CMS needs to improve Part D communications

May 8, 2006

CMS should enhance communication with Part D beneficiaries byimproving written materials, the toll-free help line, and theMedicare Web site, according to a study by the GovernmentAccountability Office.

CMS should enhance communication with Part D beneficiaries by improving written materials, the toll-free help line, and the Medicare Web site, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office. About one-third of GAO's 500 phone calls to the Part D help line resulted in inaccurate or incomplete information or no response at all. GAO also found that the reading level of the Part D materials it examined ranged from seventh grade to post-college, even though 40% of seniors read at or below the fifth-grade level. CMS said that although GAO's findings do not present a complete and accurate picture, steps are being taken to implement the recommendations.

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