The Canadian government is promoting March as Fraud Prevention Month, encouraging the public to learn how to recognize and report fraud in order to help stop it. “Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.” is both a slogan and a call to action for people to take fraud prevention into their own hands.
Fraud is a growing problem, with an average of 6 for every 10 Canadians having been a target of fraud in 2010. However, most people never report it when it happens, which allows scam artists and fraudsters to continue committing acts of fraud.
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fraud can range from telemarketing scams, to identity theft, to healthcare fraud. Although all of these types of fraud are serious, we are particularly interested in putting a stop to healthcare fraud.
Healthcare and healthcare benefits fraud can result in having health benefits stolen or compromised, being conned out of large sums of money, or receiving improper medical care.
The Canadian Health Care Anti-Fraud Association is an excellent resource that provides a reliable forum for information and articles about healthcare fraud in Canada. It also provides an outlet for people who wish to remain anonymous when reporting healthcare fraud.
Additionally, Benefits Canada magazine has developed a checklist of fraud prevention tips for benefits plan members.
Some key points include:
- Protect your health card information
- Don’t let someone else use your benefits
- Ensure that receipts accurately reflect health care services received
- Don’t sign blank claims forms
- Don’t trust healthcare providers who regularly waive your co-payment or deductible
Please take March as an opportunity to educate yourself about fraud, particularly healthcare fraud.
If you want to follow the conversation and awareness campaign as Fraud Prevention Month progresses, we encourage you to search Twitter for #fpm2013 and #hcfraud.
(Image source: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/02026.html#Posters)