Have You Been Contacted to Participate in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey?

Have You Been Contacted to Participate in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey?

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) is an important national study designed to provide information on the health care experiences of Medicare beneficiaries across the country. The information is used to analyze health care policy issues and improve planning of health care services. The MCBS collects information about the health problems of Medicare beneficiaries, the types of medical care they receive and the cost and affordability of the care and medicine they need.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts with NORC, a social science research organization with the University of Chicago, to conduct the surveys. With about 12,000 beneficiaries being added to the survey sample each year, NORC usually first contacts the selected beneficiaries by mail in mid-July, and then initiates phone and in-person interviews in August and September.

This means that phone and in-person visits are now already underway. And due to fraud concerns, selected beneficiaries, whether or not they received the initial letter in July, may be wary of trusting and speaking with someone on “behalf of Medicare”. If you or someone you know receives a phone call or in-person visit from someone on “behalf of Medicare” who also has a badge from NORC, and you want to double check the legitimacy of them AND your participation, here are some resources:

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.