On October 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a series of Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program grants totaling $9 million. These grants were awarded to SMPs across the country, and will be administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Since the late 1990s, the AoA has funded SMP programs in order to train Medicare beneficiaries on how to recognize Medicare fraud, how to accurately read and understand their Medicare billing statements and how to prevent identity theft. In announcing the latest SMP grants, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick stated: “We are concerned about Medicare fraud and activity by criminals seeking to defraud seniors, and we want to ramp up our local community resources to educate seniors and people with Medicare about how they can help us stop it.”

Reflecting the higher risk of Medicare fraud in Florida, New York, California and Texas, the SMP programs in those states received the highest grant awards – $430,000.