Notice to Medicare observation patients misses the mark

If you’re one of the roughly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries placed under observation each year, there’s (potentially) good news for you: You may be less vulnerable to sticker shock when you get your medical bill. But Medicare hasn’t gotten the details right just yet. In less than two months, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act will require hospitals nationwide to notify Medicare observation patients that they are not formally admitted as inpatients and why. …

A Tax Hike Is Looming for Some Seniors in 2017. Here’s How Congress Can Stop It

It may not seem like it for many Americans, but recent health care spending in the United States has been growing at historically low levels. Between 2000 and 2007, per capita health spending grew at an average annual rate of 7.55 percent. Then we saw a steep decline between 2008 and 2014, when the rate dropped to an average 3.2 percent per year. Many Americans, however, may be scratching their heads because they notice the effect health care costs have …

7 Facts About Our Aging Economy

If someone asked you, “What will have a major impact on our economy in the coming years,” what would you say? Probably not, “Our aging population,” right? But, yes, our economy is being shaped by our aging demographics in a big way. You may not even notice the changes, but they’re happening. Here are seven things you need to know about intersection of the economy and our aging society: Quiz: What problems do low-income older Americans face? 1. There will be …

Uniform Definitions and Data Elements for Collecting Information About Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is an important public health problem that has negative consequences on the health and well-being of older adults and contributes to avoidable health spending. Studies have found that elder abuse leads to increased use of emergency room and in-patient hospital care, and estimates are that annual costs associated with such abuse are over $5.3 billion. The U.S. Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as any knowing, intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that …

SNAP and Seniors: A Health and Economic Issue

There is a renewed national debate over anti-poverty programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that millions of low-income Americans rely on. The House Agriculture Committee is currently leading an extensive review of SNAP. Recently, AARP President-Elect Eric Schneidewind testified before the Committee on SNAP’s importance to seniors and how it plays a key role in reducing health care costs. Click here to watch the video. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, provides a nutrition safety net for seniors. …

Retiree Health Care Costs May Gobble Up Your Social Security Benefits

A new study projects that a couple retiring this year could spend 67 percent of their lifetime Social Security benefits on out-of-pocket health care costs. And that’s even when couples have Medicare Parts B and D with supplemental insurance. The news gets worse for today’s 55-year-olds who plan to retire in 10 years at age 65, the year in which they’re eligible for Medicare. According to the 2015 Retirement Health Care Cost Data Report, almost 93 percent of that couple’s Social Security …