Know the safeguards for Medicare consumers

People with Medicare have the right to be treated with respect. This means you are not discriminated against for any reason and your health information is kept private.

All hospitals in Alaska post a Patient Bill of Rights. These meet guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS contracts with a national service to make sure your concerns and complaints are acted on quickly. These national services are called quality improvement organizations.

You may be asked to sign a paper or electronic pad that you know you have rights. The intention is that you know you can call someone for a rapid review of your care.

The special quality improvement organization will help you if you have questions about:

• whether you or your loved ones are ready to be discharged from a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, home health agency or hospice

• if you have a complaint or concern about care you’ve received from a hospital, doctor or other health care provider.

In Alaska, Livanta will take care of any complaints, appeals or quality of care reviews. Their contact information: Livanta, LLC, 9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. Toll free: (877) 588-1123; TTY users: (855) 887-6668. Appeals: (855) 694-2929; all other review types: (844) 420-6672.

Ann Lovejoy is a Project Manager at Mountain-Pacific Quality Health in Anchorage.