Pay Less for Your Prescription Drugs

By Nicole Duritz The dog days of August are the most likely time for Medicare Part D participants to fall into the “doughnut hole” and see their prescription costs rise. With AARP resources, you can see if you’re at risk of falling in, and find options for lowering your drug costs. The Doughnut Hole Each year, 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries fall into the doughnut hole. Once the amount of money you and your insurance company pay for …

House Calls for Frail Medicare Patients Bring Savings

By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer WASHINGTON (AP) – Ten or 12 times a year, Beatrice Adams’ daughter would race her frail mother to the emergency room for high blood pressure or pain from a list of chronic illnesses. Then Adams found a doctor who makes house calls, and the 89-year-old hasn’t needed ER care in the nearly two years since. “I’m not a wimpy female,” Adams said as Eric De Jonge, M.D.,  wheeled his medical bag into her dining …

2014 Medicare Trustees Report Urges Responsible Solutions

The Medicare Trustees report today reminds us of the financial challenges facing Medicare, along with the overall high cost of health care. With 64 million Americans expected to be enrolled in Medicare by 2020, we must do more to reduce wasteful spending throughout our health care system. For starters, we can reduce costs and find significant savings in Medicare and throughout the health care system with responsible solutions rather than harmful cuts. By improving care coordination, utilizing technology more efficiently, …

This Week in Boomer History: Lenny Bruce … Gulf of Tonkin … Medicare

Noteworthy events from our shared experience Comedian Lenny Bruce is found dead at his Los Angeles home Aug. 3, 1966. His anything-goes social satire led to multiple obscenity prosecutions while paving the way for today’s stand-up performers. On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV begins broadcasting in the United States. Its first video? “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Mo., a nod …

How Medicare Might End Surprise Nursing Care Penalties

By Susan Jaffe for Kaiser Health News Medicare officials have allowed patients at dozens of hospitals participating in pilot projects across the country to be exempted from the controversial requirement that limits nursing home coverage to seniors admitted to a hospital for at least three days. The idea behind these experiments is to find out whether new payment arrangements with the hospitals and other health care providers that drop the three-day rule can reduce costs or keep them the same …

‘Staggering’ Amounts of Federal Funds Improperly Distributed

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Tax credits for families that don’t qualify. Medicare payments for treatments that might not be necessary. Unemployment benefits for people who are secretly working. Federal agencies reported making $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. “The amounts here are absolutely staggering,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “It’s over $100 billion each of the last …