Iowans who don’t see eye to eye with Medicare will soon have an option to work out their differences. The Iowa Foundation for Medical Care is designated the state’s liaison with the federal Medicare program. The foundation’s Sandi Hall says too often quality-of-care issues are simply a matter of communication.She says this isn’t about financial issues, but rather quality of-care communication issues. When doctor and patient disagree, Hall says the care providers or any Medicare client can ask for mediation. Everyone has the option to consent to mediation, and the parties themselves reach an agreement, nobody reaches a decision for them as in arbitration. Hall says as many as eight in ten complaint cases are driven by a lack of communication.She gives as an example a case where the type of treatment wasn’t explained clearly, so the client thought it was to be one type but the doctor was doing something else. Mediation is being offered for the first time this fall and Medicare clients who’d like more information or want to take advantage of the free program can call the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care at 1-800-752-7014.
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