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California Area Office logoCalifornia Area Office

Medicare Special Endorsed Drug Cards

Image of Margo Kerrigan

Margo Kerrigan, M.P.H., Area Director
Indian Health Service California Area Office

September 2004 - I am addressing this month's message to program administrators and Indian Health Service project officers. Our sister agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has asked the Indian Health Service to coordinate two "Train the Trainer" all-day sessions on the Medicare Special Endorsed Drug Cards for the American Indian and Alaska Native population. Two national pharmaceutical companies have already been selected by CMS to conduct the training: Pharmacy Care Alliance and Computer Science Corporation. CMS will also be releasing the details on enrollment procedures.

The dates and locations of the one-day trainings are:

Northern California - Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza
300 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-0100

Southern California  Thursday, October 7, 2004
Holiday Inn on the Bay
1355 N. Harbor Dr. at Ash St.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-3861

    The training targets tribal and urban Indian health program staff such as billing personnel, program administrators, pharmacists, CHR's, and other allied health professionals/support staff that come into patient contact and coordinate benefits. We expect that each program should send at least three people who will be capable of training your respective program's staff about:

    • $600 credit which can be applied to I/T/U pharmacy operational costs
    • Possible mail order option
    • AI/AN patient choice of providers

    This "Train the Trainer" workshop will not be repeated and it only applies to the Medicare Drug Card for AI/ANs authorized through December 31, 2005.
    Participants requiring overnight lodging should contact these hotels soon to get government rates, as rooms are limited. We are planning for a large audience of up to 300 people per workshop. Project officers will be contacting their respective contractors/compactors to verify that this notice has been received and that all programs are represented.
    If you need additional information, the California Area Office contact person is Toni Johnson. You can reach her at (916) 930-3937, ext. 354, or by e-mail toni.johnson@ihs.gov. Please provide her with a list of the number of and names of participants that you are planning to send.
    I look forward to seeing you and your staff at this productive workshop that will add value for AI/AN Medicare beneficiaries and the I/T/Us that serve them.

    Margo Kerrigan
     

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