Bid complaints go digital

Friday, September 26, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa – People for Quality Care (PFQC) has moved beyond the spreadsheet to create an interactive, electronic map of Medicare beneficiary complaints from its national hotline. 

“It tells the story by looking at a picture,” said Kelly Turner, executive director. “We wanted to show calls are coming in from across the country, and we wanted to show there are some areas heavily burdened with complaints.”

To date, the hotline, launched in 2013, has logged 3,285 complaints.

The map updates in real time and works on mobile platforms. Users can click on each state and sort complaints by the type of medical equipment the patient has issues with. For example, Audrene in Illinois isn’t getting the number of oxygen tanks he needs each month, while Henry in Massachusetts can’t drive the 60 miles to pick up equipment from his provider.

The new map paints a clear picture, especially for lawmakers. 

“A lot of them said, ‘Having a quick and easy way to show the issues you’re running into would be great,’” said Lalaina Rabary, communications and marketing specialist at PFQC.

The PFQC plans to promote the map through marketing and social media campaigns.

“The most important thing is the patient’s voice and having those conversations with the patient is one of the most important things in trying to help make changes,” Turner said.