CMS uses four modes to disseminate information.
The agency maintains two web sites. One of them — www.medicare.gov — is devoted to consumer information. It is intended for use by program beneficiaries, their families and care-givers, and their advocates. The second site — www.cms.hhs.gov — is designed to serve researchers, policymakers, and health care providers. The sites are cross-linked for ease of access.
- Printed matter
CMS produces a wide variety of pamphlets, handbooks, and directories related to our programs. For example, CMS publishes the Health Care Financing Review, containing scholarly articles relevant to CMS programs as well as data highlights from those programs. In addition to the Medicare & You handbook described above, smaller leaflets are prepared to describe program eligibility, enrollment, and benefits.
- Storage Media
Data from CMS operations are available in a variety of storage media upon request for use at non-CMS computing facilities. Aside from download files available through the Internet, this form of information dissemination is ad hoc in nature.
CMS maintains a national toll-free telephone number, 1-800-MEDICARE, to process questions and provide information about the Medicare program.
CMS is engaged in an ongoing multimedia effort to provide information about the Medicare program to its enrollees. The National Medicare Education Program (NMEP) is unique among the agency's information products in that it is intentionally designed to incorporate Internet, printed, and telephone information seamlessly.