State to Medicare beneficiaries: Don’t fall for ‘free’ genetic tests

State to Medicare beneficiaries: Don’t fall for ‘free’ genetic tests
(Source: ADPH)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nothing in life is free.

That’s the adage the state wants seniors to remember amid a flurry of offers for so-called “free” genetic testing. In Hawaii and nationally, representatives from genetic testing companies are showing up at senior centers, health fairs, senior housing and elsewhere to offer the testing to seniors.

All the companies ask in return: The person’s Medicare number.

That may sound harmless, but it’s anything but, officials from the Executive Office on Aging said.

“These companies can steal people’s medical identity and falsely bill Medicare, draining the system of needed funds," said senior Medicare Patrol Hawaii program manager Kaipo Cullen, in a news release.

"Tests ordered under these circumstances are unnecessary and could lead to confusion about someone’s health condition,”

In a recent fraud alert, the Office of Inspector General said only a trusted physician should approve any requests for genetic testing.

To get more on the testing scam, click here.

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