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Latest efforts to eliminate fraud in health care system to be highlighted in Friday conference

As Massachusetts leaders seek to slow soaring health care costs, a growing network of community-based organizations is trying to squelch Medicaid and Medicare fraud and abuse -- which also drive up costs.

On Friday, a coalition of groups known as the Massachusetts SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) Program, will outline its efforts to eliminate fraud at a day-long conference in Marlborough.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature presentations by an agent with the Boston office of the FBI, an agent from the state’s office of Inspector General and the state’s Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

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Also scheduled to speak is Ted Doolittle, Medicare’s deputy director for program pntegrity.

“With all the news about the rising cost of health care, one way we can contain costs while at the same time maintaining benefits for those who need them is by making sure that every Medicare claim which our government pays is valid,” said Lucilia Prates, director of the Senior Medicare Patrol Program.

The program’s mission is to provide education and resources on how to address health care errors, fraud and abuse to all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, particularly isolated, hard-to-reach, underserved, un-served, limited English speaking and Native American elders.

Friday’s conference, which begins at 8 a.m., is at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough.

For more information: www.MaSMP.org.


Kay Lazar can be reached at klazar@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar.