Is Your Hospital in Medicare’s Penalty Box?

Is your hospital being penalized for providing care that falls short of what Medicare thinks it should be? Measures range from nighttime noise to following basic clinical standards of care. If so, your hospital isn’t alone. Some 1,451 hospitals nationwide are being paid a little bit less for each patient they treat in the second year of Medicare’s “quality incentive” program, compared with 1,231 hospitals that will be paid more, according to Kaiser Health News. Here are the hospitals at …

Medicare Premiums Stay Level

Medicare premiums will stay at their current levels next year. While the Affordable Care Act has made sweeping changes in the nation’s health care system, the monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and most types of outpatient services, will stay at $104.90 in 2014, with the deductible also unchanged, at $147. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), called that “good news …

More Filial Support Cases Ending Up in Court

Some 30 states have “filial support” or “filial responsibility” laws, which create a statutory duty for adult children to provide financially for their parents if the parents cannot otherwise pay. They’re based on the centuries-old moral principle of filial piety, which holds that adult children have a duty to respect, obey and personally care for elderly parents and relatives. >> Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Typically, these laws obligate adult children to pay for their indigent parents’ …

Medicare and the Marketplace: 4 Things You Need to Know

There’s a lot to understand about the health insurance marketplace that opens on Oct. 1 – not to mention the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), which created it. But if you’re on Medicare, there’s really nothing to be confused about. Here are key facts to remember: If you’re on Medicare, don’t worry about the marketplace. The new health exchanges, as they’ve also been called, are for people without insurance. Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have Medicare. Unfortunately, there’s a lot …

Why People Love Their Medicare Drug Coverage

Medicare’s drug coverage gets a 90 percent satisfaction rating from people who use it. Medicare Part D, in short, gets an A from beneficiaries. Pretty good for a program that barely squeaked through Congress 10 years ago. Here’s what Medicare beneficiaries think about Part D today, according to a national survey sponsored by the Healthcare Leadership Council: Ninety-six percent say the drug coverage gives them peace of mind. Ninety-five percent say their plan is convenient to use. Eighty-four percent say …

Medicare: Time for a Reality Check?

The public’s view of Medicare doesn’t match reality, according to an analysis of six polls by the New England Journal of Medicine, which says that the “wide gap in beliefs between experts on the financial state of Medicare and the public at large” could end up affecting the ongoing battle over the federal budget. Here are some of the chief disconnects: Although Medicare spending has been rising at slower rates during the past five years, 62 percent of Americans think just …