Abuse and Fraud

Elder abuse is hard to define. It includes one, several or many actions, or lack of appropriate action. Typically, the elder trusts the abuser, but the result is harm, distress, or burden to the older adult. Abusers may be close to the elder. Spouses, children, neighbors, unrelated caregivers, or close friends may be abusive. The abuse may take the form of physical, emotional, financial, or sexual misconduct, neglect or abandonment. Any assaultive action such as shaking, slapping, or shoving, is almost invariably physical abuse. Fraud and other forms of financial abuse, occur when elders are deceived, coerced, or intimidated with the purpose of appropriating property or funds. Some examples of fraud include billing for services not rendered or performed, dispensing generic drugs and billing for branded drugs, billing for unnecessary services, double billing, and denial of necessary services or of access to specialists, among others. Neglect is defined as behavior that lacks the patient’s informed consent and results in deprivation of food, water, medication, medical services, shelter, cooling or heating, and any other services necessary to maintain minimum physical or mental health. If in doubt, investigate. Hospitals, medical offices, and other health care providers may engage in abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Many community agents can be helpful.

1-800-624-8404

41 Anthony Avenue, Augusta, ME, USA

Phone: 287-220, 1-800-624-8404 (TTY:1-800-624-8404)

APS Hotline: 1-800-624-8404

After Hours/Out-of-state: (207)287-3492

Confidential Adult Hotline (available 24 hours per day): 1-800-871-7741 (TTY: 1-888-458-5599)

Online reporting form: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/aps/reporting.shtml

Services: The agency may provide or arrange for services to protect adults in danger– no matter what kind of abuse. No cost to the consumer.

(207) 626-8800

109 West Sewall Street, Augusta, ME 04330, United States

Services: The Attorney General’s Healthcare Crimes Unit (the State’s designated Medicaid Fraud Control Unit) is a federally-funded unit charged with investigating and prosecuting: MaineCare fraud; and abuse, neglect or financial exploitation occurring in MaineCare facilities or committed by MaineCare providers or their employees. These may include doctors, nursing homes, hospitals, adult care homes, and home health agencies.

If you suspect that a vulnerable adult has been abused or neglected, report it immediately to the Healthcare Crimes Unit. You may also contact the Elder Abuse Hotline by calling 1-800-624-8404. If there is an immediate emergency, call 911.

(207) 947-7382 ext. 5732, Steve Pelletier

Bangor, ME, USA

Phone: (207) 947-7382 ext. 5732, Steve Pelletier

Services: Recognizing that domestic violence is a crime and that it is a problem in Bangor and throughout the United States, one Detective is assigned as a Domestic Violence Investigator. Bangor residents living in abusive relationships should immediately call the Bangor Police Department for assistance. Those living outside of Bangor should contact their local law enforcement agency.

800-300-5000

Phone: 800-300-5000, (207) 624-8475

Services: Helps with questions about insurance, complaints about health professionals, agents or brokers.  Call to request publications about health insurance, long-term care insurance, and Medicare supplemental insurance.