The U.S. Congress established the Senior Medicare Patrol as part of the 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act to enlist seniors to fight against Medicare fraud. Initially, grants were awarded to 12 states to start up SMPs; Hawaii was one of the original 12. Today, 53 SMPs stretch across the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands with more than 6,000 active volunteers.
Funding for the SMP program is in the Older Americans Act. Every three years, the Administration for Community Living issues a new request for proposals, and applicants compete for funding. Since 1997, “SMP Hawaii,” which is sponsored by the Executive Office on Aging under the State Department of Health, has consistently received funding awards to continue SMP in our state.
The Senior Medicare Patrol program has weathered changes in administrations and budget cuts, a testimonial to the need for Medicare fraud prevention, and the accomplishments of SMPs.