Medicare Drug Premiums Will Rise Just $1 a Month

Posted on 07/31/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe average monthly premium for a basic prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D will be just $1 higher next year, the government projects. What’s more, Medicare beneficiaries get some of the credit for keeping the average low by shopping around, the Associated Press reports. For this year, seven of the top 10 Medicare drug plans raised premiums by 10 percent or more. But the average stayed low because many seniors chose plans with lower premiums. “Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should …

Automatic Prescription Refills: Helpful or Wasteful?

Posted on 06/18/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsPrescription drug programs that automatically ship out refills at regular intervals can help older Americans follow doctor’s orders, according to business organizations that are lobbying against a Medicare crackdown on the practice. Medicare, though, says that the automatic refill programs lead to waste when beneficiaries get prescriptions they don’t need and can’t return them. In February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) proposed new regulations that say, in part: “Shipment of unwanted medications is not only wasteful, but …

Are Brand Name Drugs Driving Up Medicare Spending?

Posted on 06/11/2013 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsBy Ankita Rao, Staff Writer, Kaiser Health News A new study suggests that cash-strapped Medicare missed an opportunity to save more than $1 billion by not addressing the varying costs and use of prescription drugs. “The main issue, and the only way to fix this, is to change what physicians are doing,” said Dr. Walid Gellad, a lead author and internist with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the University of Pittsburgh. Physicians in the VA system follow an approval …

Memo to Doctors: Why Are You Over-Drugging Seniors?

Posted on 04/17/2013 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthWhat the heck is going on with doctors in some parts of the country who prescribe risky drugs for older adults? According to an analysis of more than 6 million seniors on Medicare Advantage, more than 20 percent are prescribed at least one high-risk medication. The problem is most common in the South, among women, and in relatively poor areas, report public health researchers with Brown University. Risky medications are ones that health authorities have specifically recommended against prescribing to …

Which pill is which? Use the Pill Identifier tool.

Posted on 11/14/2011 by |General News | Comments

Personal HealthDespite all our medical advancements, let’s face it: a lot of pills look alike. To make matters worse, sometimes pharmacists make mistakes and dispense the wrong prescription, which can have devastating consequences. Since taking the wrong dose of the wrong medication could be disastrous, it’s important to make sure you know, for sure, which pill you’re taking.

Drug Check

Posted on 09/26/2011 by |Health | Comments

Personal HealthOnce upon a time, we trusted that our doctors knew our all of our medications, and how they interacted. But now, trooping off to the cardiologist one day, and the gastroenterologist the next, with a side of psychiatrist? And what happens if, say, you forget to mention all the drugs you’re taking to each doc, and even if you do, do they know how all the drugs you’re taking interact?