Keyword: medicare

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  • House passes Boehner-Pelosi Medicare deal in resounding vote

    03/26/2015 9:58:14 AM PDT · by GIdget2004 · 11 replies
    The Hill ^ | 03/26/2015 | Peter Sullivan and Cristina Marcos
    The House on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to repeal automatic cuts to doctors under Medicare, endorsing a rare bipartisan deal that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) negotiated with Democrats. The bill, which passed by a vote of 392-37, puts Congress on the precipice of ending a nearly two-decade-long fight over a formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Since 2003, lawmakers have put off cuts under the Medicare formula 17 times, perennially punting the solution through short-term “fixes” that, over time, ran up the cost of abolishing the formula to nearly $200 billion dollars.
  • Medicare Is Doomed -- Save the Patients

    03/24/2015 6:46:09 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 03/24/2015 | Deane Waldman
    Medicare “as we know it” is doomed. It never had a chance. What was originally intended as a vital safety net for seniors has become a massive boondoggle that is collapsing under its own weight. In 1965, Medicare started as a medical savings program for retirees. The government would take a small amount out of your paycheck each month for forty years. This would be placed in a virtual lockbox with your name on it, and would grow at some nominal but safe rate, say three percent. At retirement, the average American would have well over $100,000 in today’s dollars...
  • Boehner eyes 'doc fix' breakthrough

    03/23/2015 7:48:28 AM PDT · by C19fan · 17 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 23, 2015 | Sarah Ferris
    The House is inching closer to a major deal on Medicare payments that could help cement a legacy for Speaker John Boehner.

 Boehner has spent two months quietly working with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to finally solve a Medicare payment problem that has eluded congressional leaders for more than 20 years.

 The House leaders are expected to unveil their $200 billion Medicare deal early next week. Facing little opposition so far, the proposal is bringing Boehner closer than ever to tackling his long-time goal of entitlement reform.

 "This could be one of the two or three accomplishments of the 114th...
  • Oh Look, Senate Democrats Now Causing Abortion Ruckus Over House Medicare Deal

    03/21/2015 5:42:56 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 11 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 21, 2015 | Matt Vespa
    What is it with this party? Senate Democrats have really personified the “you shall not pass” war cry for anything abortion-related as of late. First, they’re filibustering what was an extremely bipartisan bill to combat human trafficking until their staffs missed the non-controversial Hyde Amendment language, which was added as a rider (standard operating procedure for most spending bills) to the law. Democrats knew this language was going to be in the law because Republicans told them months in advance. Heck, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) aide found the language, but failed to inform the senator before the bill went to the judiciary committee...
  • The Hastert Rule is dead; Nancy Pelosi runs the House

    03/17/2015 1:18:09 PM PDT · by george76 · 43 replies
    Red State ^ | March 17th, 2015 | streiff
    see, two landslide elections did accomplish something. ... the “doc fix” is simply and end run around the deficit accounting process. What is more unsettling is the way this piece of legislation came about. It seems to signal that the era of the “Hastert Rule,” where the Speaker will not entertain legislation without the consent of the majority of his caucus, is dead. ... The fact that the Speaker went to the Democrats first to get votes on this spending deal shows the extent to which Boehner has been mortally injured as a leader. It also tells us that the...
  • A Boehner-Pelosi prescription for Medicare doc fixes

    03/17/2015 6:23:53 AM PDT · by C19fan · 6 replies
    Politico ^ | March 16, 2015 | Jennifer Haberkorn and David Rogers
    In a rare display of bipartisanship, House leaders are actively pursuing a deal to permanently change the way Medicare pays doctors and to extend a children’s health program for two years. The estimated $200 billion package could be introduced as soon as this week by House committees responsible for health care policy. Both Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are personally involved to the point that Pelosi reached out to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Boehner has spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in recent days.
  • Federal agencies make $125B in improper payments last year

    03/16/2015 6:42:21 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 16, 2015 5:47 PM EDT | Stephen Ohlemacher
    Federal agencies made $125 billion in improper payments last year, including tax credits to people who didn’t qualify, Medicare payments for treatments that might not be necessary and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working, said a government report released Monday. The level of improper payments was a new high after several years of declines. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments, as well payments made without proper documentation. While the errors were spread among 22 federal agencies, three programs stood out: Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Together, the three programs accounted for...
  • Senate Dems threaten to oppose deal on Medicare doc fees

    03/15/2015 1:08:35 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 15, 2015 3:44 PM EDT | Alan Fram
    Democratic senators would oppose a potential House bipartisan deal preventing cuts in physicians’ Medicare payments if it doesn’t finance a children’s health program for four years, senior Senate Democratic aides said Sunday. […] According to lobbyists and congressional aides, bargainers have discussed including money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two more years, costing around $5 billion. Its money is due to expire Oct. 1. […] The overall agreement—eliminating the Medicare reimbursement formula, slightly boosting those payments and adding money for children’s health—would cost roughly $200 billion over 10 years, aides and lobbyists say. …
  • House leaders close in on $200B Medicare deal (Spend spend spend)

    03/13/2015 12:41:26 PM PDT · by C19fan · 5 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 13, 2015 | Sarah Ferris and Peter Sullivan
    House leaders are closing in on a deal to permanently avert cuts in payments to physicians under Medicare, two House aides confirmed Friday. The deal would offset only about $70 billion of the more than $200 billion cost of making the permanent fix, however, which would likely draw opposition from conservatives that the agreement would bust the budget.
  • Sen. Brown: Why Not ‘Medicare for the Whole Country?’ It ‘Would Be Terrific’

    03/10/2015 6:16:22 AM PDT · by Whenifhow · 40 replies
    CNS News ^ | March 9 2015 | Craig Millward
    While speaking with liberal talk-radio host Thom Hartmann last week, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said he agreed with the idea of lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 0, and essentially establishing a national, government-run health care system, claiming it “would be terrific.” Hartmann, while discussing the King v. Burwell case now before the Supreme Court, which could potentially end federal Obamacare subsidies for people in 34 states, said to Sen. Brown on Mar. 3, "Might it be a good time to start talking about alternatives, like, for example what Robert Ball, the guy who wrote the Medicare bill...
  • Defiant Sen. Menendez declares, "I am not going anywhere"

    03/06/2015 6:00:14 PM PST · by Jim Robinson · 56 replies
    FOX News ^ | March 6, 2015 | Fox News' Chad Pergram, Jake Gibson and Jodie Curtis and The Associated Press contributed to this re
    A defiant Sen. Robert Menendez declared, “I am not going anywhere,” Friday night amid reports the Justice Department is preparing to charge the New Jersey Democrat with corruption counts over allegations he used his office to help a Democratic donor. A person familiar with a federal investigation of Menendez told the Associated Press the Justice Department is expected to bring criminal charges against him in the coming weeks. The pending charges were first reported by CNN. Menendez told a press conference about four hours after the reports surfaced that he had “always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the...
  • It’s 2015…Let the ARRA/Obamacare EHR Penalties Begin!

    02/24/2015 8:51:42 AM PST · by Oldpuppymax · 11 replies
    Coach is Right ^ | 2/24/15 | Michael D. Shaw
    A few weeks ago, I had an appointment with my dermatologist–an old school guy, well-loved by his patients. He’s straightforward, no-nonsense, and has long office hours. You know the type: The one you hope will never retire. As I was led to the examining room, I noticed something not too common these days–shelf after shelf of medical records in manila folders. When the doc came into the room, I commented that he did not appear to be an early adaptor of electronic health records (EHRs). He replied that it was definitely worth the Medicare reimbursement penalty (starting in 2015) to...
  • Paging Physician Assistants As Obamacare Fuels Demand

    02/22/2015 2:04:33 PM PST · by Lorianne · 31 replies
    Forbes ^ | 22 February 2015 | Bruce Japsen
    There is unprecedented demand for physician assistants as insurance payment and the Affordable Care Act encourage a team-based approach to managing the care of patient populations. A snapshot of this trend can be seen in a new report by The Medicus Firm, a national physician recruiter, which said physician assistants (PAs) rose to No. 5 among its top 10 most frequently placed medical care providers in 2014, outstripping several categories of medical doctors. Primary care doctors continue to hold the top three spots with family physicians at No. 1, followed by hospitalist doctors and internists at No. 3. Just a...
  • 32 Federal Programs Are Now At High Risk of Failure

    02/13/2015 6:44:30 AM PST · by IBD editorial writer · 31 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 02/13/2015 | John Merline
    The Government Accountability Office added two more federal programs to its "high risk" list in a report released this week, bringing the total up to 32. Those high risk programs are ones the GAO deems to be extremely vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, putting billions of dollars of taxpayer money at risk.
  • Obama Targets Medicare Advantage, Again

    02/10/2015 5:21:02 AM PST · by Kaslin · 20 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | February 9, 2015 | Neil McCabe
    In his march towards total government control of American lives, President Barack Obama strikes at Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D, in his new budget released Feb. 2 for fiscal year 2016. “The Budget proposes to give the Secretary of HHS the authority to negotiate drug prices for biologics and high-cost drugs in Medicare Part D to help ensure access to and affordability of these treatments,” according to “Investing in America's Future,” the White House's FY 2016 budget narrative. “This proposal is one of a range of potential solutions to address these growing costs, and the administration looks forward to...
  • The Obama administration wants to dramatically change how doctors are paid

    01/26/2015 9:14:39 PM PST · by Nachum · 120 replies
    WaPo ^ | 1/26/15 | Jason Millman
    The Obama administration on Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity. Rather than pay more money to Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, among other measures. The goal is for half of all Medicare payments to be handled this way by 2018. Monday’s announcement marks the administration’s biggest effort yet to shape how doctors are compensated across the health-care system. As the country's largest payer of health-care services, Medicare influences...
  • Medicare Won’t Pay Fees for Services Next Year

    01/27/2015 8:11:24 AM PST · by drypowder · 46 replies
    independent sentine ^ | January 26, 2015 | Sara Noble
    Next year, doctors and hospitals will no longer get paid according to the fee for services model. They will get a fixed salary according to how well patients do. We will see the equivalent of patient report cards. Personalized care is out, government one-size fits all healthcare is in. The more tests, scans, surgeries that hospitals and doctors do, the less they will make. What could possibly go wrong? It will have a devastating effect on patients’ access to care. Patients who come back for the same problem will be included in the one-time bulk rate. Beginning next year, Medicare,...
  • To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients

    01/27/2015 2:22:54 AM PST · by iowamark · 42 replies
    NY Times ^ | JAN. 25, 2015 | NINA BERNSTEIN
    Lillian Palermo tried to prepare for the worst possibilities of aging. An insurance executive with a Ph.D. in psychology and a love of ballroom dancing, she arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to go to her husband, Dino, eight years her junior, if she became incapacitated. And in her 80s, she did... But one day last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled Mrs. Palermo’s copays... Palermo was shocked to find a six-page legal document waiting on her bed. It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh,...
  • 724 Hospitals Have Lost Medicare Funding For Avoidable Complications

    01/24/2015 1:27:06 PM PST · by LucyT · 57 replies
    The Inquisitor ^ | January 24, 2015 | Staff
    Nationally, 724 hospitals have had their Medicare funding reduced after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that each had high rates of potentially avoidable “hospital-acquired conditions,” including falls, bed sores, and certain infections, including ventilator acquired pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. CMS scored hospitals on the prevalence of three risk factors to their Medicare population patients: central line bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and serious complications, a catch-all group made up of eight types of injuries, including blood clots, falls, and bed sores. Funding can be reinstated for hospitals whose scores improve in the targeted areas.
  • US Doctor Comments on Single-Payer "Medicare for All" Proposal

    01/05/2015 8:13:40 AM PST · by Kaslin · 15 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | January 5, 2015 | Mike Shedlock
    I received many interesting comments from readers on Single-Payer "Medicare for All" Proposal; Live and Let Die; Why Does Single-Payer "Work" in Europe? This email is from a US M.D. named Ken. Ken writes ... I agree with everything you wrote, but you omitted a discussion of the variation of demand in relation to the cost. It is approximately correct to state that when the perceived cost to the user approaches zero, the demand for services approaches infinity. This is the crucial flaw in all "government-funded" single-provider programs. The demand for "free" services is impossibly huge. I have read extensively...
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery at 74: Medicare Win Opens Door for Transgender Seniors

    01/03/2015 11:06:05 AM PST · by Rusty0604 · 72 replies
    NBC News ^ | 01/03/2015 | Miranda Leitsinger
    HICAGO — Denee Mallon marveled at the view of Lake Michigan from her hospital bed in the Windy City, where she had just made history: the then 74-year-old transgender woman underwent a milestone sex reassignment surgery she'd sought for decades. "Here I am, finally, after all these years," she said. "It happened." Her operation will be one of the first paid for by Medicare after she won a challenge in May to end the government insurance program's ban on covering such procedures for transgender individuals. Mallon's victory opened the door for other seniors to access this care and may influence...
  • IRS Goes After Nonprofit Hospitals On Asking Customers To Pay Bills

    12/30/2014 12:27:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 45 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | December 29, 2014 | Sarah Hurtubise
    The Obama administration announced new rules under Obamacare on Monday that target nonprofit hospitals’ efforts to get paid by their patients.Nonprofit hospitals, which serve a charitable purpose and are often religiously affiliated, will now be subject to strict rules on when and how they can collect payments from customers, thanks to regulations included in the health-care law. As a condition of their tax-exempt status, these hospitals must “take an active role in improving the health of the communities they serve,” Treasury Department deputy assistant secretary for tax policy Emily McMahon wrote in a blog post Monday. Under the new IRS...
  • Doctors to get Medicare pay cut if they don't 'meaningfully' use electronic medical records

    12/19/2014 6:18:33 PM PST · by nicmarlo · 31 replies
    American Thinker ^ | December 19, 2014 | Thomas Lifson
    The bullying of the nation’s physicians continues apace, now turning to penalizing doctors who don’t meet the administration’s one-size-fits-all approach to medical records. Bruce Japsen of Forbes reports: More than 250,000 physicians and other health professionals are being notified as early as today that their payments from Medicare and Medicaid will be cut because they aren’t adequately using electronic health records in their practices, the Obama administration confirmed. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, is telling about 257,000 eligible medical care providers who are largely physicians that they will be paid 1 percent less in reimbursement...
  • Vanity about Medigap medicare supplement

    12/14/2014 7:25:12 AM PST · by CGASMIA68 · 18 replies
    today | me
    I need to pick something by 12/31.ATT is dumping us retired types to a BS type Exchange.The reps are minimum wagers and don't know squat. Been looking at plans and need, if possible some input on Plan F's "Excess charges"? Its a $70 month dif for me for a plan with it or without which is plan "N" Any one up to speed on this stuff your input would be appreciated. Last year went to the DR one time and the ER 1 time(i am not a roofer) Thanks
  • Former Guelph physician Dr. Kulbir Singh Billing faces fraud charges (Billing fraud)

    12/12/2014 7:44:01 AM PST · by Loyalist · 5 replies
    Guelph Mercury ^ | December 12, 2014 | Liz Monteiro
    KITCHENER — A Kitchener anesthetist specializing in pain management has been charged with two counts of fraud after he billed the Ontario government for services he didn't provide. The Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets branch arrested and charged Dr. Kulbir Singh Billing, 63, on Monday night. He will appear in Ontario Court in January. He faces two counts of fraud over $5,000. OPP Sgt. Peter Leon said the charges stem from billings to the Ontario government from 2010 to 2013. Leon said billings were made to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for services that...
  • Shrinking reimbursement from insurance threatening outlook for rural hospitals

    12/08/2014 7:30:20 PM PST · by Republican Wildcat · 22 replies
    cn|2 Pure Politics ^ | 12/8/2014 | Don Weber
    LEXINGTON — Rural hospitals in Kentucky are facing some of the biggest challenges in their histories and some may be forced to close their doors state auditor Adam Edelen told the Kentucky Chamber on Monday. Edelen, who will be releasing an audit on the plight on the states rural hospitals in January, told members of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce who were attending their annual legislative preview conference, that the difficult economy and managed care are the primary drivers of the difficulty in rural health care. Generally, Medicare reimburses hospitals around 90 percent of cost while Medicaid reimbursement is around...
  • Obamacare Q&A: It’s not easy to check out of Hotel Covered California

    12/02/2014 4:55:27 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Fresno Bee ^ | December 2, 2014 | BY EMILY BAZAR
    In my previous column, I explained that you become ineligible for Covered California’s tax credits when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. You will owe money to the government if you keep getting the credits after your Medicare begins. So I tried to offer a simple solution: Cancel your Covered California plan. Unfortunately, in the past two weeks, I have heard from Californians and insurance agents across the state who have tried mightily — and failed — to cancel their plans. Instead, the premium bills just keep coming. A Covered California phone rep told him that the cancellation challenges...
  • Illegal immigrants could receive Social Security, Medicare under Obama action

    11/26/2014 2:40:04 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 43 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 15 Nov 14 | Karen Tumulty
    Under President Obama’s new program to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of those affected will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits, a White House official said Tuesday. In his speech Thursday night, the president touted his plan as a means of bringing accountability to a broken immigration system, under which 11 million or more people are estimated to be living in this country illegally. “We’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens...
  • N.C. Fires Gruber After ‘Stupidity of American Voters’ Remarks

    11/22/2014 9:34:23 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Fox News Insider ^ | Nov 21, 2014 7:26 pm
    The state of North Carolina has given Jonathan Gruber the boot, firing the ObamaCare architect after he was caught on camera repeatedly calling American voters “stupid.” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) went “On The Record” tonight, explaining that Gruber was hired one year ago to help with a health care plan that dealt with Medicaid recipients and the uninsured. Meadows said that Gruber was supposed to be an unbiased individual, but after these reports, the auditor decided that he’s not so unbiased after all. …
  • Feds arrest eight Miami suspects in Medicare probe linked to Nicaragua, DR

    11/20/2014 2:56:26 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 7 replies
    Miami Herald ^ | November 19, 2014 | Jay Weaver
    As Medicare rackets go, authorities say, this one had no borders. Eleven people associated with a South Florida managed care company were charged Wednesday with fleecing Medicare for services provided to U.S. citizens while they were living in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, according to an indictment. Coral Gables-based Florida Healthcare Plus filed false bills for retired Medicare beneficiaries who claimed to be living in the state but were being treated by foreign doctors while they resided in the two Latin American countries. That is illegal under the federal taxpayer-funded program for senior citizens and the disabled, authorities said. Eight...
  • Boehner opts for Obamacare over Medicare

    11/18/2014 9:25:15 AM PST · by GIdget2004 · 15 replies
    Politico ^ | 11/18/2014 | JENNIFER HABERKORN
    House Speaker John Boehner became eligible for Medicare when he turned 65 years old Monday, but he’s not planning to sign up. Instead, Boehner is going to keep his “expensive” Obamacare insurance plan. The Affordable Care Act required members of Congress to get off the federal government’s insurance plan and, in most cases, enroll in an Obamacare policy. When members turn 65, they become eligible for Medicare as well. When asked at a press conference on Tuesday about his health care coverage plans, he paused and laughed. “I’ll continue to purchase my expensive health care coverage,” he said in an...
  • Gruber: Seniors Should Be Limited to Three Lowest Cost Medicare Part D Plans

    11/18/2014 7:02:46 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 34 replies
    PJ Tatler ^ | November 18, 2014 | Paula Bolyard
    They'd be better off with "less scope for choosing the wrong plan."In a 2009 paper, “Choice Inconsistencies Among the Elderly: Evidence from Plan Choice in the Medicare Part D Program,” Obamacare advisor Jonathan Gruber argued that there were too many Medicare Part D plans for seniors to choose from, which led them to make bad decisions when enrolling in a plan. In the paper, written for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Gruber wrote with Jason T. Abaluck that the privatization of the public Medicare program had resulted in dozens of private insurers offering a wide variety of insurance products...
  • Jeanne Shaheen's Dishonest Claim That Obamacare Doesn't Cut Medicare

    11/13/2014 6:07:10 AM PST · by KeyLargo · 1 replies
    Forbes ^ | 10/22/2014 | Avik Roy
    Healthcare, Fiscal, and Tax 10/22/2014 Jeanne Shaheen's Dishonest Claim That Obamacare Doesn't Cut Medicare Avik Roy In last night’s U.S. Senate debate in New Hampshire between incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D.) and challenger Scott Brown (R.), Shaheen uttered a flat-out, bald-faced lie: that Obamacare doesn’t cut Medicare spending to pay for its expansion of coverage to the uninsured. It’s a talking point that a number of Democratic Senate candidates—and their enablers in the lefty blogosphere—have been clinging to. And it’s embarrassingly dishonest. “I want to go back to Scott Brown’s suggestion that we’ve taken three-quarters of a trillion dollars out of...
  • Upset! War hero suddenly threatens to unseat Dem senator [Udall in New Mexico]

    11/02/2014 1:33:02 AM PST · by GonzoII · 19 replies
    WND ^ | 8 hours ago | GREG COROMBOS
    While Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., is on the ropes in his bid for re-election, his cousin, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is now trying to fend off the momentum of retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Allen Weh, who is near or within the margin of error in the latest polls. Just a week ago, Udall led Weh by 16 points. Since then, an Albuquerque Journal survey shows a seven-point race (50-43) while a Vox Populi poll released Monday suggests a 47-43 Udall lead. Weh said another poll has the margin down to two percentage points, and there are good reasons for...
  • Medicare Weighs Paying for End-of-Life Counseling

    10/31/2014 2:10:09 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    ABC Local News ^ | October 31, 2014
    Medicare is asking for public comment on whether it should pay doctors for counseling patients about their options for end-of-life care. Friday's announcement came in a voluminous regulation on physician payment. Spokesman Aaron Albright says it will "give the public ample opportunity to weigh in on the topic." Five years after a similar proposal triggered a political backlash against President Barack Obama's health care legislation, the administration is dipping its toe in the water.
  • Survey: 1 in 3 Seniors Went Without Medical Care Due to High Energy Prices

    10/10/2014 7:45:40 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 29 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | October 10, 2014 - 11:39 AM | Ali Meyer
    More than one in three low-income seniors, or 41 percent, has already gone without medical or dental care because of high energy bills, according to a survey included in a newly released report. And things will only get worse for seniors, says the 60 Plus Association, as states scramble to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon-reduction rules. […] For example, because of high energy prices, 41 percent of seniors went without medical or dental care, 30 percent of seniors went without food for at least a day, 33 percent did not fill a prescription or took less than their...
  • Urban Hospitals & Health Insurance: Making It Work

    10/04/2014 9:39:02 AM PDT · by Oldpuppymax
    Coach is Right ^ | 10/4/14 | Michael D. Shaw
    Have you heard about the insurance company that provides free health coverage for the poor? Me neither. What about the hospital that provides free health care services to the poor? Of course, you say. Many of them do! Indeed, some of these hospitals even go bankrupt in the process. It is beyond the scope of this article to discern how economic values are set in a society, but rest assured that supply and demand are but one factor—especially in health care. Notably, health care is the most regulated industry in the country. With compliance comes massive additional costs, not to...
  • Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession

    09/01/2014 7:15:17 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 90 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 08/31/2014 | By SANDEEP JAUHAR
    All too often these days, I find myself fidgeting by the doorway to my exam room, trying to conclude an office visit with one of my patients. When I look at my career at midlife, I realize that in many ways I have become the kind of doctor I never thought I'd be: impatient, occasionally indifferent, at times dismissive or paternalistic. Many of my colleagues are similarly struggling with the loss of their professional ideals. It could be just a midlife crisis, but it occurs to me that my profession is in a sort of midlife crisis of its own....
  • Feds May Reimburse Medicare 'End-of-Life Discussions' After Mocking Palin's 'Death Panels'

    08/31/2014 2:36:43 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 20 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government ^ | August 31, 2014 | Tony Lee
    Years after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was mocked for being concerned about "death panels," the federal government may reimburse Medicare doctors for end-of-life consultations that critics say would only encourage sick patients to reject costly treatments to prolong life. The New York Times reports that "Medicare may begin covering end-of-life discussions next year if it approves a recent request from the American Medical Association," which is "the country’s largest association of physicians and medical students" and creates "billing codes for medical services, codes used by doctors, hospitals and insurers." According to the Times, the group "recently created codes for...
  • Half of all New Mexicans now on Medicaid and Medicare

    08/23/2014 5:47:02 AM PDT · by george76 · 38 replies
    Albuquerque Business First ^ | Aug 22, 2014 | Dennis Domrzalski
    Since October, 155,000 New Mexico residents have joined the state’s Medicaid rolls, pushing total enrollment to more than 630,000, or nearly a third of the state’s population. On top of that, 410,000 New Mexicans are enrolled in Medicare, the federal health care program for the elderly. Together, total enrollment in those two federal programs are more than 1 million, or half of the state’s 2.1 million population. ... “It’s shocking, and when you add that to the outmigration of people and the lack of economic growth, it’s almost an incentive to stay poor,” said retired University of New Mexico economics...
  • Let’s Privatize Medicare

    08/23/2014 5:39:04 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 12 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 23, 2014 | John C. Goodman
    Paul Ryan proposed a private health insurance alternative to Medicare for future retirees, liberal critics pounced. It’s another scheme to undermine health care for the elderly by “privatizing” and “voucher-izing” the program, they said.Yet, almost one third of seniors are already in private health insurance plans. They are called Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, plans. And you would be hard pressed to find any Democratic office holder who wants to abolish them. The reason? Seniors choose to be in these plans because they like them better than traditional Medicare.Not only do seniors like them, but they appear to provide...
  • White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security

    08/19/2014 1:22:16 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    FOX News ^ | August 19, 2014
    The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare. In denying access to the documents, including what's known as a...
  • Cancer Screening in Seniors Yields Few Benefits

    08/18/2014 6:42:51 PM PDT · by Innovative · 63 replies
    Medpage Today ^ | Aug 18, 2014 | Charles Bankhead
    Screening older patients for cancer provided minimal benefit at considerable cost and increased use of invasive procedures, reported investigators in two separate studies. "It is particularly important to question screening strategies for older persons," Gross continued. "Patients with a shorter life expectancy have less time to develop clinically significant cancers after a screening test and are more likely to die from noncancer health problems after a cancer diagnosis."
  • A Medicare scam that just kept rolling

    08/16/2014 8:40:54 PM PDT · by E. Pluribus Unum · 20 replies
    Washington (com)Post ^ | August 16, 2014 | David A. Fahrenthold
    The government has paid billions to buy power wheelchairs. It has no idea how many of the claims are bogus. LOS ANGELES — In the little office where they ran the scam, a cellphone would ring on Sonia Bonilla’s desk. That was the sound of good news: Somebody had found them a patient.When Bonilla answered the phone, one of the scam’s professional “patient recruiters” would read off the personal data of a senior citizen. Name. DOB. Medicare ID number. Bonilla would hang up and call Medicare, the enormous federal health-insurance program for those over 65.
  • Medicare Solution

    08/08/2014 12:56:42 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 41 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 8, 2014 | Linda Chavez
    Next week I'm scheduled for a cervical spinal fusion that costs upward of $100,000, but I won't be paying for it. Like 50 million other Medicare recipients, I will receive the medical care I need more or less free of charge thanks to Medicare. It's something most seniors take for granted -- a benefit we believe we're entitled to because, after all, we paid Medicare taxes all our working lives. But as it happens, those taxes aren't nearly enough to pay for the benefits we receive from the system -- at least for most of us. Despite the fact that...
  • Immigrants Contributed Over $182 Billion to Medicare: Report

    08/06/2014 10:41:45 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 41 replies
    NBC News ^ | August 6, 2014
    Immigrants have helped pay the nation’s bills, at least when it comes to health care, according to a new report. Immigrants contributed over $182 billion to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund between 1996 and 2011, according to a study released by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group which advocates for immigration reform. The study found during that same 15-year period, U.S.-born citizens produced a $68.7 billion deficit for the same fund. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and business leaders started by Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch.
  • As Docs Opt Out of Obamacare, a Two-Tiered System Is Born

    08/05/2014 10:03:10 AM PDT · by george76 · 31 replies
    Fiscal Times - Kaiser Health News ^ | August 5, 2014 | Jeffrey Cohen
    On a recent afternoon at his office in Hartford, Conn., Dr. Doug Gerard examines a patient complaining of joint pain. Gerard, an internist, checks her out, asks her a few questions about her symptoms and then orders a few tests before sending her on her way. For a typical quick visit like this, Gerard could get reimbursed $100 or more from a private insurer. For the same visit, Medicare pays less — about $80. And now, with the new private plans under the Affordable Care Act, Gerard says he would get something in between, but closer to the lower Medicare...
  • Docs say Medicare's proposed rates for heart procedure would limit access

    07/19/2014 6:43:27 AM PDT · by Innovative · 12 replies
    Modern Healthcare ^ | July 18, 2014 | Virgil Dickson
    Cardiac surgeons and medical societies are asking the CMS to reconsider proposed payment rates for implanting Abbott's MitraClip, a device that treats a debilitating heart condition. Because the device itself costs more than $30,000, the proposed reimbursement rate would make it “prohibitive for hospitals to be able to offer this significant care so badly needed for a large majority of our patients,” Dr. Gregory Helmer, a cardiologist at the University of Minnesota, said in comments submitted to the CMS.
  • U.S. Medicare program scales back hospice drugs restrictions

    07/19/2014 5:33:03 AM PDT · by Innovative · 37 replies
    Reuters ^ | July 18, 2014 | David Morgan
    The Obama administration on Friday backed down on restrictions of private insurance coverage for hospice drugs under Medicare, saying the regulations were preventing some terminally ill patients from having access to medicine. Under Medicare's Part A hospital program, hospices receive daily payments for each patient but are responsible for all drugs related to a patient's terminal illness. Medicare Part D covers only prescriptions and medications for curative conditions that are unrelated to a terminal illness.
  • Medicare Modifies Controversial Hospice Drug Rule (won't pay for pain relief pills)

    07/19/2014 2:49:07 AM PDT · by Innovative · 22 replies
    Washington Post ^ | July 18, 2014 | Susan Jaffe
    Under the rules that took effect in May, hospice patients or their families could not fill prescriptions through their Part D drug plans until first confirming that the prescriptions were not covered by hospice providers. Drugs related to palliative and comfort care are supposed to be covered under the fixed rate payments to the hospice. Medicare announced Friday that the rules would be revised so that the additional authorization would be required for only four types of medications: pain relievers, anti-nauseants, laxatives, and anti-anxiety drugs that are “nearly always” considered hospice-related.