NEW MEDICARE CARDS – What You Need to Know
Here are some important points from CMS about your Medicare card and new number which you will receive
between April 2018 and April 2019
Here is a presentation prepared by CMS about the new Medicare card and number recipients will receive this year.
Check now to make sure your mailing address is up to date. Call Social Security or visit their website to update your address if you need to do so, at 1-800-772-1213 or ssa.gov/myaccount
Be aware that nobody from Social Security will EVER call you about your new Medicare card or ask for personal or private information in order for you to get your new card and number.
The Railroad Retirement Board will issue new cards to RRB beneficiaries. Those cards will have the RRB logo, but you cannot tell from looking at the new Medicare number if it’s for a RRB beneficiary.
Your card will probably arrive at a different time than your friend’s or your neighbor’s
Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare Cards. Your new Medicare “Number” can include numbers and letters, which will be unique to you. The key position 2, 5, 8 and 9 will be alphabetic in the new Medicare “numbers.”
Once you receive your new card, securely destroy your old card and start using the new one. Protect yourself by making sure nobody can get your personal information from your old Medicare card.
The primary reason this is happening is to decrease vulnerability to identity theft, by removing your Social Security Number-based number from your card and replacing it with a unique Medicare “Number.” Numbers that were assigned to all recipients, whether deceased, archived, currently active or new-to-Medicare beneficiaries, will be replaced.
Gender and signature line won’t appear on the new Medicare cards.
Keep your new “Medicare Number” confidential! Don’t share it (or any other personal information) with anyone who contacts you by phone, email or approaches you in person, unless you have given them permission in advance. If in doubt, don’t give information out!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: CMS Media Relations
CMS Releases Hospice Compare Website to Improve Consumer Experiences, Empower Patients
Today, as part of our continuing commitment to greater data transparency, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the Hospice Compare website. The site displays information in a ready-to-use format and provides a snapshot of the quality of care each hospice facility offers to its patients. CMS is working diligently to make healthcare quality information more transparent and understandable for consumers to empower them to take ownership of their health. By ensuring patients have the information they need to understand their options, CMS is helping individuals make informed healthcare decisions for themselves and their families based on objective measures of quality.
“The Hospice Compare website is an important tool for the American people and will help empower them in a time of vulnerability as they look for information necessary to make important decisions about hospice care for loved ones,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The CMS Hospice Compare website is a reliable resource for family members and care givers who are looking for facilities that will provide quality care.”
Hospice facilities offer specialized care and support to individuals with a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less if the illness runs its normal course. Once a patient elects hospice care, the focus shifts from curative treatment to palliative care for relief of pain and symptom management, and care is generally provided where the patient lives. Additionally, caregivers can get support through the hospice benefit, such as grief and loss counseling. Hospice Compare helps patients and caregivers find hospice providers in their area and compare them on quality of care metrics.
Section 1814(i)(5) of the Social Security Act authorizes a quality reporting program for hospices. The Act requires hospice providers to report data to CMS on a number of quality measures selected through notice and comment rulemaking. The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) includes both quality data from the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Hospice CAHPS®).
The Hospice Compare site allows patients, family members, caregivers, and healthcare providers to compare hospice providers based on important quality metrics, such as the percentage of patients that were screened for pain or difficult or uncomfortable breathing, or whether patients’ preferences are being met. Currently, the data on Hospice Compare is based on information submitted by approximately 3,876 hospices.
The Hospice Compare website will reflect current industry best practices for consumer-facing websites and will be optimized for mobile use. For more information, please visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospicecompare/ to view the new Compare site.
For more information, visit the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage.
Other CMS Compare websites include: Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Compare; Long-Term Care Hospital Compare; Hospital Compare; Physician Compare; Nursing Home Compare; Medicare Plan Finder; Dialysis Compare; and Home Health Compare.
For more information on today’s announcement, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2017-Fact-Sheet-items/2017-08-16.html
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