The Office of Inspector General within Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a report outlining an audit of service denials from Medicare Advantage Organizations. The full report can be found using this link.
Some of the key highlights from the report can be found below (and summarized in the video above).
The Top 3 impacted areas for these denials were:
There were three recommendations that the Inspector General is requesting of CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
CMS has acknowledged and agreed to implement these recommendations.
Hopefully, this improves the overall experience for Medicare Advantage Plans going forward.
This short articles (and video above) covers two Press Releases came out this week from the government. One from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and one from CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
(1) SSA Re-opening offices on Thursday, April 7, 2022
(2) OTC Covid Test Kits available with Medicare Part B
SSA Offices Re-opening on April 7, 2022
Social Security offices were essentially shut down during the beginning of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). They re-opened about a year ago, but were still not taking walk-ins. There were very limited appointment time slots, which sometimes resulted in waiting 6-8 weeks to meet with someone. This press release is positive news because the offices will be re-opening for walk-ins starting on Thursday, April 7, 2022. SSA is still strongly encouraging individuals to use the online tools when possible to find answers and/or to book an appointment with Social Security. The SSA press release also mentions the migration to a new phone system which has resulted in some technical issues for phone calls with SSA. Hopefully, these issues get resolved soon!
Over-the-counter COVID test kits available with Medicare Part B
CMS announced Medicare enrollees (in Medicare Part B) can get up to eight (8) COVID test kits per month as long as the Public Health Emergency continues. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part B to qualify. (Even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can still get the free test kits and the pharmacy will bill Medicare directly.) You just have to go to a participating pharmacy and show them your red, white, and blue Medicare card. You can find participating pharmacies using this link:
We hope you found this information helpful.
See bio here