Testimonials

Letters of support or praise for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, its personnel, its products and its services.

Contents

  1. Former Secretary of State John Kerry
  2. Representative Joe Courtney
  3. Representative Rosa DeLauro
  4. Former Senator Christopher J. Dodd
  5. Julie Evans Starr, Former Executive Director of the State Commission on Aging for the State of Connecticut
  6. Barney S. Spivack, M.D., FACP, CMD, President, Connecticut Geriatrics Society
  7. Christine Lewis, Former Director, Connecticut State Unit on Aging
  8. Natalie Thomas, Attorney at Law State Legal Services Developer, Georgia Division of Aging Services
  9. Tracy Keibler, Executive Director, ApparentPlan and Public Policy Chair of the Minnesota Board on Aging
  10. Lynn Berry, Legal Services Developer (Michigan)
  11. Jim Bergman, The Center for Social Gerontology Ann Arbor, Michigan
  12. Lydia H. Baker, Coordinator Medicare/Health Insurance Assistance Program Pima Council on Aging
  13. Jim Burgess, Municipal Agent, Town of Somers, CT
  14. Roberta M., RN, Patient Advocate
  15. Cheryl Grenier, Director, Truro Council on Aging Truro, MA
  16. Lisa H., Medical Writing Director
  17. B.H., Medicare Beneficiary
  18. Katherine, Knoxville TN
  19. P. T., Greenwich, CT
  20. Ellie Crosby, Georgia Senior Legal Hotline
  21. Dawn Washington, Elder Rights Program Manager, Georgia Division of Aging Services
  22. S.J., Medicare Beneficiary, Edina, MN
  23. Mo, Home Health RN, Xenia, Ohio
  24. D.C., Renal Social Worker, Norwalk, CT

Former Secretary of State John Kerry

“You can always count on The Center for Medicare Advocacy for the most up-to-date and accurate information out there. The Center employs some of the brightest minds around and their top priority is helping folks  – whether it’s sorting through the everyday complexities of Medicare or digging into funding issues this is the place to go.”

Representative Joe Courtney

(From a Statement for the Congressional Record delivered by Rep. Courtney on the occasion of the Center’s 25th Anniversary)

I rise today to celebrate the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s 25th anniversary and recognize their staff that has worked tirelessly on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut and around the country.

In 1986, the Center for Medicare Advocacy was founded in Mansfield, Connecticut by Judy Stein who has been a fierce advocate and leader for quality health care for Medicare beneficiaries. Over the past 25 years, Judy has transformed the Center into an unparalleled, national education and advocacy organization that supports Medicare beneficiaries. Today, the Center serves as an invaluable resource for our constituents and provides us with much needed, quality information on Medicare policies.

With a team of attorneys, nurses, legal assistants, and information management specialists, the Center for Medicare Advocacy works to provide assistance to seniors by simplifying Medicare policies and challenging the Medicare system to provide affordable quality health care with due process and rights of appeal. The Center offers consultations, training, and education to individuals and organizations in order to promote an affordable and fair Medicare system.

My colleagues and I owe Judy and the Center much gratitude for their vigilance of Medicare and the millions of beneficiaries it serves. It is my distinct pleasure to recognize their fine work and celebrate 25 years of service and many more to come.

Representative Rosa DeLauro

(From a Statement on the House floor by Rep. DeLauro on the occasion of the Center’s 25th Anniversary)

It is my privilege to rise today to pay tribute to an outstanding organization, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary. Founded and still led by the remarkable Judith Stein, since its inception the Center has grown into an invaluable resource for Medicare recipients as well as legislators and I am proud to say that it all started in Connecticut.

Judy Stein dedicated her professional career to advocacy for the elderly from the very beginning. For eleven years, Judy was the Co-Director of Legal Assistance to Medicare Patients (LAMP) where she managed the first Medicare advocacy program in the country. Throughout her career she has developed and administered Medicare advocacy projects, represented Medicare beneficiaries, produced educational materials, as well as taught and consulted on a variety of Medicare issues. She has also served as lead or co-counsel in federal class action and individual cases challenging improper Medicare policies and denials. To be frank, there are very few in this country who have such a technical or personal understanding of the Medicare program and how it impacts our seniors.

Twenty-five years ago, Judy took all of her experience and passion for advocacy and founded the Center for Medicare Advocacy – – an organization that would be dedicated to providing a voice for older Americans and those with disabilities as well as a resource to ensure that they have access to health care financing, necessary care and Medicare.

What began as a one-person, one office operation has grown into one of the leading Medicare advocacy organizations in the country. Since it opened its doors, thousands of people have counted on the Center to make sure that they were receiving the benefits that they deserve. Still headquartered in Connecticut, the Center also has an office in Washington, D.C. where they specialize in Medicare and healthcare policy, a data unit in Maine, and attorneys in Arizona,
Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Today, as they celebrate their first twenty-five years, the Center for Medicare Advocacy can be proud of how far the organization has come as well as the extraordinary impact they have had on our nation’s health care policy and, more importantly, in the lives of the many who have sought them out for assistance. I have no doubt that the Center and its dedicated staff will continue in its innovative advocacy, working to both improve our Medicare system as well as the lives of those who turn to them for guidance and support. Happy 25th Anniversary and best wishes for many more years of success!

Former Senator Christopher J. Dodd

“The Center for Medicare Advocacy is the most experienced Medicare advocacy organization in the nation. For more than 20 years I have relied on the Center for the most up-to-date information and effective help for my constituents. The Center for Medicare Advocacy is an invaluable resource for anyone sorting through the complexities of Medicare or concerned about this critically important program’s future.”

Julie Evans Starr, Former Executive Director of the State Commission on Aging for the State of Connecticut

I [would like to express] my high regard for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the center’s Executive Director Judy Stein, and her staff. This is a group of individuals who are deeply immersed in their efforts to assist older adults and persons with disabilities. They are often far too busy, and maybe even too humble, to advertise their accomplishments – and there have been many – to the wider public, but there is no other entity in the state of Connecticut – or, arguably, nationally – with expertise on Medicare issues like the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

The Connecticut Commission on Aging has had a professional relationship with Judy Stein and the Center for Medicare Advocacy for over 17 years – our entire existence as a state agency.  Attorney Stein also serves on the executive board of the Connecticut Elder Action Network, which I founded and co-chair.  In this time I have come to know the Center as a model organization. One we would hope others would emulate.
On policy issues and individual case work alike, the staff at the Center is supremely knowledgeable and dedicated. Connecticut is fortunate to have the Center located here; Judy Stein and her staff have contributed greatly to our state’s discussion of policy issues affecting older adults, including our state’s prescription drug plan, a redesign of Medicaid for the ABD population and more.  They also have critical relationships with Connecticut’s Congressional delegation and provide a needed voice on the national level.
They bring a sense of compassion to their work, motivated by an intense commitment to serve those who might otherwise be forgotten. They are highly professional and at the same time very collegial. Within the organization, they live by principles of teamwork and celebrate the efforts of all its members. They are also an excellent community partner.

The Commission of Aging looks to the Center [often]:

  • When we are contemplating a Medicare Policy Issue, we often call upon the Center for their expertise.
  • They are also part of a coalition that gathers monthly to discuss aging related issues.
  • when an elder calls our office about a Medicare denial, we refer them – with the utmost confidence – to the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
  • In fact, the Center for Medicare Advocacy receives over 6,000 calls each year on their toll free hot line.
  • The Center does a phenomenal job with education and outreach through their Website, newsletters, and multi-faceted educational materials.
  • The Center is also a key partner in the highly utilized Choices program – which provides health insurance counseling for older adults.

In the complicated maze of Medicare and health care coverage – the Center seeks to simplify the issues and protect basic rights.

As Medicare changes, the role for the Center will only become more critical.

We should all view the Center for Medicare Advocacy as one of Connecticut’s treasures – one that must be preserved.

Thank you.

Barney S. Spivack, M.D., FACP, CMD, President, Connecticut Geriatrics Society

The Connecticut Geriatrics Society represents over 150 geriatricians and health care professionals in Connecticut committed to high quality care for older adults and has had extensive experience working with the Center for Medicare Advocacy based in Willimantic, CT.

As President of the Connecticut Geriatrics Society, and as Director of Geriatric Medicine at Stamford Health System, I have personally referred a number of older adults and their families to the Center for Medicare Advocacy and have found their advocacy for the needs of Medicare beneficiaries to be professional, effective, and important in helping ensure funding for needed covered services. Feedback from patients and families has been most positive regarding the work of the Center.

As a professional physician-led organization committed to high quality care for older adults, we strongly recommend that you ensure that there is ongoing funding for the Center for Medicare Advocacy and an ongoing commitment to legal advocacy for Connecticut’s Medicare beneficiaries. Their work is critical and the Center for Medicare Advocacy should be strongly supported.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue and to helping ensure that the needs of Connecticut’s older adults are met.

Christine Lewis, Former Director, Connecticut State Unit on Aging

It has been a pleasure to work with the Center for Medicare Advocacy over the last many years.

The Center has a significant history of providing excellent services to CT’s elderly. Your work is highly professional and done with compassion.

Our contractual relationship with the Center has been extremely positive. Your attention to programmatic and fiscal details is outstanding.

The Center operates as a proven specialist in all Medicare issues and your work has brought comfort and relief to CT’s elders who have experienced difficulties in understanding Medicare and resolving their issues.

The Center was nominated by Elderly Services in 1997 and was subsequently honored with selection for the Health Care Financing Administration’s Beneficiary Services Certificate of Merit – a well deserved honor which recognizes the outstanding work done by the Center.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy is a wonderful resource for my Title III B providers to use when they run into difficult Medicare issues with clients. Judy Stein and her staff are personable and so knowledgeable, I have no hesitation assuring my providers that they can rely on the expertise of the Center.

As a Legal Services Developer responsible for ensuring that the attorneys and paralegals providing legal services to seniors for the Georgia ELAP have Medicare knowledge, the first place I go is the Center for Medicare Advocacy. Each time I have brought attorneys from the Center to Georgia to conduct training the results have been rewarding. The participants always come away confident in the instruction they received and really pleased with the instructors. The best thing about the Center is that they tell you about what they’ve already tried and know to be true.

Tracy Keibler, Executive Director, ApparentPlan and Public Policy Chair of the Minnesota Board on Aging

Dear Ms. Stein,

I am an advocate for seniors.  I wear many hats in that capacity.  I am the Public Policy Chair of the Minnesota Board on Aging and the founding director of a newly organized nonprofit serving seniors.  I am writing to thank you for the information you have on your website that helped me empower a distraught family so that they could effectively advocate for their mother’s Medicare benefits.

… A few weeks ago, I received a call from a friend whose mother was told she might soon be released from a rehab facility if she did not show improvement (following surgery where the doctor ordered that she bear no weight for 90 days and receive PT, OT four times per day).  She was not only told she might not be able to stay in her rehab bed, but neither could she private pay for the bed. She felt threatened that she might be asked to leave the Transitional Care Unit and was told one option might be that if she wanted to stay in the facility, she would have to transfer to the long-term care SNF unit, possibly as a private pay patient.

I went to your website and downloaded the Improvement Standard Self-help Packet and discussed it with the family.  I was amazed at what happened next.  When we spoke with the social worker, she admitted, “I don’t know the Medicare regulations, I’ve never read them.”  The family was able to stand up for their mother’s Medicare benefits by outlining, point by point from the self-help packet, the reasons why she met the skilled nursing care coverage criteria. The social worker quickly backed down from threatening that the mother be moved out of the rehab bed. The decision to move the patient was delayed until after the follow-up appointment with the doctor a week later.

At the next medical appointment, the family was able to effectively communicate with the doctor and the orders did not change (no weight, PT & OT 4x per day). To everyone’s relief, the patient is still in the rehab bed.  The extra 70 days in rehab will be covered by Medicare and the co-pay will be covered by their supplement… a tremendous saving for this family.

There is so much Medicare advocacy work that needs to be done.  I thank you for the high quality, timely and useful information you make available on your website.

Sincerely,
Tracy Keibler

Judy [Judith Stein, Executive Director of the Center], you have been an enormous help and constant source of support to me over the years. I was so thrilled when you became president of NAELA. I knew you would be wonderful and a tremendous help to Medicare beneficiaries and advocates.

As both a former Medicare advocate and now as a state Legal Services Developer, I have learned to trust and depend upon your professional advice and technical assistance. If there is anything I can do, please just let me know. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

Jim Bergman, The Center for Social Gerontology Ann Arbor, Michigan

You folks are doing great work…as expected.

Congratulations for all you’re doing, and thanks. FYI, we’ve placed a note about the Center for Medicare Advocacy on the “Recent Elder Rights & Legal Issues” section of our site, under the March 17th notes, with a direct link to your site.

Keep up the excellent work, as I know you will. [At least a few of us think there should be advocacy on these issues.]

Lydia H. Baker, Coordinator Medicare/Health Insurance Assistance Program Pima Council on Aging

(From two messages regarding our Weekly Alert)

I thank you for your continued support with the wonderful “CMA Alerts.”… What a great service you provide!… Currently, you are my only reliable source of information. I do go on the Medicare website but you have to dig to get the information and then “you” the reader have to put it in a concise format to use with beneficiaries. Thank you again for the sharing of WONDERFUL INFORMATION… You are the greatest!! If I knew wealthy people, I would encourage them to donate to CMA on a regular basis. Your services are invaluable… Thanks again—don’t take me off your mailing list ever!!!!

Jim Burgess, Municipal Agent, Town of Somers, CT

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your Alerts and latest news. It helps me keep our seniors up to date.Thank you so much.

Roberta M., RN, Patient Advocate

Thank you so very much. MedicareAdvocacy.org has been a great resource. I am involved in patient advocacy and have referred so many people, many on dialysis, etc… who have found wonderful information.

Thank you for your service and passion to help others.

Cheryl Grenier, Director, Truro Council on Aging Truro, MA

I use this website to stay current on Medicare for my work.The Center was invaluable when I worked with them while in Connecticut and I stay connected to Medicare through this website.

Lisa H., Medical Writing Director

I’ve been preparing a talk I have to give on oncology reimbursement through Medicare. In preparing over the weekend, I would do searches on Web and always came back your Center’s web site. Great one and I’ll use as a resource for my audience to have if they have some general questions about Medicare.

B.H., Medicare Beneficiary

… If it had not been for Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc …. I don’t think I could have gotten thru some of this Medicare stuff. I started receiving the Weekly Alerts a year or more ago before I was even thinking about eligibility for Medicare. I was reading much of the information which in some cases was way over my head but in some cases it was not. The value of the information being disseminated was just so incredible that I was not realizing how superb and valuable the information would be to me at a later time when I finally became Medicare eligible this month. In addition, I received responses from Patricia Nemore to enable me to get thru what probably could be called a minor issue but to me it was very major at the time. And for all of this I truly wish to thank you all for your kindness and caring for all Medicare recipients. I think the Center for Medicare Advocacy is vital to the elderly and all Medicare recipients.

Katherine, Knoxville TN

How do we stand up for the rights of the sick when we aren’t even aware that there is a problem… Thank you for letting us know to be vigilant and to demand that something be done… No other organization that I know of informs folks about such things.

P. T., Greenwich, CT

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Thank you so much for the work you do for Medicare beneficiaries. Traditional Medicare has served me well for 17 years and I don’t want to see any changes to the current program…

Staff of the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline rely on the expertise of the Center for Medicare Advocacy for a wide range of health-related issues. Their attorneys are among the most experienced and knowledgeable on Medicare and Medicaid in the United States. They respond to our clients’ most convoluted questions and problems regarding our health care system accurately, promptly and cheerfully. This assures that we are able to provide clients with high quality advice about their legal rights in the Medicare and Medicaid system. Hang in there and thank you for all you do.

Dawn Washington, Elder Rights Program Manager, Georgia Division of Aging Services

I would like to commend the Center for all of the wonderful work that you have done over the years.; I have had the opportunity to attend several training events sponsored by the Center that provided me with the knowledge and tools to assist Medicare beneficiaries exercise their rights in traditional health care systems as well as HMOs. I also know that SHIP programs around the country have turned to you to assist in complex cases for their clients who would otherwise have no advocate to insure their right to benefits and services to which they are entitled.

I wish you well and please let me know of anything else I can do.

S.J., Medicare Beneficiary, Edina, MN

I found your site to be very well laid out and [found it] easy to access information. While [Medicare is] complicated, you make things much easier to understand. Thank you.

Mo, Home Health RN, Xenia, Ohio

[I came to your website] for general information before returning to home health nursing. I am an RN who’s been out of the field for 3 and 1/2 yrs, and I know that rules and regs are changing all the time. I was surfing the net for info to get me up to date on all the current regs. I am incredibly pleased with the info I have received here.

I also have a sister with MS, this info will one day prove very beneficial for me personally too.

The link boxes are great, easy to go to something else, and they are always there, no matter where one goes on the site. Thanks for making it so easy.

D.C., Renal Social Worker, Norwalk, CT

Your site is the most helpful I’ve found re: current standards, info, & legislative awareness. I find it invaluable. Thank you!