Tampa Forum Kicks Off Conversations on Aging

“Make this a national conversation,” Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, urged participants in Tampa at the first in a series of five regional forums preparing for the White House Conference on Aging this summer. The invitation-only forums allow older Americans and those who work with and for them an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on various issues. Discussions aim to form a vision and agenda for the White House conference, held in Washington …

Health Among Top Issues That Matter Most to African Americans

In January 2011, AARP interviewed Americans 50 and older from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We asked about their dreams as they think about what is next in their life as well as the challenges they see themselves facing. Staying healthy tops the list for African American/Black respondents in the Voices of the 50+ America: Dreams & Challenges study, with staying mentally sharp, having adequate health insurance coverage, and receiving Medicare benefits very …

Hackers Access Records for Millions of Anthem Customers

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Health insurer Anthem said hackers infiltrated its computer network and gained access to personal information for “tens of millions” of customers and employees, including CEO Joseph Swedish. The nation’s second-largest health insurer said it was contacting customers affected by what it calls a “very sophisticated” cyberattack that the company discovered last week. It said hackers gained access to names, birthdates, email addresses, employment details, Social Security numbers, incomes and street addresses of people who are covered or …

Keep Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries From Falling Through the Cracks

The Affordable Care Act allows states to offer Medicaid to low-income adults who would not have qualified under previous law. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer this expanded coverage. Those who qualify will face higher cost-sharing requirements when they transition from Medicaid expansion coverage to Medicare, but some may be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that will help reduce their costs. >> Get your questions about the health law answered here. Medicare beneficiaries …

Are Accountable Care Organizations Improving Care for Medicare Patients?

The Medicare program is busy trying out new ways of paying for medical care that are designed to improve care and lower spending. One of the most important of these initiatives offers financial incentives to groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, known as Accountable Care Organizations (or ACOs), that agree to share responsibility for delivering medical services to their patients. The idea is that when providers coordinate their efforts they will be able to improve the quality …

AARP Report Finds Sky-High Drug Prices

Escalating drug prices have been making the news in recent months. In particular, the exorbitant price tags of two brand-name drugs used to treat Hepatitis C — Solvaldi and Harvoni — have ignited intense controversy. I talked with Leigh Purvis, director of health services research, AARP Public Policy Institute, and coauthor of AARP’s Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Brand Name Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2006-2013 about the trend in rising drug prices and what …