Medicare named the first ombudsman in its 40-year history, a post created by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. Independent healthcare policy consultant Dan Schreiner will be a contact within the CMS for beneficiary appeals, complaints, grievances and requests for assistance. CMS Administrator Mark McClellan said in a news release that while many Medicare offices already have ways to handle direct communications with beneficiaries, Schreiner would serve as a single point of contact for the entire agency. McClellan said Schreiner would "make sure the concerns of people with Medicare are always heard." He described Schreiner as "uniquely qualified to be the voice of the beneficiary inside Medicare." Schreiner was a health insurance specialist in the HIV/AIDS bureau of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration for three years and worked on participant service issues for 10 years at investment firm T. Rowe Price Group. He has a master's degree in health policy management from Johns Hopkins University. -- by Ralph Loos
Medicare names 'voice' of beneficiaries within CMS
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