Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New "Ask Medicare" Caregiver Tools

On September 18, 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will launch its new online service offering "information, tools, and materials to assist caregivers in making informed healthcare decisions."

The new resource was announced in a Press Release issued by CMS on September 15, 2008, entitled "Medicare Launches New Caregiving Initiative" posted by MarketWatch, Yahoo, Reuters, InsuranceNewsNet, and other media services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), along with representatives from partner organizations, will launch a new online Medicare caregiver initiative providing information, tools and materials to help family caregivers.

The effort will be launched with a Webcast where forum participants will take questions from caregivers and highlight personal stories and experiences. * * *
One year ago, I noted that CMS offered other educational resources for caregivers, including Internet links, satellite broadcasts, and online articles. See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "CMS Offers Caregiving Presentation" (09/18/07).

The new web-based resource center will be launched in a
webcast on Thursday, September 18, 2008, from noon to 1:00 p.m. EDT. The presentation will feature:
  • Kerry Weems, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Susan Reinhard, AARP
  • Greg Link, Administration on Aging
  • Nancy Lewin, Strength for Caring
  • Gail Hunt, National Alliance for Caregiving
Visit to register for the event or to post questions in advance.

The new online service seeks to educate and to support personal caregivers for ill or aged Americans:
More than 44 million Americans (one out of five) provide daily care for a chronically ill or aging loved one, friend, or neighbor that is valued in economic terms at $350 billion annually, according to AARP.

Because caregiving requires a substantial amount of time, energy, and knowledge, Medicare is launching an online initiative that will provide caregivers with help in making healthcare decisions. * * *
The Ask Medicare website also invites anyone to sign up for various CMS web alerts or newsletters, delivered by email.
As you can see by the check mark in the copied text, I signed in, then signed up for the Caregiver eNewsletter. Try it yourself.