People For Quality Care July News letter

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People for Quality Care:
Protecting Access to Quality Medical Equipment and Service
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In This Issue
Hundreds of Beneficiary Calls – Let Their Voices Be Heard…
Do You Have a Complaint?…
More Beneficiary Stories…
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What is the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program?

July 2013 Newsletter
Hundreds of Beneficiary Calls – Let Their Voices Be Heard
Beneficiaries, caregivers and health care professionals from around the country are calling our Complaint Hotline to discuss the issues they are experiencing as a result of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. We have fielded more than 900 calls, which have resulted in more than 400 complaints that are categorized and sent to Congress and Medicare Ombudsmen every two weeks. Despite the multiple complaints we receive daily, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services still reports only 30 complaints since July 1.

The most frequent complaint heard by staffers (141 of 409 complaints as of July 14) is general disgust over the need to change providers. We think it’s important to elaborate on this topic and include it as a valid complaint and here’s why.

It’s common that those who call in are extremely frustrated by the process of calling multiple providers for multiple medical equipment needs. They feel it is an undeserved inconvenience that is difficult to accomplish because of age, lack of understanding of technology and poor understanding of the process. Most callers mention that they started working at a very young age and paid into the Social Security system for too many years to be treated in this way. They feel they are being disrespected, and many times repeated the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Senior citizens (and people with disabilities) have expressed such great emotion and frustration for the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program that we feel it disrespectful and disingenuous to not include these records as complaints. This is why it’s important that their voices are heard by policymakers, both appointed and elected.

Take a look our current complaint tally and a few brief summaries below.

(Click images below to read full-size.)

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Do You Have a Complaint?
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The most powerful weapon in the fight against the recent changes to home medical equipment policies for Medicare beneficiaries is you.

Are you a Medicare beneficiary, caregiver or medical professional who works with senior citizens or people with disabilities? Do you have a Medicare complaint that needs to be heard?

The Medicare Complaint Hotline was created so you can share your concerns and complaints with Congress and important Medicare officials. Our Medicare complaint reports will be sent biweekly to those officials who have the power to amend the program and return choice and access to better equipment and service to those who need it most.

Elected officials continue to ask how beneficiaries feel about the new Medicare program, and this is our way of providing them with this important information. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claim that few complaints have been made, but our countless conversations with beneficiaries show otherwise.

With your permission, we will share your Medicare complaint with Congress and patch your call to the congressional switchboard where you can tell your congressional staff members just how you feel. If you’d rather make a complaint without connecting to the switchboard, we welcome those calls as well.

If you have a Medicare complaint, please call the Medicare Complaint Hotline at 800-404-8702 today and make your voice heard.

Resources for You
Do you want to get friends, family, colleagues or patients involved? Here are a couple of resources to help you.

  1. Print, cut and distribute our beth.cox with the quantity you need and your address.
We welcome your questions and comments. We would love to hear stories of how these changes in health care have impacted you or a loved one. We will be sending a newsletter like this every month as we continue to fight for the rights of health care equipment users everywhere.

Sincerely,

Kelly Turner

Director of Advocacy

People for Quality Care

www.peopleforqualitycare.org

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The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
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