Consumers and patients, particularly in at-risk populations, find the health care system to be complex and perplexing as health care plans and health systems offer choices and limitations that never existed before. As a result, patients look for assistance from trusted sources to help them navigate health care choices and decision making. Ombudsman or consumer health assistance programs have a unique ability and potential to help empower consumers to become educated, active participants in their health care. However, there are a number of impediments that prevent these programs from reaching their potential, including limited resources, inadequate training, and limited technical assistance and skills development opportunities. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a support center for health care ombudsman programs in Medicare, Medicaid, and private markets. Assistance will be provided in seven areas: (1) technical support; (2) networking; (3) data collection and reporting; (4) information and data feedback to diverse public and private stakeholders; (5) management; (6) outreach and public education; and (7) direct referral services.
Amount Awarded $5,359,435.00
Awarded on: 10/25/2001
Time frame: 1/1/2002 - 12/31/2005
Grant Number: 40697