New Medicare Program May Be Reducing Hospital Readmissions for Joint Replacement Patients

Lately you may have noticed a growing number of commercials filled with people happily touting the benefits of their new joints. Experts expect such procedures to become increasingly popular as the active boomer population continues to age. However, the commercials typically gloss over the fact that joint replacements do not come without risk: Implant-related complications are common and can lead to unplanned hospital readmissions. While many hospital readmissions are unavoidable, experts believe hospitals can reduce readmissions for certain conditions. Accordingly, …

It’s a Shame: Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Continue to Be Plagued With Balance Billing

Federal law prohibits traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage providers and suppliers from billing people who are qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMBs) for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copayments — a practice known as balance billing. Qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMBs) are people with Medicare who have incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level — or a higher level set by their state — and very few resources. In spite of the prohibition, many QMBs are receiving and, out of …

At Your Fingertips: A Trove of Data on Boomers and Americans 50-Plus

We are a data-driven society. We need data to address the challenges and opportunities facing the 50-plus population. I am pleased to announce that today AARP’s Public Policy Institute launched the AARP DataExplorer, a free website tool that provides a rich collection of data on issues relevant to people age 50 and older. The 50-plus group accounts for a third of the United States’ population, with about 110 million people. People in the baby boom generation make up 80 million …

Have Your Say! WHO Global Strategy on Aging and Health

The world’s population is rapidly aging. Such increased longevity brings opportunity and is something to celebrate, but it also brings challenges. Fortunately, there’s an increasing recognition that we need to create environments and systems that enable people to stay as healthy as possible as they age. Building on the launch of its anticipated Global Health and Aging report on Oct. 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking public comments in order to develop its comprehensive Global Strategy and Action …

Celebrating Medicare: Strengthening the Program for the Next 50 Years

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare program into law. Today, we celebrate 50 years of Medicare providing affordable, guaranteed health care to millions of Americans — but we also look toward its future. We must recommit ourselves to keeping this vital lifeline strong for current and future generations. It’s easy to forget what life was like for older Americans before Medicare was enacted. Back in 1965, only about 1 in 4 Americans over age 65 …

Good News for People on Medicare: Bipartisan Bills to Fight Unexpected Costs, Fraud

BREAKING NEWS: On August 6, President Obama signed the NOTICE Act into law!   On Wednesday, June 24, the Senate Finance Committee approved several bills to improve Medicare. AARP is especially pleased by the advancement of two of these bills: the Notice of Observation, Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act (S. 1349) and the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (S. 861). AARP supports the NOTICE and PRIME Acts because they are commonsense, bipartisan …