Now You Have Direct Access to Your Lab Reports

By 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

It’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

 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 …