Government Tools to Help Navigate Medicare, Medicaid, Nursing Homes and Hospitals

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has several online resources aimed at helping consumers navigate Medicare, hospitals and nursing homes. The resources are listed below.

*  “Ask Medicare” offers information about Medicare, www.medicare.gov/caregivers

*  “Nursing Home Compare” is an online way to get insight into every nursing home certified by Medicare and Medicaid. You can compare facilities by a five star “quality of care” rating system. Go to www.medicare.gov/NHCompare

*  “Hospital Compare” sheds light on quality of care at hospitals nationwide, including mortality measure for pneumonia and patient satisfaction information.  www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

*  CMS has issued easy to follow guides on other health related topics, including “Planning for Your Discharge” (a checklist for patients and caregivers preparing to leave a hospital) and “Getting Medical Care and Prescription Drugs in a Disaster or Emergency Area.” Details at 800-633-4227 or www.cms.hhs.gov

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