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Report Shows Rampant Patient Harm in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Posted on 03/4/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingIf ever there were a statistic to make your heart stop, this is it: 1 out of every 3 patients who went to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay was harmed by his or her treatment. A study released this week by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that this harm included infections and medication errors. The report looked at 653 Medicare patients from more than 600 skilled nursing facilities who had been …

Now You Have Direct Access to Your Lab Reports

Posted on 02/4/2014 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Ankita Rao, Kaiser Health News Calling your doctor to get lab results might be a thing of the past: a new federal rule will allow patients to have direct access to their completed laboratory reports. The regulation was announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services. It amends privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) that required patients to get their lab results from …

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 …

Secretary Sebelius: Medicare Helps Millions

Posted on 07/30/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Personal Health The following is a guest post from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius AARP Op-Ed on the 48th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid Tuesday, July 30, 2013 My 92-year-old father first ran for public office after he finished his military service in World War II. He served on the city council, and later was elected to Congress. In 1965, he helped write and voted for Medicare and Medicaid, which celebrate their 48th anniversary today. Since then, Medicare has …

Want a Head Start on Getting New Health Insurance?

Posted on 06/24/2013 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWhere to begin? Come Oct. 1, when the online health insurance marketplaces open for business, that will be the challenge for many people who want to get coverage under the health care law. To get ready for the launch, they can visit the government’s newly revamped HealthCare.gov website. Or they can call the 24-hour call center, which opened June 24. It’s supposed to be able to handle enrollment questions in 150 languages. The website asks a few simple questions, such …

Doctors’ Extreme Prescribing — Footprints of Medicare Fraud?

Posted on 06/21/2013 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsDiagnosis: possible Medicare fraud. That’s the gist of a report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that found hundreds of doctors with “very extreme” prescribing practices — practices that could be harming Medicare patients and costing the government untold millions. Government investigators zeroed in on doctors writing hundreds of prescriptions per patient and large numbers of prescriptions for painkillers and other addictive drugs, among other practices. Related: 6 Common Medicare Scams After sifting through …