Online Program

Evaluation of the Senior Medicare Patrol program

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Amanda Reich, Ph.D., M.P.H., Tufts University, Medford, MA
Amy Lischko, DSc, MSPH, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Susan Koch-Weser, B, A., Sc.M., Sc.D., Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Sarah Hijaz, MPH, MPP, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Medicare pays $566 billion annually for more than 50 million beneficiaries. The program estimates that 3-10% of billings are lost due to improper payments, including errors, fraud, and abuse.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program was established in 1997 and receives grants from the Administration for Community Living to recruit, train and support a network of volunteers to reach and educate Medicare beneficiaries to recognize and report fraud, error, and abuse.  The primary goal of the SMP program is “to empower seniors to prevent health care fraud through education and outreach.”  The program operates in every state and the U.S. territories, engaging seniors via group education and one-on-one counseling sessions, media, and other activities.

We will present preliminary results from an evaluation of SMP educational sessions designed to assess the program’s effects on attitudes and behaviors among participating beneficiaries that could lead to reductions in error, fraud, and abuse.  This study uses a pre-post with control group design to survey participants and controls. Data are being collected in 7 states (Arkansas, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas). The survey measures were based on a review of existing literature on prevention programs and the behavioral theories that underpinned them and includes items related to healthcare consumer behavior (including fraud detection and abuse prevention), patient engagement, and shared decision-making among SMP program participants. We will share key lessons from our comprehensive review, preliminary data from the evaluation, as well as implications for patient engagement, education, and health communication among seniors.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies for measuring the impact of education sessions and patient engagement Describe the Senior Medicare Patrol and associated program elements Assess methods of communication with Medicare beneficiaries

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Medicare

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a project manager and researcher on multiple projects related to public health policy and evaluation, including specific strategies for improving patient engagement. I have been involved with each phase of this evaluation; including review of literature, development of methods and instrumentation, and data collection/analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.