Secretary Sebelius: Medicare Helps Millions

 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?

Where 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?

Diagnosis: 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 …

Look at Men’s Health Week This Father’s Day

The following is a guest post by Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Bill Corr Men, don’t wait for a wakeup call when it comes to your health By HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr As a group, we men are not known for doing a very good job of taking care of our own health. National Men’s Health Week, from June 10 through Father’s Day on June 16, is a good time for us to start taking responsibility and doing …

Elder Abuse Awareness Day: 7 Ways You Can Help

It’s easy to miss elder abuse. Austin, Texas. Mid-1980s. I’m sitting at lunch with a casual friend, who is living with and taking care of her mom. Mom is slack-jawed, with a vacant stare, but she knows what she wants: her portion, and more, of the french fries she’s sharing with her daughter. As mom reaches for one more fry, my friend’s hand flashes out, spearing her mom’s hand with a fork. Mom’s reaction is much quieter than it should …

Free Colonoscopy Coverage Means Polyps, Too

A routine colonoscopy was supposed to be free under the new health care law, but then insurers began charging if doctors found and removed a polyp during the procedure. That’s a no-no, announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, in an effort to clear up confusion about this and other medical tests that should be considered free preventive care, the Associated Press reported. In the notice posted on the HHS website, the agency explained that “polyp …