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BLUES RECEIVES HCFA GRANT TO FUND MEDICARE OUTREACH/EDUCATION PROGRAM

BLUES RECEIVES HCFA GRANT TO FUND MEDICARE OUTREACH/EDUCATION PROGRAM
 DETROIT, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan is one of 13 insurers nationwide awarded a federal grant from the Health Care Financing Association (HCFA) to fund an extensive Medicare outreach and educational program for beneficiaries, providers and human service agencies.
 HCFA granted the Blues over $140,000 in funding for the proposed program, the largest amount awarded among the 13 insurers.
 The Blues proposal, entitled "Making Medicare Work", outlined a collaborative effort with the Southeastern Michigan Medicare Assistance Network (SEMMAN) to provide increased understanding of the system, information on how to access it and methods to empower beneficiaries and advocates. SEMMAN, a formal alliance of nine agencies and organizations, provides educational sessions for consumers and providers, training and referrals for health-care providers, individualized counseling and assistance, information exchange, referrals to appropriate resources, and senior health-issue advocacy.
 "This is quite a distinction for us to receive these funds," explained Vicki Reilly, Blues manager of Community Affairs. "It was an honor for the Blues to receive this kind of recognition for our commitment to beneficiary education and our leadership in establishing and maintaining SEMMAN. This funding represents years of hard work and dedication for all of the parties involved. It's the boost we needed; the culmination of our efforts."
 The program's training will cover several subjects, including Medicare Secondary Payer, Fraud and Abuse, Physician Payment Reform, Informal Reviews and hearings, and the Patient Self Determination Act and Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries. Training sites for providers and human service staffs include Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, Higgins Lake, and the Upper Peninsula. Community forums for beneficiaries will be conducted at 16 sites statewide. Funds also will be used to develop a statewide public awareness media campaign for the Network.
 The first set of training sessions are scheduled for January 1993, with additional sessions in May. A "national dissemination event" is scheduled for November for representatives of the 13 insurers.
 Earlier this year, HCFA asked carriers to submit proposals outlining extensive Medicare outreach and educational initiatives that had national applicability, were cost effective and included a plan to evaluate the project's success.
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Karen A. Martin of BCBSM, 313-225-8121/ CO: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan ST: Michigan IN: INS SU:


DH -- DE032 -- 4525 09/29/92 16:22 EDT
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Date:Sep 29, 1992
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