Would You Believe: Toad Outsmarts Medicare Reps?
A toad -- just an ordinary toad, mind you -- provided more accurate responses to Medicare policy questions than Medicare customer service representatives, according to a new study by L.R. Huntoon, a practicing neurologist and editor-in-chief of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Huntoon was inspired to conduct his research after reading a 2004 study by the Government Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office).
It found that 96% of the time customer service reps (CSRs) gave the wrong answer to physicians questioning the appropriate way to bill Medicare.
In the GAO's 2004 study, the CSRs were aware of their evaluations and the questions were taken directly from the carrier's own website, yet they still managed to lose to the toad 46% of the time.
While Huntoon's personal experiment is humorous, it illustrates the difficulties facing those who must deal withi the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
In 2003, Medicare received a total of 21 million "provider" inquiries; of those 21 million, Medicare's error rate in Huntoon?s study would translate to 20,160,000 wrong answers.
CSRs are not held accountable for giving accurate information, says Huntoon. For that matter, there's no agreement on what is and isn't accurate. "CMS's definition of what constitutes accuracy is neither clear nor specific," the GAO reported.
With no accurate definition of accurate, it appears that CMS considers accuracy and competence to be irrelevant, says Huntoon.
(Article courtesy of ConsumerAffairs.com)
Find with keyword(s): Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.