Archive

Government websites fail to provide adequate information about Medicare, GAO finds | TribLIVE.com
News

Government websites fail to provide adequate information about Medicare, GAO finds

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — With many seniors having high medical bills, a congressional investigation found that federal government websites meant to give Medicare patients basic consumer tools instead fail to provide adequate information on out-of-pocket costs and even quality of care.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that Medicare lacks clear procedures for getting useful information to consumers.

The report, obtained before its public release, finds “critical weaknesses” in five consumer-information websites run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that seek to inform how well hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and other Medicare providers are doing.

The GAO said a confusing layout, data gaps and lack of customized information make it virtually impossible for consumers to get the information they need, and it won’t be fixed anytime soon, even as the federal government plans new websites on the quality of hospice, inpatient rehabilitation and long-term care.

It is the latest report to detail problems in the government’s health care websites. The Obama administration has grappled with the technology meltdown experienced last year by HealthCare.gov as well as glitches in the Sept. 30 rollout of data on payments doctors receive from drug companies.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.