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Health Agencies Update
July 18, 2001

New Medicare Education Campaign

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JAMA. 2001;286(3):295. doi:10.1001/jama.286.3.295-JHA10006-4-1

Responding to surveys that show vast numbers of Medicare patients are confused about their benefits, the newly named Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will expand its slate of public education offerings with phone, Web, and media campaigns.

The $35-million reform will beef up the (800) MEDICARE phone line with additional staff, better training, and 24-hour coverage. The package also includes a librarian Web training program to provide help for beneficiaries using public-access terminals. A media campaign will try to explain the various health care programs with "clear language and clear information."