Medicare

House GOP Plan Seeks Health Cuts to Balance Budget

Posted on 04/2/2014 by | General News | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsBy Andrew Taylor, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are pressing ahead with a slashing plan to try to balance the budget within 10 years, relying on big decreases in health care programs for the middle class and the poor, as well as tax increases and Medicare cuts engineered by President Obama. The GOP fiscal plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., promises $5.1 trillion in spending cuts — and unorthodox accounting incorporating the pro-growth effects of …

Obama Budget Proposal Targets Medicare Savings

Posted on 03/4/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsAs expected, President Obama’s budget proposal abandoned a call to change the way annual increases in Social Security benefits are calculated and continued a call for Medicare savings. Announced March 4, his plan, which goes next to Congress, would hit some Medicare providers, drug companies and higher-income Medicare beneficiaries as part of $402 billion in estimated health care savings over the next decade. Among the proposed changes for beneficiaries: Charge higher premiums for Parts B and D for higher-income people …

Report Shows Rampant Patient Harm in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Posted on 03/4/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingIf ever there were a statistic to make your heart stop, this is it: 1 out of every 3 patients who went to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay was harmed by his or her treatment. A study released this week by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that this harm included infections and medication errors. The report looked at 653 Medicare patients from more than 600 skilled nursing facilities who had been …

New Drug for Hepatitis C: Effective, but Who Will Pay?

Posted on 03/3/2014 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News staff writer, in association with The Daily Beast There’s a new drug regimen being touted as a potential cure for a dangerous liver virus that causes hepatitis C. But it costs $84,000 — or $1,000 a pill. And that price tag is prompting outrage from some consumers and a scramble by insurers to figure out which patients should get the drug — and who pays for it. Related: CDC: All Boomers Need Hepatitis C Test Called …

Medicare Drug Benefit Saves Taxpayers Billions

Posted on 03/3/2014 by | In Other News . . . | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthMedicare‘s prescription drug benefit saves taxpayers billions of dollars by dramatically reducing hospital admissions, a new study shows. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Illinois at Chicago estimated the total savings at $1.5 billion a year — about 2.2 percent of the total $67.7 billion cost of Medicare Part D in 2011. “Medicare Part D requires a substantial investment from the federal government, and the million-dollar question has been, ‘Does this investment …

Looking for a Medicare Doctor? New Ratings Can Help

Posted on 02/24/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Personal HealthMedicare patients have new help in picking a doctor, the federal government announced on Feb. 21. Quality ratings for medical practices have been added to Medicare’s Physician Compare website. “Patients and their families need facts to help them in making important decisions about health care, and choosing the right physician is one of the most important decisions they face,” says Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That doesn’t mean you can look up every …