Medicare: Communications to Beneficiaries on the Prescription Drug Benefit Could be Improved

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DIANE Publishing, 2006 - 83 pages
On Jan. 1, 2006, Medicare began providing coverage for outpatient prescription drugs through its new Part D benefit. Beneficiaries who enroll in Part D may choose a drug plan from those offered by private plan sponsors under contract to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Serv. (CMS), which administers the Part D benefit. Beneficiaries have until May 15, 2006, to enroll in the Part D benefit & select a plan without the risk of penalties. This report reviews the quality of CMS's commun. on the Part D benefit. This report: examined 70 CMS publications to select 6 documents to review & evaluate the clarity of these texts; made 500 calls to the 1-800-MEDICARE help line; & evaluated the usability of the Medicare Web site. Illus.

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Page 66 - December 2004 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Appendix III: Comments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES DATE: TO: FROM: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator SEP 1 5 2004 Laura A.
Page 63 - Well, our rules call that visits and phone calls have to be made at different times of the day and different days of the week...
Page 12 - Honorable John D. Dingell Ranking Minority Member Committee on Energy and Commerce House of Representatives The Honorable Sherrod Brown Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce House of Representatives The Honorable Henry A.
Page 30 - It varies from 60 to 160 at different times of the day and on different days of the week.
Page 44 - ... performance criteria. Subpart D— Information, Documentation, and Support 1194.41 Information, documentation, and support. FIGURES TO PART 1194 AUTHORITY: 29 USC 794d. SOURCE: 65 FR 80523. Dec. 21, 2000, unless otherwise noted. Subpart A— General 1194.1 Purpose. The purpose of this part is to implement section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 USC 794d). Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology,...
Page 65 - Web Usability for Senior Citizens: 46 Design Guidelines Based on Usability Studies with People Age 65 and Older, Nielsen Norman Group Report (2002).
Page 79 - CMS has increased the number of CSRs from 3,000 in June of 2004 to as many as 7,800 to handle beneficiary calls. We have also acquired additional infrastructure including telephone lines, workstations, and seats at call center sites. We have refined our CSR scripts by reducing redundant information, indexing scripts for quick access, and including probing questions to help the CSRs better identify the caller's concerns.
Page 78 - Finder tool to handle only prescription drug plan calls. All CSRs receive one week of classroom training followed by two or three additional days of practice calls, simulation, quality monitoring, and follow-up coaching to ensure peak performance. CSR certification with a written examination and test calls is required prior to taking live calls. Calls are being handled on an in-bound basis and steps CMS has taken to strengthen the call centers...
Page 11 - ... this report will be available at no charge on GAO's Web site at We will also make copies available to others upon request. If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please call me at (312) 220-7600. An additional contact and other staff members who prepared this report are listed in appendix IV.

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