Federal officials have undertaken a national consumer study to gain information about health care experiences of Medicare beneficiaries, prompting an advisory from the Missouri SMP (SMP).
The survey, titled the “Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey,” initially will be conducted in Missouri through the end of the year, according to the non-partisan and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, whose staff is doing the interviews.
Because the Missouri SMP has stressed to seniors to be vigilant about answering Medicare questions, Statewide SMP Director Rona McNally said she wanted to make certain that seniors know this survey is legitimate.
“The survey seeks information about the health problems of Medicare beneficiaries, the types of Medicare treatment they get, and the affordability of services and medications,” McNally said. “The participation of folks in this survey is voluntary.”
The interviewers will be wearing photo identification stating that they represent NORC. The answers that beneficiaries give will be kept confidential.
The SMP program helps Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report health care fraud. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have commissioned and endorsed the NORC survey, people should still act on their instincts if they suspect something untoward is happening.
You may always call the Missouri SMP hotline at 888-515-6565 to find out whether the interviewer is legitimate. You may find more information on the web at mcbs.norc.org.
If you believe you may have been the victim of healthcare fraud, contact the Missouri SMP hotline at 888-515-6565.
The Missouri SMP is operated in Missouri by Care Connection for Aging Services in partnership with the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging. SMPs are funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging.