St. Charles staff and patients have seen an uptick in scams related to medical equipment.

These scams usually take the form of an unsolicited call (or other communication) from someone claiming to be from St. Charles, Medicare, an insurance company or a durable medical equipment company, offering you a free or low-cost medical device as an insurance “benefit.” These calls may even display what appears to be a legitimate phone number on caller ID.

These callers are trying to get valuable information from you, such as your Social Security Number or your insurance information. Do not give them your personal information. Instead, hang up and call your provider’s office to find out if they need information from you.

Furthermore, don’t order medical equipment over the phone unless you are advised to do so by your provider, and refuse delivery of medical equipment unless it was ordered by your doctor.

If a caller urges you to order a piece of equipment now for future use, that is a red flag. Charging insurance for equipment before your doctor certifies it as medically necessary is illegal.

Frequently review your health plan’s Explanation of Benefits or Medicare Summary Notice to ensure all charges are appropriate. If you see charges you don’t recognize, call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or your insurance company immediately.

If you believe you have been a victim of any kind of phone scam, please consider reporting it to the organizations below.

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