PFQC: Is the GAO saying patients are lying?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WASHINGTON – Consumer advocates question the conclusions of a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that stated Round 1 of the competitive bidding program “did not appear to have adversely affected beneficiary access.” “I speak with Medicare beneficiaries daily who are frustrated and desperate because they are unable to get help,” said Kelly Turner, advocacy director at People for Quality Care (PFQC). “But, basically, this report says they are lying.” More than 3,000 complaints have been filed with PFQC’s Medicare Beneficiary Hotline since June 2013, according to the organization. PFQC says the GAO report was flawed for a number of reasons: it derived conclusions from CMS and its contractors; and its numbers are skewed due to CMS’s definition of a complaint versus an inquiry and the agency’s use of outdated survey data.