Medicare

Fighting Health Care Fraud: The Power of One

Posted on 01/17/2014 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayCan a single federal prosecutor make much of a difference in the war against health care fraud? Yes, a new analysis of Justice Department statistics suggests. And the stakes are enormous: Fraud is thought to cost the Medicare program alone up to $90 billion each year. The analysis — from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit group based at Syracuse University — shows that federal prosecutors filed a record number of new health care fraud cases in fiscal …

Cost Barriers Persist for Colonoscopy Screening In Medicare

Posted on 01/15/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Personal Health | Public Policy InstituteThousands of people in the United States die every year from colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon or rectum. That’s astonishing because colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable by use of recommended screening tests. Yet, in 2008, less than two-thirds of all people ages 65 and older had the screening. Medicare pays for several types of screening tests, including colonoscopy which is considered the best test for early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy allows for removal of polyps and …

6 Things to Watch in Congress

Posted on 01/8/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsMembers of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

The Congressman Who Broke All the Rules

Posted on 12/30/2013 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyThese days we’re rarely shocked when we learn that a politician has enjoyed lavish benefits at public expense or found some way to exploit public office for personal gain. That makes all the more remarkable the story of former U.S. Rep. Andrew “Andy” Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.), who during his three decades in Congress declined to accept the monthly disability payments to which he was entitled for his injuries in combat as a Marine during the Korean War. “He didn’t think …

Budget Deficit Talks Finally Exclude Benefit Programs

Posted on 12/26/2013 by | AARP Media Relations Team | Comments

PoliticsLast week as the Senate worked to pass a bipartisan budget framework that doesn’t cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, a hearing without the same fanfare took place just steps away. In a high-ceiling, wood-paneled committee room, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) chaired a hearing that might prove the more historical moment of the week. With plenty of empty chairs and a parade of bipartisan senators throughout the two hours the hearing lasted, an expert, ideologically-diverse panel that included AARP President Rob Romasco, spoke without even …

Most People 65 and Older Need Help, Study Finds

Posted on 12/18/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingAccording to a new disability study, two-thirds of people 65 and older need help to perform what are known as the activities of daily living (showering or bathing, eating, dressing, getting out of bed or a chair, walking and using the toilet). Help can take the form of using scooters, grab bars, canes or other people to stay well-functioning. While not surprising, this large figure is significant. It should give public health experts better insight into the needs of this older group—which may …