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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    What a Phone Number Misprint Can Do

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A businesswoman in faraway Montana was swamped with anguished calls after a letter informing 339,000 Medicaid recipients of service cuts wrongly listed her phone number for a help line for the hearing impaired.

    The letters mailed Monday already have resulted in hundreds of calls to Sharon Rivera, who lives in Columbia Falls, Mont. more than 1,200 miles northwest of Missouri's capital.

    The Missouri Department of Social Services acknowledged the error Thursday. The two-page letter had correct help line numbers for voice calling but used Rivera's number, one digit away from the correct one, for calls from telephones used by the hearing or speech impaired.

    Many of the callers are older some are weeping, others cursing and don't understand when she tries to explain the mistake, Rivera said. Instead of hanging up on them, she has been listening.

    "This has been a nightmare for me. ... My phone rings constantly," Rivera said in a telephone interview. "And I honestly am feeling very, very sad for the people who call."

    At the urging of Gov. Matt Blunt, the GOP-led Legislature this year eliminated Medicaid health care coverage for about 90,000 of Missouri's 1 million Medicaid recipients. It cut services such as dental care, eyeglasses and crutches for an additional 339,000 adults remaining on Medicaid, and imposed new co-payments ranging from 50 cents to $10.

    Officials in the Division of Medical Service are weighing how to notify the Medicaid recipients of the mistake. The first round of letters cost the state about $80,000, spokeswoman Deborah Scott said. The state also plans to reimburse Rivera for the calls to her toll-free number and for her time.

    "She's been very gracious," not only to the callers but to state officials, Scott added.

    Rivera runs a home-based business, Hawkstone Productions, that books concerts and sells music for Jack Gladstone, an Indian singer, songwriter, lecturer and storyteller.
    Not a good place to misprint a phone number. At least she will be compensated for the calls and the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    u can say that again

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Wow, that sucks. Think she got some sales from all those calls?

    - Tomer
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Bahaha, I bet she unplugged her phone eventually. Must of been ringing non-stop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Kennesaw, GA
    I certainly admire her good nature and patience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    wow, how did she sleep at night? she probably ignored a lot of phones atn ight ;p
    All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

  7. #7
    I smell a lawsuit!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Rivera said in a telephone interview.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Australia (Crikey)
    Oh come on, she will benefit from it. Shes gotten herself into some form of the media, and her company name has been printed in articles. Plus im sure she will get some money for all the trouble. If anyone wants to misprint my number feel free

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