The article about the study showing DME's don't inform Medicare beneficiaries (see "Study: Suppliers do little to inform beneficiaries," Dec. 15, 2001, p. 8) is totally ludicrous. If we don't inform them, they can claim ignorance and not pay anything under the rule the carriers use. "If you didn't know that Medicare would not pay for this item you are not responsible for payment."
That blows the entire article out of the water. It needs to be published that who ever did the study (the Medicare Rights Center) is loonie!!!Â Â The article is a poor example of reporting. Unless you check the credentials of the people doing the study you publish bad data.
- Vince De Stigter is CEO of Western Healthcare Industries in Jackson, Calif.
The Medicare Rights Center responds:
Our report focused on the need to educate older and disabled Americans of their right to Medicare coverage of medical equipment and their ability to minimize their out-of-pocket costs by using suppliers who take assignment. As Mr. De Stigter correctly points out, Congress has already addressed their need to know when Medicare will not cover their equipment by requiring suppliers to give them written notice.Â We believe that suppliers can also play a major role in informing people with Medicare about covered equipment and how to get it without paying more than they need to. Â Â Â
- Robert M. Hayes is president of the Medicare Rights Center in New York City