New Smartphone App Available for Quick Medicare Complaints about Care

Medicare quality of care complaints are entering the smartphone era.  Livanta, the private company that Medicare contracted to take quality of care and hospital discharge complaints in New York State, is unveiling a new smartphone app that allows patients or caregivers to immediately dial the helpline and speak to a professional who will review the complaint.  A Livanta staffperson, made a presentation and demonstration of how to use the smartphone app at an event sponsored by New York StateWide Senior Action Council at the Pine Hills library in Albany on Friday.

After seraching in the app store for “Medicare Quality helpline,” and installing it, a screen will pop up that allows the user to to first click their state and then just click “Press here to call us.”  The user will immediately be taken to the helpline to register an appeal, such as being discharged from a hospital before the patient feels able to go home.  Other complaints about the quality of care can also be made after leaving the hospital, such as not receiving proper treatment in the hospital, a medication mistake or contracting an infection in the hospital.

Of course, many older persons may not have smartphones and can continue to call the Medicare Quality helpline at (866) 815-5440 and select option 1.  If a senior doesn’t have a smartphone a caregiver or family member should have the app installed on their phone by searching for Livanta in the app store.  This app will be especially convenient for a family member who may live in a different state and wants to assist their parent or loved one, immediately if no one is available locally to help.   Having instant access on the phone is more convenient than trying to remember where to find the toll free number.

When you call to file a complaint, have the following information available:

-your Medicare card

-your Medicare number

-your address and phone number

-your date of birth

-the date of service

-full name and contact information for the facility

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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