Mcare

If You Have Medicare, No Need to Go to Insurance Marketplaces

Posted on 08/26/2013 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News. This story produced in collaboration with USA Today While the Obama administration is stepping up efforts encouraging uninsured Americans to enroll in health coverage from the new online insurance marketplaces, officials are planning a campaign to convince millions of seniors to please stay away – don’t call and don’t sign up. “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits are not changing and the marketplace doesn’t require them to do …

Find Out Whether Your Hospital Has Too Many Readmissions

Posted on 08/6/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIs your hospital’s revolving door turning too quickly? Each year, more than a million Americans wind up back in the hospital within 30 days after leaving for reasons that could have been prevented. That includes one in five Medicare hospital patients. Medicare has begun penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates for patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia — new categories will be added in the future — and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) …

How a Secretive Panel of Doctors Helps Set Health Care Costs

Posted on 08/1/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthA Washington Post story by investigative reporters Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating has drawn plenty of attention to a little-known committee of doctors that establishes values for each medical procedure, which in turn affects how much Medicare and private insurers pay for them. The American Medical Association committee meets once a year behind closed doors to determine the time and intensity of most of the procedures and services a doctor performs — like colonoscopies (75 minutes of a doctor’s time, …

Medicare Drug Premiums Will Rise Just $1 a Month

Posted on 07/31/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe average monthly premium for a basic prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D will be just $1 higher next year, the government projects. What’s more, Medicare beneficiaries get some of the credit for keeping the average low by shopping around, the Associated Press reports. For this year, seven of the top 10 Medicare drug plans raised premiums by 10 percent or more. But the average stayed low because many seniors chose plans with lower premiums. “Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should …

The Costs of Not Expanding Medicaid

Posted on 07/24/2013 by |In Other News . . . | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsI generally don’t like to tell people that I majored in economics in college, because — the painful truth be told — there’s not a lot that I actually remember about “the dismal science.” One of the few things I do remember, however, is the concept of “opportunity cost.” That’s the name economists give to the cost of not doing something. Which brings us, in today’s lesson, to Medicaid, the government-sponsored health insurance program for certain groups of low-income Americans. …

Is Your Doctor a 10? Medicare Site Takes Next Step Toward Ranking Providers

Posted on 06/28/2013 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsBy Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News Medicare Thursday added new features to its Physician Compare website as it prepares to start including quality data on thousands of doctors. The federal health care law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to publish performance data on doctors, including how patients rate them, how well the physicians’ medical interventions succeed and how well they follow clinical guidelines for basic care. The site has been up since 2010, but contained only basic …