HHS said implementing a formal advisory opinion process would be too costly in its response to a Government Accountability Office report that providers find the CMS' current guidance unclear and not timely. HHS said a formal process would hardly provide quick answers and would have limited applicability. In a separate report, the GAO said staff members received incorrect answers from the 1-800-MEDICARE help line in 29% of 420 calls and were unable to receive answers in 10% of calls, largely because of disconnections or transfers to contractors that were closed at the time. Read the advisory opinion report or the help line report. -- by Tony Fong
HHS nixes formal advisory opinion process
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