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Attorney General Dana Nessel warns consumers of medical brace scams

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning people about medical brace scams

Nessel said her office received reports of seniors getting unneeded medical supplies and they have to foot the bill.

One woman got a fraudulent call from someone using a Spectrum Health ID, pretending to be her doctor. 

The attorney general's office traced the call back to the Med Leaf Supply company.

Nessel said she reached an agreement with the company to stop doing business in Michigan. 

"While there is only one confirmed Michigan resident who was targeted by this latest scam, it is critical that we alert other residents who may have also been targeted by similar operators," Nessel said. "The scam of mailing or prescribing unneeded durable medical equipment costs Medicare tens of millions of dollars every year, sometimes disqualifying patients for these devices when they really need them."  

Nessel said she received advice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General on what to do in these situations: 

  • hang up immediately if you receive a call from someone offering a free brace that will be billed to Medicare
  • avoid accepting medical equipment that is delivered unless it was ordered by your doctor
  • be suspicious of anyone who offers free medical equipment and then requests your Medicare number, if your personal information is compromised, it could be used in other fraud schemes
  • make sure a physician you know and trust approves any requests for equipment to address your medical needs
  • report suspected Medicare fraud by contacting the HHS Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-447-8477
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