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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2011

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287, Jeanne.atkinson@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Senior Medicare Patrol Program Receives Two National Awards

Lincoln - The Nebraska Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) received two national awards for exceptional performance: the “Highest Dollar Amount Referred for Further Action” award from the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and the “Expansion of the Volunteer Capacity” award from AoA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Nebraska SMP is part of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The SMP program recruits and trains retirees to educate their communities to detect and report health care fraud and abuse and to help persons with Medicare and Medicaid to correct billing errors.

“We are pleased that Nebraska has received the ‘Highest Dollar Amount Referred for Further Action’ award for the last three years,” said Vivianne M. Chaumont, Director of Medicaid and Long-Term Care. “It’s gratifying to see that Nebraskans are coming forward to volunteer to help seniors prevent, detect and report health care fraud.”

Nebraska was among the top five states in the nation to receive the award for the highest dollar amount referred for further action. Nebraska SMP received several cases of fraud that were referred for further federal in-depth investigation in an effort to restore funds back to the Medicare program. Nebraska referred $151,145 for further action.

“These SMPs went above and beyond this year to serve the beneficiaries in their states. Their efforts to fight fraud at the grassroots level are of the highest caliber,” said Barbara Dieker, director of the Office of Elder Rights at the AoA.

In addition, the Nebraska SMP earned the “Expansion of the Volunteer Capacity” award from the AoA and CMS for exceptional performance in helping older Nebraskans prevent, detect and report health care fraud.

Nebraska SMP recruited 29 new volunteers in the first nine months of the grant year. SMP volunteers fan out into the communities to educate seniors at senior centers, community organizations, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

For more information about Nebraska SMP, go to http://dhhs.ne.gov/medicaid/pages/smp.aspx