My husband’s statement from Medicare showed a charge (paid by Medicare) for a doctor neither of us had ever heard of. This wasn’t the first time such a charge had appeared and I was fed up with phantom charges, even if they didn’t personally cost us anything.

I called the number on the Medicare summary to which one was supposed to address issues of fraud. After half an hour on hold, I got a person … who told me I needed to call the “Fraud Hotline.” Following some grousing (I was merely trying to be a good citizen … Medicare was the one getting hit with bogus charges, not us), I called the hotline.


More like a cold line. Endless voicemail options. Press this, press that, press the next thing, press another thing … and then …

You got it. Wait on hold for another half hour.

When finally I get through, I provided the information. Then, I pointed out if they are serious about stopping fraud, they might want to make it less of a challenge to report it. She said that’s the way the hotline is, nothing to be done about it and I mentally threw my arms in the air and gave up.

It turns out it was actually Walmart (who we already paid for Garry’s eye exam), billing Medicare for yet another eye exam with the optometrist’s wife — who he had never heard of and never seen. Another $100 on top of the $110 he already paid to Walmart. Nice little scam, eh?

Apparently no one appreciated my attempt at good citizenship and like Calvera in “The Magnificent Seven,” I realized “Generosity, that was my first mistake.”

I spent nearly 2 hours trying to report a fraud … and no one cares. As far as Medicare is concerned, it is more trouble to track down scams than to just pay them off.

And here we sit, wondering where our money goes.

Wonder no more. I know where it goes.



  2. The person you talked to probably worked for a subcontractor (my guess would be GDIT) or maybe even a subcontractor to a subcontractor. The phone operator at that level is low man on the totem pole and probably has long since become immune to the idiot ways a call center works. The person, who is supposed to be an expert, and a problem solver, and fluent in computers and Medicare and fraud, and who is supposed to be cheerful and helpful, is probably making $10.50/hour and has been screwed by the system so many times they can’t count.

    Of course the system could be streamlined. But the powers that be in the subcontracting business get paid by number of hits. It isn’t THEIR job to keep fraud down, it is their job to take a call, process it as quickly as possible and even better have you stuck in some automated hell so that they get paid for a “hit” but don’t actually have to do anything. It is all numbers.

    It is one of the many ways our country is going to hell, quietly, behind the scenes, being run by big corporations.

    And there might be a very good reason I know who is the subcontractor and what the pay is.


  3. As long as we, the taxpayers write the checks, the Government has no reason to care about fraud, or any other ‘waste’, which, from what I’ve seen, are what we spend the majority of our tax dollars on. It’s a good thing the Federal Reserve is counterfeiting money 24/7 to cover ‘our’ National debt.


  4. We have the opposite problem here in New Zealand. It is a compulsory insurance scheme and we have to pay our levies but they will do everything they can to avoid paying out for any help whatsoever. They bribe doctors and have hot shot lawyers while accumulating billions of $. They are a monster out of control. 😁


    • It’s all out of control everywhere. We build these systems but we don’t hire enough people to monitor them and eventually, they get so complicated, it’s impossible to regain control. Here, they have just given up.


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