What We Do

What SMPs Do

voluntees at event pictureSenior Medicare Patrols (SMPs) empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education. SMPs are grant-funded projects of the federal U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). SMPs’ work is in three main areas:

1. Conduct Outreach and Education

display board pictureSMPs give presentations to groups, exhibit at events, and work one-on-one with Medicare beneficiaries. In 2013 more than 1 million people were served nationally by the SMP program’s outreach and education efforts. Click here to request a presentation.  Our message may be summed up in three words:

 

PROTECT, DETECT, REPORT.

 

To expand our outreach, SMP Hawaii partners with county, state and federal organizations, including state and county offices on aging, departments of the Attorney General and Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of the Inspector General-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Click here for the Inspector General’s annual report to Congress about the performance of the SMPs.

2. Engage Volunteers

volunteers group picture

Protecting older persons’ health, finances, and medical identity while saving precious Medicare dollars is a cause that attracts civic-minded Americans. The SMP program engages over 6,000 volunteers nationally who collectively contribute approximately 150,000 hours each year. SMP Hawaii has over 80 volunteers on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii. In 2014, our volunteers contributed nearly 3,000 hours in training and outreach. Click here to learn more about volunteering.

3. Receive Beneficiary Inquiries

volunteers consultingWhen Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members contact the SMP, the SMP determines whether the inquiry is appropriate for the SMP to resolve or better referred to another organization. If a health care billing error is involved, the SMP provides one-on-one counseling to help the beneficiary to correct it. If the SMP’s assessment is that fraud or abuse is possible, the SMP makes referrals to the appropriate state and federal agencies to investigate.