Feds probing how personal Medicare info gets to marketers

The Official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook for 2020 over pages of a Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General report, are shown, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 in Washington. A government watchdog tells The Associated Press it will launch a nationwide audit that may shed light on how seniors’ personal Medicare information is getting to telemarketers, raising concerns about fraud and waste. An official with the Health and Human Services inspector general's office says the audit will be announced next week.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog is launching a nationwide probe into how marketers may be getting seniors’ personal Medicare information aided by apparent misuse of a government system, officials said Friday.

The audit will be formally announced next week said Tesia Williams, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services inspector general's office. It follows a narrower probe which found that an electronic system for pharmacies to verify Medicare coverage was being used for potentially inappropriate searchers seemingly tied to marketing. It raised red flags about possible fraud.

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