Can you believe the government?

Can you believe the government?

The Daily Factoid from Managed Care Online presented the following information from CMS:

CMS states that those who call 1-800-MEDICARE now experience virtually no wait time before getting through. CMS provided the following call wait time statistics for January 2006: (approximate times)

  • week of 1/1 – 1/7: 4.2 minutes
  • week of 1/8 – 1/14: 3.6 minutes
  • week of 1/15 – 1/21: 2.6 minutes
  • week of 1/22 – 1/29: 1.0 minute

I decided to test the plausibility of these statistics by calling 1-800-MEDICARE myself. It took me 2 minutes and 10 seconds to get through to a live person. Of that, only 5 seconds was hold time. The rest was listening to a mandatory outgoing message while the system ignored my cries of “operator” and “agent.” The figures CMS cites must not include the time spent waiting for the chance to be on hold.

February 15, 2006

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