Author: Elder Protection Center

Tips for avoiding healthcare fraud or health insurance fraud

    Tips for Avoiding Healthcare Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud

    1. Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
    2. Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.
    3. Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket.
    4. Carefully review your insurer’s explanation of the benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
    5. Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free.
    6. Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
    7. Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.
    8. Know if your physician ordered equipment for you.

    At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.

    Protect the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.

    10 Tips to Protect Against Cemetery or Funeral Scams

    10 Tips to Protect Against Cemetery or Funeral ScamsMost people would rather not think about funerals — whether it be their own or that of an elderly loved one. Yet knowing about funeral scams can save you and your family from added heartache during an already emotionally charged time.

    In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission established the Funeral Rule, which is designed to protect consumers from funeral scams and fraud by requiring funeral providers to give adequate information about their services. Yet unscrupulous funeral-home owners continue to take undue advantage of grief striken families.

    According to a 2015 survey conducted by the National Funeral Director’s Association, the median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial came to just over $8,500. In an effort to help you and your family from being exploited, here are 10 tips to help protect against cemetery or funeral scams:

    1. Shop around in advance.

      Compare prices from at least two funeral homes. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.

    2. Ask for a price list.

      The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services.

    3. Avoid Temptation.

      Resist pressure to buy goods and services you don’t really want or need.

    4. Avoid emotional overspending.

      It’s not necessary to have the fanciest casket or the most elaborate funeral to properly honor a loved one.

    5. Recognize your rights.

      Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state. It’s a smart move to know which goods or services the law requires you to purchase and which are optional.

    6. Know the Rules.

      Know that embalming rules are governed by state law and that embalming is not legally required for direct cremations.

    7. Read the Fine Print.

      Carefully read all contracts and purchasing agreements before signing and make certain that all of your requirements have been put in writing.

    8. Understand the Terms.

      Make sure you understand all contract cancellation and refund terms, as well as your portability options for transferring your contract to other funeral homes.

    9. Understand the Fees.

      Understand the difference between funeral home basic fees for professional services and any fees for additional services.

    10. Be a Smart Shopper.

      Apply the same smart shopping techniques you use for other major purchases. For example, you can cut costs by limiting the viewing to one day or one hour before the funeral (if at all), and by dressing your loved one in a favorite outfit instead of costly burial clothing.

    For more information on how to avoid funeral scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s webpage, Funerals: A Consumer Guide.

    At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.

    Protect the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.

    Tips to Protect Against Physical Elder Abuse & Neglect

    Tips and resources to help protect against physical abuse and neglect.

    Elder abuse includes physical and financial abuse, as well as neglect of persons 65 years of age and older. Neglect typically means the refusal or failure to provide an elderly person with such life necessities as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety, and other essentials of daily living.

    Some simple things that you can do to help protect your loved one:

    1. Stay Involved With Elder

      Do not allow the elder to become isolated. Maintain close ties and make frequent contact and unannounced visits. Encourage the elder to maintain social contacts and increase network of friends. If access to the elder is being denied by someone, call adult protective services or law enforcement and ask for a welfare check.

    2. Find Sources Of Help And Use Them

      Find volunteers willing to help with, carrying groceries, run errands, give rides, entertain (i.e. Sing, dance, and make you laugh!), help out with making phone calls, writing letters and reading. There are countless faith based and secular nonprofit organizations with senior day programs, meals on wheels, transportation services and many other services that can be a wonderful resource for your loved one.

      Volunteer Resources

    3. Anticipate Potential Incapacitation And Get Legal Affairs In Order

      Protect the elder’s wishes upon incapacitation by getting the financial and legal affairs in order. Appoint a trusted person as power of attorney to help make financial and health care decisions for the elder before he or she becomes incapacitated. Prepare advanced directives indicating the extent and level of care desired when you become too sick or disabled to make your own decisions. This will help ensure that your doctor and family know and respect your wishes. It also helps relieve the stress and conflict when family have to guess what you would have wanted.

      Important Legal Documents

    4. Use Safety Devices And Technology

      There are many products on the market to decrease the risk of injuries to elders in every aspect of their daily activities.

      Products and Technology

    5. Carefully Select Caregiver

      Ask caregiver to provide referrals. Don’t just rely on calling the referrals. Make sure they are legitimate. Offer to buy him or her a cup of coffee so you can meet and evaluate them. When you find a caregiver you like, make sure they are certified and registered with the the State. California recently passed a law requiring home care agencies and independent home care aides to be certified. Part of that process includes a background check. Regardless of which state your loved one resides, make sure you conduct a background check. There are many reputable companies that can do it for a reasonable fee.

    6. Carefully Select Assisted Living Home

      • Start the process early before there is a crisis.
      • Involve the prospective resident as much as possible in the process.
      • Pay special attention to how residents are being treated by staff and the quality and responsiveness of the services. Don’t be sold only on the attractiveness of the facility.
      • Narrow the options down to two or three facilities.
      • Visit each facility several times.
      • In making visits, walk through the whole facility and visit at different times of the day. Make sure you visit during a mealtime.
      • Drop by unannounced and visit at night and/or on the weekend.
      • Obtain a copy of the admission agreement. Read it carefully. Understand the services, costs and conditions for transfer.
      • Before you make a final decision, check the latest survey report and any other citations issued by the state licensing agency. Facilities should make these reports available to you upon request. Or you can view the reports at the community care licensing office, California department of social services, or at some ombudsman offices

      Assisted Living Checklist
      Know your Assisted Living Rights
      Stay Updated on Your Assisted Living Home

    7. Carefully Select Nursing Home

      • Look at survey results from the state licensing agency that shows the facility’s history with regulatory compliance or noncompliance. (this is public data)
      • Check court records to determine if the facility been sued for neglect
      • Conduct on line research regarding the Medicare’s nursing home compare website that ranks nursing homes from best to worst.
      • Take an on-site tour of facility. Your senses of smell, sound and sight are great common sense predictors of quality.
      • Meet and interview staff and administrator
      • Ask about staffing levels, activities and resident opinion surveys, family member opinion surveys, read resident & family council minutes.
      • Make sure the facility is able to clearly communicate in the elder’s first language.
      • If it is important that the senior is seen by his or her own personal physician, confirm that he or she can see resident at facility?
      • If not, meet facility medical director and research his/her background.
      • Take the admission agreement home and read it carefully to see what services are included in the base price, as opposed to extra costs

      Know your Nursing Home Rights

    At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.

    Protect the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.


Elder Protection Center