CMS revamps

By Bernie Monegain
10:31 AM

A redesign of the website is now complete, making content more accessible and easier for beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to understand, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the site enables CMS to provide better customer service.

New features include:

  • A search for whether a specific test, item, or service is covered under original Medicare;
  • The ability to get customized information based on a beneficiary’s specific situation;
  • Quick links to replace a lost Medicare card, find a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, and get help with health care costs.

[See also: Technology to help CMS revamp Medicaid.]

“We did a lot of research into what sort of information beneficiaries and their caregivers really wanted most at their fingertips, and I think users will find this redesign very helpful,” said Tavenner.  “We’ve simplified the language and the homepage layout to make it easier and faster for visitors to get answers and a better understanding of Medicare necessary to get more control over their healthcare.”
The new design responds to mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, say CMS officials. Users can get information, such as coverage and cost details, anytime and anywhere. Medicare beneficiaries, counselors and caregivers can check whether a letter they received in the mail is an official communication from Medicare by viewing descriptions of Medicare mailings. The popular “Medicare & You” handbook now has its own landing page for an easy access complement to the annual print mailing.
The new website design is the result of more than two years of research, design and development work by CMS. Using mechanisms such as call center questions, website analytics and online survey results, the agency found out what users want, including finding out what Medicare covers, cost and coordination of benefits information and finding Medicare drug and health plans.
Comprehensive and thorough user testing with consumers ensured that the new site is successfully meeting the needs of its primary consumer audience, said Tavenner.