The Broadband Education and Empowerment for People with Medicare (BEEP'M) project will create an easy-to-use Medicare counseling and assistance system to give New Yorkers access to vital Medicare benefits and health care services. Medicare counselors serving low-income seniors at 24 sites throughout the City will be linked to BEEP'M via a virtual private network. Counselors will access BEEP'M from touch screen kiosks at the 24 centers or the World Wide Web. BEEP'M will provide counselors access to an interactive client screening and intake tools that will walk them through the information and services that can help their clients. A case management database will track activities and outcomes of each client's case. BEEP'M will also provide on-demand training videos and an electronic bulletin board so that counselors can provide technical assistance to one another. Counselors at each of the 24 BEEP'M sites will enter client encounter and outcome information into a shared system, which can be used to improve services, recognize trends, and develop better client services.
The complexity and frequent changes in the Medicare program make it difficult for counselors to stay current with its requirements. In New York City, as in most large urban areas, the Medicare assistance system is overtaxed and fragmented. Service organizations struggle to keep their counselors up-to-speed; the training and experience of counselors varies widely across the system. The BEEP'M network will make a significant impact on the training level of service providers with online training modules that can be accessed any time, from any location. In addition, the shared client database, enhanced counselor-to-counselor communication, and the searchable online database of resources will improve the ability of counselors to serve their clients. The BEEP'M project will be a model for using interactive technology to help Medicare counselors navigate the Medicare maze.
The Medicare Rights Center, the nation's leading Medicare consumer service organization, will work with nine community-based organizations in New York City to develop and implement the BEEP'M project.