Beneficiary Access Problems Due to Medicare Bid Program

Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS) is receiving numerous reports of beneficiary access problems throughout Pennsylvania and the country.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that ALL beneficiary access problems are reported so that the program’s failings can be properly documented for Congress to act.

The Beneficiary Complaint Hotline, sponsored by AAHomecare and People for Quality Care, went into effect on July 1 and has already logged in excess of one hundred calls.

The Hotline provides Medicare beneficiaries with concerns about access to home medical equipment and service in Round 2 bid areas a designated place to log complaints and receive assistance.

The Beneficiary Complaint Hotline is 1-800-404-8702 and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a People for Quality Care live operator, who will take the beneficiary’s name, location, and a brief summary of the issue. With the caller’s permission, the complaints will be forwarded to a local Medicare ombudsman for resolution and added to a list of problems which will be presented to members of Congress.

People for Quality Care will conduct follow-up calls to the beneficiaries to inquire if their issue was resolved satisfactorily by Medicare. Unresolved problems will be forwarded to a national consumer advocacy group.

DME providers, advocacy organizations, and other medical professionals such as referrals sources should distribute the hotline number to beneficiaries.
Operators collect the following information:

  • • Caller name and location
  • • Complaint Summary
  • • Permission to Forward Complaint to CMS and/or Congress
  • • Information on whether the individual is willing to contact Congress directly

The caller’s phone number is captured by the system. This is important for future follow-up calls to determine if CMS has responded to their issue and to see if individuals contact Congress on their own in addition to our efforts.

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