Feds investigate marketers actions

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.

The audit follows a narrower probe that 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.

The watchdog agency’s decision comes amid a wave of relentlessly efficient telemarketing scams targeting Medicare recipients and involving everything from back braces to DNA cheek swabs.

For years, seniors have been admonished not to give out their Medicare information to people they don’t know. But a report on the inspector general’s initial probe, also released Friday, details how sensitive details can still get to marketers.


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