Each September Medicare publishes an excellent booklet that no beneficiary should be without and honestly, I feel no clinician should be without. Why? Because in fairly simple laymen terms this annual booklet describes, defines and provides countless resources for the patients we serve. In reality, it provides a baseline set of information that many clinical staff don’t seem to understand about the Medicare program. There are new and important resources for caregivers, explanations of exactly what levels of Medicare there are, along with the differences and co-payment terms. I highly encourage you to link to Medicare & You 2013 and also save a copy to your computer ASAP.
I often field questions on various professional list serve sites regarding basic Medicare coverage. Each year, this Medicare booklet updates the information and provides other resources for our patient populations. Anyone can download the booklet directly if they have electronic access. If you prefer to have a copy mailed to your home you can complete that section for them or call 1â€‘800â€‘633â€‘4227 to request information or delivery of a copy.
The basic information on what is Part A, Part B, Original Medicare vs. ‘A Health Plan’ option or how are medications covered, etc. are in this booklet. The information provided can even assist professionals that help patients bridge the knowledge gap for home-going services and coverage. Do you know what a ‘benefit period’ means and the importance of that period to your Medicare patients when it comes to access and or out of pocket expenses? Professionally it is our job to discharge a patient adequately prepared so they do not become a readmission risk. It’s a great place to provide your staff information when you need a few of your Medicare benefit questions answered!