Genetic Testing Scam Targets Medicare Beneficiaries

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Scam-Alert-SignA scam involving genetic testing is targeting Medicare beneficiaries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert about the scam on June 3, 2019.

OIG says that scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain personal information for identify theft or fraudulent Medicare billing. If a beneficiary agrees to testing or verifies personal information, a testing kit is sent even if it is not ordered by a physician or considered medically necessary.

Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) members may receive questions from their Medicare patients about this genetic testing offer. OIG offers this advice you can share with patients:

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don't accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender's name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers free genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number.
  • A trusted physician should approve any genetic testing requests.
  • If anyone other than your physician’s office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.

You can report instances of this genetic testing scam or any other cases of fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal programs via the OIG’s hotline here.

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