Latest Medicare Scam — DNA Testing Schemes
DNA testing scams are rapidly becoming rampant all over the country, including Ohio.
Recently, a New Jersey man was sentenced to 50 months in
prison for using the supposed non-profit, The Good Samari-
tans of America, to defraud the Medicare Program of more
than $430,000 by convincing hundreds of senior citizens to
submit to genetic testing. This case came to light thanks to the
untiring efforts of the New Jersey SMP after receiving a call
from a beneficiary who had questions regarding the high cost
of tests on her MSN.
Older adults at senior centers, housing complexes, and other
community locations are being targeted by companies promot-
ing “free” genetic testing, cancer screening, or DNA testing.
During an event at these locations, older adults are asked to
swab their cheek to collect a DNA sample which will be sent
to the lab for analysis. They are then told that the test will be
covered completely by Medicare, and all that is needed to process it is their Medicare number.
Other variations of the scam include phoning beneficiaries at home and telling them that they will be sent a
DNA testing kit in the mail. In this case, the person is asked to perform the cheek swab at home and then re-
turn the kit in the mail for DNA analysis. The caller then asks for the person’s Medicare number and reiterates
that there will be no charge to the beneficiary.
Please note that genetic testing is a Medicare-covered service in only a very limited number of cases. These
include medical diagnoses relating to some types of cancers requiring chemotherapy, some forms of
inherited cardiac disease, and some types of psychiatric treatment with drugs whose genetic tests may be
covered by Medicare. In these instances, the testing must be ordered by a physician who is treating the patient
for one of these problems.
The production of this post was supported by Grant # 90MPPG0005-01-00 from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Its contents are solely the responsibility of Pro Seniors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ACL.