Medicare

Will Congress Help Medicare Patients Cut Red Tape?

Posted on 02/13/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsA congressman is expressing confidence that a bill he sponsored — to fix a problem faced by many Medicare patients who are left without coverage for skilled nursing care — will pass this year. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who introduced the bill with Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call that the legislation has picked up 137 cosponsors. “This is not happening in a vacuum,” Courtney said, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “It’s happening because there is …

Congress Moves to Overhaul Medicare Doctor Payments

Posted on 02/6/2014 by | Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer The bipartisan leadership of three Senate and House committees introduced legislation Feb. 6 to overhaul the way Medicare pays physicians. The package, which does not specify how it would be paid for, would repeal the current system, which sets Medicare physician payment rates through a 1997 formula based on economic growth and known as the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR).  Physicians would receive a 0.5 percent increase for each of the next five years …

Older Voters Will Determine Who Wins in 2014 and 2016

Posted on 02/3/2014 by | AARP Executive Vice President | Comments

PoliticsVoters age 50-plus decide elections. They turn out to the polls at a much higher rate than voters of any other age group, particularly for non-presidential years. And, at this point, they’re up for grabs. Neither party today has a clear advantage. One reason: Older voters are shifting back to the center, with a mere 1-point advantage separating Republicans from Democrats, according to an Economist/YouGov poll. Another reason: Boomers. Yes, the last of the generation born between 1946 and 1964 …

AARP Will Work With President, Congress for Secure Future

Posted on 01/29/2014 by | AARP CEO | Comments

PoliticsThe president’s speech tonight addressed issues AARP has been working on since long before President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty began over 50 years ago. Social Security and Medicare have helped make a difference by protecting the middle class and keeping millions out of poverty, but many families and Americans of all ages continue to struggle. As we look toward this season of new budget proposals, we also urge the president and Congress to fight for responsible solutions to strengthen …

Are You in the Hospital or Not?

Posted on 01/27/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Savings | Personal Health | Public Policy InstituteIf you think you are having a stroke, you’ll probably go to the nearest ER. But will the hospital admit you? After you have been checked into the ER, the doctor may instead put you under “observation,” especially if it is unclear whether you have had a stroke, a fainting spell or something else. What is observation status? It’s an outpatient designation used to monitor patients during periods of medical uncertainty. Rather than being formally admitted as inpatients, patients in …

Medicare Clarifies Rehab Coverage

Posted on 01/23/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingYou know how frustrating—no, make that infuriating—it can be to try to get reimbursed by Medicare for some rehabilitation services? You’re sure the rehab is helpful, but you can’t convince The Powers That Be. Why? It used to be that Medicare would pay only if the patient were improving.  Now, there’s been a healthy change in policy: You’ll be able to continue receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services to prevent further deterioration (a.k.a. slow the decline) or …