Accountable Care Organizations Available to You
Did you know that if you receive Medicare benefits through railroad Medicare, you are eligible to use Accountable Care Organizations and have access to their many benefits? In this post, we will share the benefits of these organizations and why you might consider joining them as a railroad retiree and member of NARVRE.
What is An Accountable Care Organization?
An Accountable Care Organization is a group of healthcare providers, doctors, and hospitals who work cohesively to give high-quality care to their patients. Many people have expressed the need for such an organization, and we are glad to report that Accountable Care Organizations seem to be here to stay. Some of the benefits these programs provide includes:
- Providing chronically ill patients the proper care at the right time
- Assisting in ensuring no duplication of services (Such as two X-rays of the same area ordered by two doctors looking at the same problem.)
- Coordinating services with doctors
- Ensures doctors do not prescribe medications that could cause harmful interactions
- Expanded telehealth benefits
- Admittance to a skilled nursing facility without the required three-day stay in a hospital (If all other eligibility requirements are met.)
- Provides its savings to the Medicare trust fund
These programs are not Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) or Medicare Advantage Plans (MA). If you prefer to see a doctor or go to a facility not part of the Accountable Care Organization, you can do that at any time without affecting your benefits.
ACO claims are filed precisely the same as regular claims. However, your provider will need to know that you are a railroad Medicare patient for your Part B claims to get into the right hands when it comes time for processing.
If you have any questions concerning your railroad Medicare claims. You can call the Beneficiary Center at 1-800-833-4455, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 7 pm E.T. You can also reach the Contact Center through our TTY/TDD phone line at 1-877-566-3572 which is available for hearing impaired. They are available during the same hours. It is also recommended that you visit their website PalmettoGBA.com/RR/Me and start an account with their free online portal, MyRRMed. This portal will provide you with access to your railroad Medicare Part B information.
There are currently big things in the works for NARVRE. We are looking to add 16 new units this year! Please keep in mind that it is imperative that your membership dues have been paid so that you can continue to receive our newsletter, which keeps you informed of any new legislation and potential changes to your retirement benefits. Rest assured, though, NARVRE has existed for over fifty years, and we plan to continue to do our part to PROTECT, PRESERVE and PROMOTE your benefits in Washington, D.C. Still, we need your assistance by maintaining your membership and urging other railroad retirees to join. If you know someone who is not yet a member, you can direct them to our Facebook page, and one of our affiliates can set them up with their local unit.
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