SHIBA), Oregon AARP, the Alzheimer's Association of Oregon, the Oregon Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities, and the Medicare Modernization Act staff of Seniors and People with Disabilities.