doctors

Is Your Hospital in Medicare’s Penalty Box?

Posted on 11/15/2013 by | In Other News . . . | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthIs your hospital being penalized for providing care that falls short of what Medicare thinks it should be? Measures range from nighttime noise to following basic clinical standards of care. If so, your hospital isn’t alone. Some 1,451 hospitals nationwide are being paid a little bit less for each patient they treat in the second year of Medicare’s “quality incentive” program, compared with 1,231 hospitals that will be paid more, according to Kaiser Health News. Here are the hospitals at …

Meet the Medicare Fraud-Fighters

Posted on 11/12/2013 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayFor many older Americans, Medicare has been a life-saver — literally. And, over its 47-year-old history, the government health care initiative has allowed countless more Americans to lived longer and healthier lives. That’s the good news. The not-so-good? Some doctors, pharmacies and other providers try to steal from Medicare by overbilling or submitting fraudulent charges for reimbursement. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter That’s where the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (don’t you just love that name?) comes in. …

The Maverick Doctor Who Helped to Invent Family Medicine

Posted on 11/12/2013 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyIn the late 1950s, a young physician named Gene Farley was working as a small-town doctor in rural New York state when he came to the realization that what he had learned in medical school was all wrong. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter Farley, who died on Nov. 8 at age 86 in Wisconsin, explained in a 1992 oral history interview that his change in thinking came about as he was treating two teenage boys from different families …

More Doctors Accepting New Medicare Patients

Posted on 08/27/2013 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIt’s getting easier — not more difficult — to find doctors who take Medicare, according to a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services. Doctors have long complained about Medicare’s payment caps and the instability of a reimbursement system that forces cuts each year unless Congress intervenes to prevent them. Nonetheless, the HHS study says that the number of physicians accepting new Medicare patients is actually higher than the number taking new private insurance patients, according to …

How a Secretive Panel of Doctors Helps Set Health Care Costs

Posted on 08/1/2013 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthA Washington Post story by investigative reporters Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating has drawn plenty of attention to a little-known committee of doctors that establishes values for each medical procedure, which in turn affects how much Medicare and private insurers pay for them. The American Medical Association committee meets once a year behind closed doors to determine the time and intensity of most of the procedures and services a doctor performs — like colonoscopies (75 minutes of a doctor’s time, …

Should Doctors Ask If You Own a Gun?

Posted on 07/15/2013 by | Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthNo one questions when a doctor asks if an older, cognitively impaired patient is still driving, and urges family members to take away the car keys for the safety of the patient and everyone else. So why is it any different for a doctor to ask if a patient with similar problems has guns at home that could endanger him or others? There is no difference — it’s simply the doctor’s role in contributing to patient and public safety, argues …