Keyword: medicare

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  • 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...
  • Clavell Jackson: Teabaggers Hate the Government, But Love Government Programs

    11/11/2014 10:02:28 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 52 replies
    EURWeb ^ | November 10, 2014 | Clavell Jackson
    *I am still recovering from the midterm election results, but I hope two years of a Republican-run Congress will convince voters to get off their asses and put a Democrat in the White House. I often find it hard to take Republicans seriously, because so many of their arguments fall apart under close scrutiny. Republicans are an odd bunch, some of their ideas show many of them have no idea how government works. During the rise of the tea party, there was an infamous quote from a woman at a rally, who said, “Take your government hands off my Medicare!”...
  • 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.
  • Grimes stands by new ad hitting McConnell on Medicare but does not offer own plan

    07/10/2014 9:39:40 PM PDT · by Republican Wildcat · 8 replies
    cn|2 Pure Politics ^ | 7/08/2014 | Jacqueline Pitts
    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has taken votes to hurt the state’s seniors but bypassed a question Tuesday about what she would do differently. After addressing the International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers (IBEW) District 4 Progress Meeting in Louisville Tuesday, Grimes took questions from reporters on her new ad released prior to the event. When asked about the validity of the $6,000 out-of-pocket increase figure used in the ad, Grimes responded by saying McConnell will have to answer to his vote on the Paul Ryan budget. According to a fact check of...
  • New York's Health Insurance Exchange: Don't Pop the Champagne Quite Yet

    07/03/2014 10:58:15 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 1 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 3, 2014 | By Paul Howard and Yevgeniy Feyman
    Obamacare advocates in New York have had good reason to celebrate. In contrast to Oregon’s and other state-based exchanges, New York’s exchange rollout was a relatively smooth, successful affair. Now for some cold water: New York still has a long way to go. New York State’s Medicaid program, already among the nation’s largest and most expensive, just grew by 10%. And 87% of the new Medicaid enrollees were eligible under New York’s generous, old rules. This means the state will be picking up 50% of the cost for much of this population—not the 10% headline rate for the newly eligible,...
  • Harris v Quinn more important than Hobby Lobby?

    06/30/2014 2:55:44 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 10 replies
    Hot Air ^ | June 30, 2014 | Ed Morrissey
    In terms of direct impact on overreaching government power, perhaps the decision getting the least attention today is the most intriguing. Harris v Quinn addressed a movement in several states — Illinois in this case, but also in Minnesota and others — to force people into public-employee unions even though they are not directly employed by government, but privately employed and paid in part through public aid. The decision in this case narrowly centered on that distinction, but offers a window into a path for broader rollbacks of forced participation in PEU funding: The Supreme Court dealt a blow to...
  • Houston Ambulance Operator Sentenced for Her Role in $2.4 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

    06/15/2014 10:01:21 AM PDT · by Larry381 · 7 replies
    FBI Houston ^ | June 13, 2014 | U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs
    The owner and operator of a Houston-area ambulance company was sentenced today to serve 97 months in prison for her role in a $2.4 million Medicare fraud scheme. Gwendolyn Climmons-Johnson, 54, was convicted by a federal jury in Houston, Texas, on October 30, 2013, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Climmons-Johnson was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $972,132 in restitution. According to evidence presented at trial, Climmons-Johnson was the owner and operator of Urgent Response...
  • UnitedHealthcare to cut doctors for Mass. seniors

    06/08/2014 10:51:22 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 25 replies
    Boston Globe ^ | 06/07/2014 | Tracy Jan
    National insurance giant UnitedHealthcare plans to cut up to 700 Massachusetts doctors from its physician network for seniors enrolled in its private Medicare plan as a way to control costs, according to company officials. For elderly patients enrolled in the plan, the cuts mean they will have to find a new doctor or eventually switch to a new health plan that covers their current doctor. The move, effective Sept. 1, follows similar cuts made by the insurer to its Medicare Advantage provider networks in 11 other states... There is also pending legislation in Congress to prevent health plans from cutting...
  • Investigation: Feds overpaid $70B to Medicare Advantage

    06/04/2014 3:10:32 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    The Hill ^ | June 4, 2014 | By Ferdous Al-Faruque
    The federal government wrongfully paid Medicare Advantage programs almost $70 billion, mostly through overbilling between 2008 and 2013, according to a new report. The Center for Public Integrity released the first of its four part investigative series Wednesday on Medicare Advantage payments that examines the use of risk scores used by providers to charge the government more for sicker patients. Medicare Advantage covers nearly 16 million people and is expected to cost more than $150 billion this year. However, reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also found billing errors in 30 percent or more of patient...
  • Medicaid Enrollment Surges By More Than 1 Million In April

    06/04/2014 2:51:28 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | June 4, 2014 | By Phil Galewitz
    Medicaid enrollment surged by more than 1 million people in April, bringing the total growth in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor since September to about 6 million, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Overall, Medicaid enrollment in 47 states and the District of Columbia topped 65 million in April, compared to 59 million in September for those same states, according to the report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Connecticut, Maine and North Dakota did not report their Medicaid enrollments. “This is good news,” said Rachel Klein, director of organizational strategy & enrollment at Families USA,...
  • Feds to Consider Paying Doctors for End-of-Life Planning (Death Panels Resurrected)

    06/02/2014 9:36:04 AM PDT · by abb · 33 replies
    Stateline ^ | June 1, 2014 | Michael Ollove
    The federal government may reimburse doctors for talking to Medicare patients and their families about “advance care planning,” including living wills and end-of-life treatment options — potentially rekindling one of the fiercest storms in the Affordable Care Act debate. A similar provision was in an early draft of the federal health care law, but in 2009, former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin took to Facebook to accuse President Barack Obama of proposing “death panels” to determine who deserved life-sustaining medical care. Amid an outcry on the right, the provision was stripped from the legislation. Now, quietly, the proposal is headed...
  • Medicare coverage ban on sex-change surgery lifted

    05/30/2014 11:31:31 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 33 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 30, 2014 | Lisa Leff
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex. Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health...
  • Federal health board rules Medicare can pay for transgender recipients' sex-change surgeries

    05/30/2014 10:05:05 AM PDT · by Lady4Liberty · 11 replies
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal health board rules Medicare can pay for transgender recipients' sex-change surgeries.
  • ATT Retiree Medical QuestionRE;Dumped to private exchange

    05/29/2014 7:33:34 AM PDT · by CGASMIA68 · 11 replies
    5/29/14 | cgasmia68
    Question for any retired medicare ATT Freepers that are being dumped by ATT on to AON Hewitt. Have you been to any meetings and if so how bad are we going to take it. Have you spoken to the "licensed insurance rep" for you area? I haven't been to any thing as yet but trying to get a feel for this and get more info but its all reallll vauge and I am sure we are going to take it up the wazoo real bad. Freepmail me if you like. Thanks
  • Watch Out, Grandma: ObamaCare risks for the elderly

    05/19/2014 2:10:42 PM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 12 replies
    New York Post ^ | 05/18/2014 | Betsy McCaughey
    On May 7, the Obama administration boasted that ObamaCare was improving health-care quality for seniors, and it pulled out a bag of statistical tricks to prove it. But a closer look shows that it’s not improving care. It’s skimping on it, socking seniors with unexpected bills for “observation care” and likely shortening their lives. President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services announced that fewer seniors discharged from the hospital are returning for additional care within a month’s time. HHS claims that this drop in “readmissions,” from 18.5 percent in 2012 to 17.5 percent in 2013, signals quality improvement. Nationwide,...
  • Watch Out, Grandma: ObamaCare risks for the elderly

    05/20/2014 5:30:58 AM PDT · by SJackson · 20 replies
    NY Post ^ | 5-19-14 | Betsy McCaughey
    On May 7, the Obama administration boasted that ObamaCare was improving health-care quality for seniors, and it pulled out a bag of statistical tricks to prove it. But a closer look shows that it’s not improving care. It’s skimping on it, socking seniors with unexpected bills for “observation care” and likely shortening their lives. President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services announced that fewer seniors discharged from the hospital are returning for additional care within a month’s time. HHS claims that this drop in “readmissions,” from 18.5 percent in 2012 to 17.5 percent in 2013, signals quality improvement. Nonsense....
  • Lung cancer screening could cost Medicare billions

    05/14/2014 5:33:24 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 14, 2014 5:21 PM EDT
    Every person covered by Medicare would shell out an additional $3 a month if the government agreed to pay to screen certain current and former smokers for lung cancer, a new study estimates. It would cost Medicare $2 billion a year to follow recent advice to offer these lung scans—and fuel angst about rising health costs that are borne by everyone, not just smokers, the study found. […] Lung cancer is the world’s top cancer killer, mainly because it’s usually found too late for treatment to do much good. Most deaths involve Medicare-age people, and most are due to smoking....
  • Pregnant women gain new options under health law (more Medicaid)

    05/10/2014 6:30:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 10, 2014 9:18 AM EDT | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    The health care law has opened up an unusual opportunity for some mothers-to-be to save on medical bills for childbirth. Lower-income women who signed up for a private policy in the new insurance exchanges will have access to additional coverage from their state’s Medicaid program if they get pregnant. Some women could save hundreds of dollars on their share of hospital and doctor bills. Medicaid already pays for nearly half of U.S. births, but this would create a way for the safety-net program to supplement private insurance for many expectant mothers. Officials and advocates say the enhanced coverage will be...
  • New Medicare Harms to Home Health: Saving Dollars, But Costing Lives?

    Obamacare has made drastic changes in Medicare procedures for obtaining durable medical equipment (DME) for home health services. Most patients will not be aware of the hidden new rules until they are hit with higher costs or denial of services or needed supplies. Medicare's new rules cut prices by 45 percent below the current fee schedule, on average, and 72 percent below current rates for diabetic supplies. What reputable business can survive a 45 percent or 72 percent cut in revenue? When patients' home health services are cut, the hardest hit are patients with chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure,...
  • We Just Saw The Biggest Explosion In Health-Care Spending In Over 30 Years, A Big Impact On GDP

    04/30/2014 8:58:06 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 29 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 04/30/2014 | BRETT LOGIURATO
    Spending on health care grew an astounding 9.9% in the Bureau of Economic Analysis' advance estimate of first-quarter GDP. It's the biggest percent change in health-care spending since 1980, when health-care spending jumped 10% in the third quarter. Analysts said it's primarily due to a consumption boost from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Adjusted for inflation, America is spending more on health care than ever before.Personal consumption grew by 3.0%, about half of which was due to the growth in health-care spending, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics. "If health-care spending had been unchanged, the headline GDP growth number would have...
  • Dem congressman: Let’s face it, pretty much all criticism of Obama is racist

    04/30/2014 1:26:57 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 31 replies
    Hot Air ^ | April 29, 2014 | Allahpundit
    Via BuzzFeed, deep thoughts from Rep. Bennie Thompson, adding his two cents on a Nation of Islam radio show to the characteristically thoughtful Conversation About Race that America’s having this week. It’s fun listening to this on the same day that Chris Lehane is defending the memo he wrote for the Clinton White House nearly 20 years ago about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that was out to take down Billary. Every Democratic president, it seems, is the subject of unprecedented conservative vitriol, although Clinton at least could point to his eventual impeachment as evidence that it was true. Thompson’s case...
  • Feds Spent $26.2 Million On Medicare Advantage For Illegal Immigrants

    04/25/2014 5:05:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | April 25, 2014 | by Caroline May
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has improperly paid millions of dollars to Medicare Advantage organizations on behalf of illegal immigrants. In a new report released Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed that for calendar years 2010 through 2012, CMS provided $26.2 million in improper payments to Medicare Advantage organizations for 1,600 “unlawfully present beneficiaries” — or nearly $16,375 per illegal immigrant.
  • Medicare is as useful as Linus's security blanket.

    04/23/2014 4:07:57 AM PDT · by moneyrunner · 8 replies
    The Virginian ^ | 4/19/2014 | Moneyrunner
    SCIENCE! It turns out that the latest study of the effectiveness of Medicare on patient health is non-existent. Here's the summary from the New England Journal of Medicine: CONCLUSIONS This randomized, controlled study showed that Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years, but it did increase use of health care services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain. Like a child's security blanket, it made people who had it feel better for having it.
  • Feds Begin Fingerprinting 'High Risk' Medicare Providers and Suppliers

    04/16/2014 4:38:01 AM PDT · by ilovesarah2012 · 23 replies
    weeklystandard.com ^ | April 15, 2014 | JERYL BIER
    Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement. The provision is part of the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP Program Integrity Provisions (Title E) of the Affordable Care Act, and gives the HHS secretary broad discretion in applying the background check requirements depending on the potential for abuse, fraud, and/or waste. The new requirements are...