This March, the 31,800 Medicare beneficiaries in the Augusta area should pay attention to their mailboxes for a chance to make their voices heard on a critical topic – their health care.
If you have Medicare coverage, you may receive the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey in the coming weeks, giving you an opportunity to rate your satisfaction with your Medicare health insurance and doctors. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts this annual survey to hear directly from select beneficiaries about the quality of Medicare health plans and care providers.
Through the CAHPS survey, you can become part of our nation’s efforts to help improve our health care system. Regrettably, many of the selected don’t respond – in 2012, only 45 percent of selected Medicare beneficiaries responded to the Medicare CAHPS survey. If you are chosen to receive the survey this year, please take the time to provide your feedback before the May 29 deadline.
Both CMS and Medicare insurance providers want to make sure you are receiving the highest quality medical care from doctors you trust. The CAHPS survey is one of the tools used to help achieve this goal. Survey responses help the government and insurers identify ways to better serve beneficiaries like you and improve the quality of your health care experience.
As policymakers continue to debate Medicare issues, the CAHPS survey is an important opportunity to make your voice heard. I encourage Augusta Medicare beneficiaries to watch for the survey in the mail and take the time to share their experiences to help improve health-care quality.
(The writer is the regional vice president of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement in Augusta. Nationwide, the company serves nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries.)