Federal officials have unveiled their roadmap to a revamped Medicare physician payment system designed to reward doctors and other clinicians for the quality of care delivered, rather than the quantity.
During National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 6–12, 2016, non-profit organizations and government agencies can help you take advantage of your rights and make better-informed choices.
There are 5 things you can do to become an informed Medicare consumer:
- Know your rights. As a person with Medicare, you have certain rights and protections designed to help protect you and make sure you get the health care services the law says you can get.
- Protect your identity. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Keep this personal information safe:
- Your name
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
- Your Medicare number (or your membership card if you’re in a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan)
- Your credit card and bank account numbers
Get more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft.
- Help fight Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud takes money from the Medicare program each year, which means higher health care costs for you. Learn how to report fraud.
- Get involved with other seniors with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP educates and empowers people with Medicare to take an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
- Make informed Medicare choices. Each year during the fall Open Enrollment Period (October 15–December 7), review your plan to make sure it will meet your needs for the next year. If you’re not satisfied with your current plan, you can switch during the Open Enrollment Period.
New Medicare data available to increase transparency on hospital and physician utilization
Data serves as a rich resource to clearer look into Parts A and B costs, services, and trends
As part of the Administration’s efforts to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people, today CMS is posting the third annual release of the Medicare hospital utilization and payment data (both inpatient and outpatient) and the second annual release of the physician and other supplier utilization and payment data. The announcement was made at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, DC.
Social Security Announces New Online Service for Replacement Medicare Cards
Available to Recipients with a my Social Security Account
The Social Security Administration introduced the expansion of online services available through its my Social Security portal available at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced that Medicare beneficiaries can now obtain a replacement card if they have lost, damaged, or simply need to replace it online using a my Social Security account.