Get Medicare Benefits with a Private Insurer through Medicare …

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

OBAMACARE WATCH: MORE DARKNESS THAN LIGHT AND OF COURSE TAXES AND PENALTYS by SS&SSThe original Medicare program has two parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). Only a few special cases exist where prescription drugs are covered by original Medicare, but as of January 2006, Medicare Part D provides more comprehensive drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are another way for beneficiaries to receive their Part A, B and D benefits. All Medicare benefits are subject to medical necessity. Part A: Hospital Insurance Part A covers inpatient hospital stays (at least overnight), including semiprivate room, food, tests, and doctor’s fees. Part A covers brief stays for convalescence in a skilled nursing facility if certain criteria are met: 1. A preceding hospital stay must be at least three days, three midnights, not counting the discharge date. 2. The nursing home stay must be for something diagnosed during the hospital stay or for the main cause of hospital stay. 3. If the patient is not receiving rehabilitation but has some other ailment that requires skilled nursing supervision then the nursing home stay would be covered. 4. The care being rendered by the nursing home must be skilled. Medicare part A does not pay for custodial, non-skilled, or long-term care activities, including activities of daily living (ADL) such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, etc. The maximum length of stay that Medicare Part A will cover in a skilled nursing facility per ailment is 100 days. The first 20 days would be paid for in full by Medicare with the remaining 80 days requiring a co-payment (as of 2009, $133.50 per day). Many insurance companies have a provision for skilled nursing care in the policies they sell. If a beneficiary uses some portion of their Part A benefit and then goes at least 60 days without receiving facility-based skilled services, the 100-day clock is reset and the person qualifies for a new 100-day benefit period. Part B: Medical Insurance Part B medical insurance helps pay for some services and products not covered by Part A, generally on an outpatient basis. Part B is optional and may be deferred if the beneficiary or their spouse is still actively working. There is a lifetime penalty (10% per year) imposed for not enrolling in Part B unless actively working. Part B coverage includes physician and nursing services, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, blood transfusions, renal dialysis, outpatient hospital procedures, limited ambulance transportation, immunosuppressive drugs for organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy, hormonal treatments such as Lupron, and other outpatient medical treatments administered in a doctor’s office. Medication administration is covered under Part B only if it is administered by the physician during an office visit. Part B also helps with durable medical equipment (DME), including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters for those with mobility impairments. Prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs and breast prosthesis following mastectomy, as well as one pair of eyeglasses following cataract surgery, and oxygen for home use is also covered. Complex rules are used to manage the benefit, and advisories are periodically issued which describe coverage criteria. On the national level these advisories are issued by CMS, and are known as National Coverage Determinations (NCD). Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) only apply within the multi-state area managed by a specific regional Medicare Part B contractor, and Local Medical Review Policies (LMRP) were superseded by LCDs in 2003. Coverage information is also located in the CMS Internet-Only Manuals (IOM), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Social Security Act, and the Federal Register. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans With the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Medicare beneficiaries were given the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans, instead of through the original Medicare plan (Parts A and B). These programs were known as “Medicare+Choice” or “Part C” plans. Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, “Medicare+Choice” plans were made more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries by the addition of prescription drug coverage and became known as “Medicare Advantage” (MA) plans. Traditional or “fee-for-service” Medicare has a standard benefit package that covers medically necessary care members can receive from nearly any hospital or doctor in the country. For people who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, Medicare pays the private health plan a capitated rate, or a set amount, every month for each member. Members typically also pay a monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium to cover items not covered by traditional Medicare (Parts A & B), such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and gym or health club memberships. In exchange for these extra benefits, enrollees may be limited in the providers they can receive services from without paying extra. Typically, the plans have a “network” of providers that patients can use. Going outside that network may require permission or extra fees. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer coverage that meets or exceeds the standards set by the original Medicare program, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. If a plan chooses to pay less than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, the savings may be passed along to consumers by offering lower copayments for doctor visits. Medicare Advantage plans use a portion of the payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits. Some plans limit their members’ annual out-of-pocket spending on medical care, providing insurance against catastrophic costs over $5,000, for example. Many plans offer dental coverage, vision coverage and other services not covered by Medicare Parts A or B, which makes them a good value for the health care dollar, if you want to use the provider included in the plan’s network or “panel” of providers. Because the 2003 payment formulas overpay plans by 12 percent or more compared to traditional Medicare,[11] in 2006 enrollees in Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plans were offered a net extra benefit value (the value of the additional benefits minus any additional premium) of $55.92 a month more than the traditional Medicare benefit package; enrollees in other Medicare Advantage plans were offered a net extra benefit value of $71.22 a month more.[12] However, Medicare Advantage members receive additional coverage and medical benefits not enjoyed by traditional Medicare members, and savings generated by Medicare Advantage plans may be passed on to beneficiaries to lower their overall health care costs.[10] Other important distinctions between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare are that Medicare Advantage health plans encourage preventive care and wellness and closely coordinate patient care.[13] Medicare Advantage Plans that also include Part D prescription drug benefits are known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or a MA-PD. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew from 5.4 million in 2005 to 8.2 million in 2007. Enrollment grew by an additional 800,000 during the first four months of 2008. This represents 19% of Medicare beneficiaries. A third of beneficiaries with Part D coverage are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is higher in urban areas; the enrollment rate in urban counties is twice that in rural counties (22% vs. 10%). Almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least two Medicare Advantage plans; most have access to three or more. Because of the 2003 law’s overpayments, the number of organizations offering Fee-for-Service plans has increased dramatically, from 11 in 2006 to almost 50 in 2008. Eight out of ten beneficiaries (82%) now have access to six or more Private Fee-for-Service plans.[14] Each year many individuals disenroll from MA plans. A recent study noted that about 20 percent of enrollees report that “their most important reason for leaving was due to problems getting care.”[15] There is some evidence that disabled beneficiaries “are more likely to experience multiple problems in managed care.”[16] Some studies have reported that the older, poorer, and sicker persons have been less satisfied with the care they have received in MA plans.[17] On the other hand, an analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data published by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that Medicare Advantage enrollees spent fewer days in the hospital than Fee-for-Service enrollees, were less likely to have “potentially avoidable” admissions, and had fewer re-admissions. These comparisons adjusted for age, sex and health status using the risk score used in the Medicare Advantage risk adjustment mechanism.[18][19] In December 2009 the Kaiser Family Foundation published a report that rated Medicare Advantage organizations on a five star scale. The ratings were based on data from CMS, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data, and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS). New plans did not receive ratings, because data were not available. Almost six out of ten (59%) of MA plans did receive ratings, and these plans represented 85% of the enrollment for 2009. The average rating was 3.29 stars. Twenty-three percent of enrollees were in a plan with four or more stars; 20% were in a plan with fewer than three stars.[20] Twenty percent of African-American and 32 percent of Hispanic Medicare Beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2006. Almost half (48%) of Medicare Advantage enrollees had incomes below $20,000, including 71% of minority enrollees.[21] Others have reported that minority enrollment is not particularly above average.[22] Another study has raised questions about the quality of care received by minorities in MA plans.[23] The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2006, the plans earned profits of 6.6 percent, had overhead (sales, etc.) of 10.1 percent, and provided 83.3 percent of the revenue dollar in medical benefits. These administrative costs are far higher than traditional fee-for-service Medicare.[24] [edit] Part D: Prescription Drug plans Main articles: Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D coverage gap Medicare Part D went into effect on January 1, 2006. Anyone with Part A or B is eligible for Part D. It was made possible by the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. In order to receive this benefit, a person with Medicare must enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). These plans are approved and regulated by the Medicare program, but are actually designed and administered by private health insurance companies. Unlike Original Medicare (Part A and B), Part D coverage is not standardized. Plans choose which drugs (or even classes of drugs) they wish to cover, at what level (or tier) they wish to cover it, and are free to choose not to cover some drugs at all. The exception to this is drugs that Medicare specifically excludes from coverage, including but not limited to benzodiazepines, cough suppressant and barbiturates. Plans that cover excluded drugs are not allowed to pass those costs on to Medicare, and plans are required to repay CMS if they are found to have billed Medicare in these cases. It should be noted again for beneficiaries who are dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid eligible) Medicaid may pay for drugs not covered by part D of Medicare, such as benzodiazepines, and other restricted controlled substances.
Source: medicare-health.com

Video: Enrolling in Medicare

Q1Medicare.com Brings the 2012 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Information Online

Seniors and Medicare beneficiaries qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) or Extra Help program will still find most states offering a number of prescription drug plans qualifying for the $ 0 monthly LIS premium. The state with the largest number of LIS qualifying plans is Arkansas with 15 Medicare Part D plans, down from 16 plans in 2011. Yet, residents of 15 states, including Florida and Nevada, will find fewer LIS-qualifying 2012 Medicare Part D plans. Because of changes in the annual Part D plan premiums and state LIS premium benchmarks, some full LIS qualifying Medicare beneficiaries may be automatically reassigned to new 2012 plans still qualifying for the $ 0 monthly premium. However, Extra Help recipients who chose their own plan in the past will not be auto-reassigned to a new plan and may need to select a new 2012 Medicare Part D plan that still meets the $ 0 monthly premium threshold.
Source: carkeylocksmiths.org

Medicare Supplemental Insurance: What It is and Why You May Need It

In order to acquire Medicare Supplemental Plans advantages, you have to be enrolled in Portion A or Portion B of Medicare currently. For the duration of the open enrollment period, a person can acquire a Medigap strategy on a assured concern basis, in which no medical screening is needed. This open enrollment period starts inside of 6 months of turning 65 or enrolling in Medicare Portion B at 65 or older. Outside of the open enrollment period, the insurance coverage organization that is issuing the Medigap Insurance might demand that you acquire an attending physician’s statement or a medical screening in order to get a strategy. If you are underneath the age of 65 but are still getting Medicare, it may well be a tiny a lot more difficult to get North Carolina Medicare Supplements. A slight majority of states demand that insurers offer at least one particular type of Medigap insurance coverage to every person, and 25 of them demand that Medigap policies be supplied to all Medicare recipients, even though, so it is crucial to look into the rules for your state if you fall into this category.
Source: carinsurance-georgia.org

When can you enroll in Medicare outside of the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?

4. Medicare Supplement/Medigap Plans – Medicare Supplement plans do not have a defined annual open enrollment period. Most States, carriers and plans allow for enrollment year round. Beneficiary’s can make changes or adjustments based on the insurance company, plan or state they live in throughout the year. But, some underwriting qualifications may have to be met.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Medicare Supplemental Plans: The Basics of It and Why You May Need It

In order to receive Medicare Supplemental Plans advantages, you have to be enrolled in Element A or Element B of Medicare currently. For the duration of the open enrollment period, a particular person can obtain a Medigap strategy on a guaranteed situation basis, in which no medical screening is essential. This open enrollment period starts within 6 months of turning 65 or enrolling in Medicare Element B at 65 or older. Outdoors of the open enrollment period, the insurance coverage organization that is issuing the Medigap Insurance could call for that you obtain an attending physician’s statement or a medical screening in order to get a strategy. If you are beneath the age of 65 but are nevertheless getting Medicare, it may well be a little much more difficult to get South Carolina Medicare Supplements. A slight majority of states call for that insurers provide at least one particular variety of Medigap insurance coverage to absolutely everyone, and 25 of them call for that Medigap policies be supplied to all Medicare recipients, although, so it is essential to look into the rules for your state if you fall into this category.
Source: carinsurance-ohio.com

Medicare Offers Extra Enrollment Time For Seniors Who Call Today

A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the “increased flexibility” is limited only to seniors who contact any of several sources of assistance on or before the close of business Wednesday and leave messages because they are unable to get through to sign up. Those groups include: counselors with the government-funded State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP), and other Medicare-partner organizations such as the Medicare Rights Center, local agencies on aging, and the National Council on Aging. Calls to Medicare’s toll-free information line, 800-633-4227 can be made until midnight tonight. If seniors leave messages, then starting on Thursday, those beneficiaries will be called back and will receive assistance. All “call-back enrollments” must be completed by 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the spokesman said.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

How To Enroll In Medicare Part D

Ensure eligibility. To be eligible for Plan D, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) or Medicare Plan B (medical insurance).  You must be at least 65 years old and an American citizen in order to qualify for either Plans A or B. If you are receiving Supplementary Salary Income (SSI) from Social Security, then you may also be eligible. You may sign up for Plan D anytime or three months before you will be enrolled, and three months after enrollment. The best time to enroll for prescription drug coverage is anytime within that six-month period; doing so at a later date may make you liable for penalties and cost you more in premiums. If you don’t enroll within that six-month period of eligibility, you may do so between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31. And should your existing plan be discontinued, or if special circumstances arise, you may also be able to apply for enrollment.
Source: waysandhow.com

Web Wealth: Enrolling or changing Medicare

At the government’s Medicare site, click on “compare drug and health plans” to begin a search for the providers in your area. You’ll be asked which prescription drugs you take, how much, and how often. You’ll even be asked which pharmacies you use. The process, invented by politicians and bureaucrats, is tedious and not engineered for easy use by our elders. However, the end result is a full list of available insurance plans, their costs, and the individual’s estimated total expenses for the year. Click “enroll” to apply for coverage.
Source: philly.com

Q1Medicare.com Brings the 2012 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Information Online

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Seniors and Medicare beneficiaries qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) or Extra Help program will still find most states offering a number of prescription drug plans qualifying for the $ 0 monthly LIS premium. The state with the largest number of LIS qualifying plans is Arkansas with 15 Medicare Part D plans, down from 16 plans in 2011. Yet, residents of 15 states, including Florida and Nevada, will find fewer LIS-qualifying 2012 Medicare Part D plans. Because of changes in the annual Part D plan premiums and state LIS premium benchmarks, some full LIS qualifying Medicare beneficiaries may be automatically reassigned to new 2012 plans still qualifying for the $ 0 monthly premium. However, Extra Help recipients who chose their own plan in the past will not be auto-reassigned to a new plan and may need to select a new 2012 Medicare Part D plan that still meets the $ 0 monthly premium threshold.
Source: carkeylocksmiths.org

Video: Medicare Plan Finder at a Glance

CVS Will Pay $5M to End Drug Price Investigation :: EDGE Boston

CVS Caremark Corp. will pay $5 million to resolve allegations that one of its subsidiaries understated the price of several drugs, including medications that treat epilepsy and symptoms of breast cancer. The payment will be used to reimburse Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries who paid more than they expected for the drugs, and it ends a two-year investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. CVS Caremark said its Rx America business accidentally published incorrect drug price information on a site maintained by Medicare. The FTC said the inaccurate information was also posted on third-party websites, and it was online from 2007 through at least November 2008. The agency said that Medicare Part D beneficiaries choose their coverage based on listings at Medicare’s Plan Finder site and similar websites. It said the RxAmerica price listings were deceptive and said many Medicare beneficiaries chose RxAmerica plans because of those prices. In some cases, the actual prices were 10 times higher than the listed prices. The drugs were sold at CVS and Walgreen Co. stores. "The allegedly deceptive claims caused many seniors and disabled consumers to pay significantly more for their drugs than they expected," the FTC said, pushing some into the so-called "donut hole," or a gap in insurance coverage in which no drug costs are reimbursed. RxAmerica was the pharmacy benefits business of the Longs Drugs Stores chain. CVS Caremark bought Longs and RxAmerica for $2.7 billion in a deal that closed in October 2008. CVS, which is based in Woonsocket, R.I., said the FTC did not make any allegations of anti-competitive behavior or violations of antitrust law. Shares of CVS Caremark rose 12 cents to $42.16 in afternoon trading.
Source: edgeboston.com

CVS Agrees To Pay $5M To Settle Medicare Drug False Advertising Claims

Bloomberg: CVS Caremark To Pay $5 Million To Settle FTC  Probe Of Medicare Drug Prices  The FTC said it decided to close its investigation “after a thorough and comprehensive review of the other consumer protection and competition issues in this matter,” and won’t take any further action “at this time,” according to a letter addressed to CVS Caremark’s lawyer. The FTC began investigating the business practices of the company in 2009 after CVS bought Caremark for $27.2 billion, the largest acquisition ever by a drugstore (Forden, 1/12).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Kansas Medicare Part D Plans

But if you are interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may find a plan that includes Part D coverage. You will more than likely have more options for plans with Medicare drug coverage than not. You cannot enroll in an HMO, PPO or HMO-POS plan without coverage and purchase a stand-alone plan. If you enroll in a PFFS Medicare advantage plan without Part D coverage, you can purchase a stand-alone plan.
Source: partdplanfinder.com

Medicare Plan Finder goes live today

People can use the Plan Finder – available at www.Medicare.gov –by inserting their home zip code to find out which Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug (Part D) plans are available in their areas.  If the zip code search shows multiple counties it will prompt users to select one county to continue the search.  For 2010, the Plan Finder was the most popular tool on www.Medicare.gov, with more than 280 million page views.  Also available online is Medicare’s Formulary Finder, which allows beneficiaries to insert their prescribed medications and zip code to see a display of plans offered locally that cover their drugs. Due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, Medicare will begin to financially reward Medicare Advantage plans which achieve high quality ratings.  Part D plans will also continue to receive quality ratings.  Beginning October 12, the Medicare Plan Finder will include each plan’s quality star rating for 2012.  For the first time this year, people who use the Plan Finder will also see a gold star icon designating the top rated 5-star plans, and will continue to see warnings for those plans who consistently are poor performers. “We encourage all Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in private plans to know their plan’s overall star rating and to consider enrolling in plans with high ratings,” said Jonathan Blum, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare. When comparing plans, beneficiaries should consider the plan’s quality in addition to its costs, coverage, and other conveniences. On October 15, people with Medicare will be able to make informed decisions when they select their plan for the coming year.
Source: esanjoaquin.com

California Broker’s Insurance Insider News January 10

It goes on to explain that a feasibility study must be supported by an actuarial analysis and is concerned with the likelihood of success. It must describe the target market, products to be offered, regulatory schemes, market impact, financial solvency, economic viability, State solvency requirements and other regulations and other key factors. It should also include pro forma financial statements with sensitivity testing for alternative enrollment scenarios. The business plan should describe the management team, target market, competing plans, targeted potential subscribers, the process used for pricing products, contracting strategy, proposed methods for provider payment, and plans for use of integrated care models. Budgetary matters, strategies for getting enrollment and plans for becoming operational (financial management system, information technology, staffing plans) must also be included. All of this, just to apply for funding. Wow!
Source: calbrokermag.com

Medicare Plan Finder Expected to Release 2012 Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Data on Oct. 6th, 2011

Got a question from Reggie in Montana on when Medicare.gov’s plan finder would be loaded with 2012 Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan data. According to the 2012 Call Letter (see page 100), the data should be available on Thursday, Oct. 6th, 2011.
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Medicare Plan Finder at a Glance

This short video demonstrates how you can use the Medicare Plan Finder online tool on Medicare.gov to view and compare your Medicare health and drug plan options available in your area and enroll in a plan that best meets your needs. Video Rating: 4 / 5
Source: viraltrafficpak.us

Medicare crime is an issue that affects each US citizen because they're the taxpayers

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

OOPS I THINK THE SHINE IS OFF THE PEACH ...........IT'S ABOUT TIME by SS&SSadvertising advice business careers computers education entertainment exercise family fashion finance fitness general health health and fitness hobbies home Home and Family Home Based Business Home Improvement insurance internet Internet Marketing Legal marketing MLM Network Marketing news online business other real estate recreation Reference and Education Relationships sales SEO shopping Shopping and Product Reviews society technology travel Travel Leisure Weight Loss women Womens
Source: legalarticledirectory.com

Video: Medicare Shared Savings Program: Application Process and Overview of the Advance Payment Model

North Carolina Medical Society

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed the provider victim validation/remediation initiative for physicians whose identification has been stolen and used to defraud federal health programs. Physicians can seek resolution from Medicare program safeguard and zone program integrity contractors, which operate according to region and state and can investigate instances of identity theft after being notified by a potential victim. The AMA lists information about the contractors at www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/identity-theft-victim-program-letter-oct2011.pdf. The Medicare program integrity contractor serving North Carolina is AdvanceMed.
Source: ncmedsoc.org

Medicare Offers Extra Enrollment Time For Seniors Who Call Today

A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the “increased flexibility” is limited only to seniors who contact any of several sources of assistance on or before the close of business Wednesday and leave messages because they are unable to get through to sign up. Those groups include: counselors with the government-funded State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP), and other Medicare-partner organizations such as the Medicare Rights Center, local agencies on aging, and the National Council on Aging. Calls to Medicare’s toll-free information line, 800-633-4227 can be made until midnight tonight. If seniors leave messages, then starting on Thursday, those beneficiaries will be called back and will receive assistance. All “call-back enrollments” must be completed by 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the spokesman said.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

What Is Medicare ? Part 3

· Durable Medical Equipment: Items such as oxygen, wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds needed for use in the home. For certain equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds, Medicare pays rental fees for up to 13 months (36 months for oxygen). After this, you own the equipment, and Medicare pays for maintenance. For Medicare to cover your equipment, you must go to a supplier that is enrolled in Medicare. You pay coinsurance, and Part B deductible applies. In some cases, if you buy the equipment without renting it first, Medicare pays no part. New: In 2008, you may have to use certain Medicare-contract suppliers to get certain durable medical equipment in some geographic areas. Call 1-800-633-4227 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-800-633-4227     end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-877-486-2048     end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Source: tulsasrealestateblog.com

Gym Memberships In Medicare Advantage Plans Cater To Healthy Seniors

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Cassandra Q. Butts by Center for American ProgressThe implication that Medicare Advantage plans are offering this benefit to attract healthier members in unfair and untrue. In fact, they offer these types of benefits to improve the attractiveness of their product such that membership increases, and with an expectation that these programs will help lower overall health care costs. With the advent of risk adjusted Medicare Advantage premiums, health plans have no financial incentive to cherry-pick very healthy members. They do, however, have an incentive to enroll members who want to be healthy (in other words, people who take their health care seriously), regardless of their current health status, and fitness programs are one way to attract those types of members. Remember that many of these fitness programs consist of stretching, modest weight-bearing exercise and water activities that help older people from falling, improve their mental health and assist in the management of expensive chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans

Do Gym Memberships Help Medicare Advantage Plans Attract Healthy Seniors?

Bloomberg: Insurers Offer Gym Memberships With Medicare Programs The offer of a fitness club membership is helping insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and Humana Inc. (HUM) draw healthier and less costly patients to their Medicare programs, said researchers reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found 35.3 percent of new enrollees in a fitness membership benefit plan reported “excellent” or “very good” health, compared with 29.1 percent in the group without the benefit. The number of plans offering the memberships rose to 58 in 2008 from 4 in 2002, the researchers said (Frier, 1/12).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Advantage Plans Can Be Explained

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Source: jerichoforjustice.org

Disease Management Care Blog: Coverage of Fitness by Medicare Advantage Plans: Which Causes Which?

Many years ago, the newly-minted managed care medical director Disease Management Care Blog accompanied a marketing VP on a business visit to a fitness club. We were interested in knowing if the club would offer a discount to our health plan members.  During the tour of the facility’s weight rooms, basketball courts and group exercise rooms, we came across a large swimming pool filled with bathing-capped seniors. “Those people,” thought the DMCB, “are precisely the ones we want in our insurance plan.” Enter the paradox of offering fitness and wellness as a covered health insurance benefit. While the assumption has been that fitness causes an enrolled population to be healthier, it’s just as possible for persons who are already healthy in the first place to be attracted to health plans that cover fitness.  Managed care executives have known about this for a long time, but until now, no one has really measured the effect. Enter this elegant study by Alicia Cooper and Amal Trivedi, just published in the January 12 New England Journal. Eleven Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans that added fitness as a covered benefit in either 2004 or 2005 were matched to 11 plans that did not add a fitness benefit. On average, the plans were predominantly nonstaff and nongroup models and median duration of being in business was just over ten years. The “fitness” plans had a median population of 31,540 members while the control plans had a median membership of 18,241 The authors next looked for Medicare beneficiary members in those 22 plans who had completed a “Medicare Health Outcomes Survey” (MHOS) at the time of their enrollment. This yielded 4,852 beneficiaries who were in one of the eleven “fitness MA plans” and 5,064 beneficiaries in one of the eleven “no fitness MA plans.” Age, gender and the burden of illness was similar in both groups, while they differed slightly with respect to race, education and income. The key question from the survey that was used in this analysis was self-reported health status. In the years prior to instituting the fitness benefit, the percent of newly enrolled persons reporting excellent or very good health in the MHOS was 29.1%.  After the fitness benefit was instituted, it increased to 35.1%.  Plans without fitness programs during that same period went from 28.5% to 30%. This contrast between a 6% increase versus a 1.5% increase was statistically significant. The good news is that the folks in Medicare are well aware of the impact of unequal enrollment between MA plans and use risk adjustment to even out the payment levels. The bad news is that risk adjustment is notoriously inaccurate and, to the DMCB’s knowledge, probably doesn’t capture that 6% shift described above.  Assuming the MHOS survey results translate into lower claims expense, that could represent some serious money in a program that is already under fire for over-payment. Before readers condemn the MA plans for consciously using their fitness plans to attract a lower cost population, note that the same MA plans have been offering disease management programs for persons with chronic and costly conditions.  When compared to fee-for-service Medicare, these programs may be attracting sicker seniors.  Between MA plans, those with a better reputation for investing in chronic care population health management are more likely to attract a higher percent of persons with diabetes and heart disease. In other words, it works both ways. What should the next step be?  Follow-up MHOS results for those individuals who entered with a low score to determine if there was any improvement among those in “fitness” MA plans versus those plans without the fitness benefit.  The DMCB looks forward to seeing those results hopefully soon. In retrospect, the DMCB should have suspected something was up years ago.  After all, it was accompanying a marketing VP and, whether we knew it or not, the visit was really all about those seniors in the pool.
Source: blogspot.com

When Are Medicare Advantage Plans Available?

Actually, this is only time that you can try out one of the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans after the initial sign up period when you first became eligible for Medicare. This is a once a year event where you can assess the type of MA plan you got out of the dozen choices laid out in front of you by different insurers and insurance companies. If you let this chance slip by, you might end up paying more and getting less coverage than what you bargained for.
Source: articlecupboard.net

Medicare Advantage Plan Provides Model for Improving Care for Patients with Diabetes

The new study, “Medicare Advantage Chronic Special Needs Plan Boosted Primary Care, Reduced Hospital Use Among Diabetes Patients,” examines the model of care used by the largest Medicare Advantage chronic special-needs plan, Care Improvement Plus, and compares utilization rates among its members with diabetes in Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas with those of similar beneficiaries enrolled in fee-for-service Medicare in the same five states.  Care Improvement Plus’ Model of Care emphasizes direct contacts with patients to help identify gaps in care and promote primary and preventive health care, including periodic home visits with plan clinicians.
Source: ahipcoverage.com

Q1Medicare.com Brings the 2012 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Information Online

Seniors and Medicare beneficiaries qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) or Extra Help program will still find most states offering a number of prescription drug plans qualifying for the $ 0 monthly LIS premium. The state with the largest number of LIS qualifying plans is Arkansas with 15 Medicare Part D plans, down from 16 plans in 2011. Yet, residents of 15 states, including Florida and Nevada, will find fewer LIS-qualifying 2012 Medicare Part D plans. Because of changes in the annual Part D plan premiums and state LIS premium benchmarks, some full LIS qualifying Medicare beneficiaries may be automatically reassigned to new 2012 plans still qualifying for the $ 0 monthly premium. However, Extra Help recipients who chose their own plan in the past will not be auto-reassigned to a new plan and may need to select a new 2012 Medicare Part D plan that still meets the $ 0 monthly premium threshold.
Source: carkeylocksmiths.org

Get Medicare Benefits with a Private Insurer through Medicare …

The original Medicare program has two parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). Only a few special cases exist where prescription drugs are covered by original Medicare, but as of January 2006, Medicare Part D provides more comprehensive drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are another way for beneficiaries to receive their Part A, B and D benefits. All Medicare benefits are subject to medical necessity. Part A: Hospital Insurance Part A covers inpatient hospital stays (at least overnight), including semiprivate room, food, tests, and doctor’s fees. Part A covers brief stays for convalescence in a skilled nursing facility if certain criteria are met: 1. A preceding hospital stay must be at least three days, three midnights, not counting the discharge date. 2. The nursing home stay must be for something diagnosed during the hospital stay or for the main cause of hospital stay. 3. If the patient is not receiving rehabilitation but has some other ailment that requires skilled nursing supervision then the nursing home stay would be covered. 4. The care being rendered by the nursing home must be skilled. Medicare part A does not pay for custodial, non-skilled, or long-term care activities, including activities of daily living (ADL) such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, etc. The maximum length of stay that Medicare Part A will cover in a skilled nursing facility per ailment is 100 days. The first 20 days would be paid for in full by Medicare with the remaining 80 days requiring a co-payment (as of 2009, $133.50 per day). Many insurance companies have a provision for skilled nursing care in the policies they sell. If a beneficiary uses some portion of their Part A benefit and then goes at least 60 days without receiving facility-based skilled services, the 100-day clock is reset and the person qualifies for a new 100-day benefit period. Part B: Medical Insurance Part B medical insurance helps pay for some services and products not covered by Part A, generally on an outpatient basis. Part B is optional and may be deferred if the beneficiary or their spouse is still actively working. There is a lifetime penalty (10% per year) imposed for not enrolling in Part B unless actively working. Part B coverage includes physician and nursing services, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, blood transfusions, renal dialysis, outpatient hospital procedures, limited ambulance transportation, immunosuppressive drugs for organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy, hormonal treatments such as Lupron, and other outpatient medical treatments administered in a doctor’s office. Medication administration is covered under Part B only if it is administered by the physician during an office visit. Part B also helps with durable medical equipment (DME), including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters for those with mobility impairments. Prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs and breast prosthesis following mastectomy, as well as one pair of eyeglasses following cataract surgery, and oxygen for home use is also covered. Complex rules are used to manage the benefit, and advisories are periodically issued which describe coverage criteria. On the national level these advisories are issued by CMS, and are known as National Coverage Determinations (NCD). Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) only apply within the multi-state area managed by a specific regional Medicare Part B contractor, and Local Medical Review Policies (LMRP) were superseded by LCDs in 2003. Coverage information is also located in the CMS Internet-Only Manuals (IOM), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Social Security Act, and the Federal Register. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans With the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Medicare beneficiaries were given the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans, instead of through the original Medicare plan (Parts A and B). These programs were known as “Medicare+Choice” or “Part C” plans. Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, “Medicare+Choice” plans were made more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries by the addition of prescription drug coverage and became known as “Medicare Advantage” (MA) plans. Traditional or “fee-for-service” Medicare has a standard benefit package that covers medically necessary care members can receive from nearly any hospital or doctor in the country. For people who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, Medicare pays the private health plan a capitated rate, or a set amount, every month for each member. Members typically also pay a monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium to cover items not covered by traditional Medicare (Parts A & B), such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and gym or health club memberships. In exchange for these extra benefits, enrollees may be limited in the providers they can receive services from without paying extra. Typically, the plans have a “network” of providers that patients can use. Going outside that network may require permission or extra fees. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer coverage that meets or exceeds the standards set by the original Medicare program, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. If a plan chooses to pay less than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, the savings may be passed along to consumers by offering lower copayments for doctor visits. Medicare Advantage plans use a portion of the payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits. Some plans limit their members’ annual out-of-pocket spending on medical care, providing insurance against catastrophic costs over $5,000, for example. Many plans offer dental coverage, vision coverage and other services not covered by Medicare Parts A or B, which makes them a good value for the health care dollar, if you want to use the provider included in the plan’s network or “panel” of providers. Because the 2003 payment formulas overpay plans by 12 percent or more compared to traditional Medicare,[11] in 2006 enrollees in Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plans were offered a net extra benefit value (the value of the additional benefits minus any additional premium) of $55.92 a month more than the traditional Medicare benefit package; enrollees in other Medicare Advantage plans were offered a net extra benefit value of $71.22 a month more.[12] However, Medicare Advantage members receive additional coverage and medical benefits not enjoyed by traditional Medicare members, and savings generated by Medicare Advantage plans may be passed on to beneficiaries to lower their overall health care costs.[10] Other important distinctions between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare are that Medicare Advantage health plans encourage preventive care and wellness and closely coordinate patient care.[13] Medicare Advantage Plans that also include Part D prescription drug benefits are known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or a MA-PD. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew from 5.4 million in 2005 to 8.2 million in 2007. Enrollment grew by an additional 800,000 during the first four months of 2008. This represents 19% of Medicare beneficiaries. A third of beneficiaries with Part D coverage are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is higher in urban areas; the enrollment rate in urban counties is twice that in rural counties (22% vs. 10%). Almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least two Medicare Advantage plans; most have access to three or more. Because of the 2003 law’s overpayments, the number of organizations offering Fee-for-Service plans has increased dramatically, from 11 in 2006 to almost 50 in 2008. Eight out of ten beneficiaries (82%) now have access to six or more Private Fee-for-Service plans.[14] Each year many individuals disenroll from MA plans. A recent study noted that about 20 percent of enrollees report that “their most important reason for leaving was due to problems getting care.”[15] There is some evidence that disabled beneficiaries “are more likely to experience multiple problems in managed care.”[16] Some studies have reported that the older, poorer, and sicker persons have been less satisfied with the care they have received in MA plans.[17] On the other hand, an analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data published by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that Medicare Advantage enrollees spent fewer days in the hospital than Fee-for-Service enrollees, were less likely to have “potentially avoidable” admissions, and had fewer re-admissions. These comparisons adjusted for age, sex and health status using the risk score used in the Medicare Advantage risk adjustment mechanism.[18][19] In December 2009 the Kaiser Family Foundation published a report that rated Medicare Advantage organizations on a five star scale. The ratings were based on data from CMS, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data, and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS). New plans did not receive ratings, because data were not available. Almost six out of ten (59%) of MA plans did receive ratings, and these plans represented 85% of the enrollment for 2009. The average rating was 3.29 stars. Twenty-three percent of enrollees were in a plan with four or more stars; 20% were in a plan with fewer than three stars.[20] Twenty percent of African-American and 32 percent of Hispanic Medicare Beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2006. Almost half (48%) of Medicare Advantage enrollees had incomes below $20,000, including 71% of minority enrollees.[21] Others have reported that minority enrollment is not particularly above average.[22] Another study has raised questions about the quality of care received by minorities in MA plans.[23] The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2006, the plans earned profits of 6.6 percent, had overhead (sales, etc.) of 10.1 percent, and provided 83.3 percent of the revenue dollar in medical benefits. These administrative costs are far higher than traditional fee-for-service Medicare.[24] [edit] Part D: Prescription Drug plans Main articles: Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D coverage gap Medicare Part D went into effect on January 1, 2006. Anyone with Part A or B is eligible for Part D. It was made possible by the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. In order to receive this benefit, a person with Medicare must enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). These plans are approved and regulated by the Medicare program, but are actually designed and administered by private health insurance companies. Unlike Original Medicare (Part A and B), Part D coverage is not standardized. Plans choose which drugs (or even classes of drugs) they wish to cover, at what level (or tier) they wish to cover it, and are free to choose not to cover some drugs at all. The exception to this is drugs that Medicare specifically excludes from coverage, including but not limited to benzodiazepines, cough suppressant and barbiturates. Plans that cover excluded drugs are not allowed to pass those costs on to Medicare, and plans are required to repay CMS if they are found to have billed Medicare in these cases. It should be noted again for beneficiaries who are dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid eligible) Medicaid may pay for drugs not covered by part D of Medicare, such as benzodiazepines, and other restricted controlled substances.
Source: medicare-health.com

Deciding What Medicare and Medigap Supplemental Insurance Coverage Suits Participants : Senior Health Direct

As with Medicare Part A and B with supplemental add-ons there are different Advantage programs to choose from as well; HMO, PPO, PFFS and SNP.  It is important to for participants to look into all angles and options before signing up for any of the government insurance plans to ensure that the coverage you are taking on meets the need of the participant.  The rules that surround Medicare are often difficult to understand and may take a professional to help.  Thankfully there are many Medicare supplemental insurance professionals who will review what services are needed and desired and fit a plan specially designed to each participant.  Through the internet search on Medicare supplemental insurance and several companies should pop up across the country that can offer free services to assist in participant understanding of the Medicare program.
Source: cpsmi.com

Medicare Advantage Plans for Every Senior

This is an erstwhile year affairs where you can evaluate the type of Medical Advantage cover you have out of the different options presented to you by different insurers and insurance firms. If you let this opportunity pass, you might end up paying so much and indeed getting less reportage than what you anticipated. All of you need to find the right website that can really help you find the right plans for your needs.
Source: piartgallery.com

Gym membership coverage: A potential double

This practice may have an impact on how health insurance exchanges. These state-run insurance programs will provide limitless coverage to consumers. Insurers participating in exchanges may choose to adopt gym memberships, drawing more healthy consumers away from the Medicare Advantage program. If the program is left with only high-risk policyholders, it may begin to hemorrhage money at a rapid pace. If this is the case, insurers will look to raise rates for the people left in the program, which could make policies unaffordable to those that need coverage.
Source: posterous.com

Prime Healthcare's Jethro Tull Problem: Medicare Billing for Obscure Diagnoses

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

White House Medicare Presentation by National Institutes of Health LibraryWhat does Medicare think kwashiorkor is? Prime and Shasta Regional say that they have no choice but to bill Medicare for kwashiorkor when they find a protein deficiency in a patient. The fact that they get a higher rate of payment for kwashiorkor than for other disorders does not play into the decision, they say. Instead, they argue that they are more focused on ferreting out malnutrition in adults than other hospitals. They are so adamant about this that, without the consent of a patient, they showed a patient’s medical records to Record Searchlight editor Silas Lyons, and, as he writes, they brought “in screen shots they said show the actual steps taken to arrive at a billing code for Medicare, and which lead from protein malnutrition to kwashiorkor.”
Source: reportingonhealth.org

Video: Cheryl Bradley lectures on Medicare Billing

Score a work in any medical billing specialty payment small business for a cpt developer

Salaries possess a broad range within this field and will also depend on good deal on whattrainingyou have or maybe if they have to instruct you, what instruction you have and ways in which much as well as depend on nomatter whether you haveknowledgeof both medical billing and even coding, arereally a medical insuranceexpert or own training in oneamongst the jobareas. But you shouldexpect a fairly fantastic salary utilizing even the most rudimentry of degree or training.There is united states money and also financial aid intended for online medical billingtrainingwhether you want to go through any nearby college oruniversity internet or withcampus or through an internet school.
Source: stfrancisderwood.org

Cost Effective Medical Billing Products And Services For Physicians

You gets knowledgeable and skilled Medicare biller. Utilizing the actual services of certified medical billing providers help healthcare professionals to focus on their core activities without having to be unduly concerned concerning the tedious tasks involved with processing and syndication of medical expenditures and insurance statements. This specific field offers a good deal of freelancing opportunities. One is to see your local community college to see if they have access to a medical billing internet business opportunity course. But in general, individuals who paid to obtain a job finish up devoid of career, no money. Competent services offered around medical billing meant for physical medicine along with rehab specialists incorporate: Patient demographic entryInsurance enrollmentInsurance proof and authorizationsScheduling as well as reschedulingMedical codingPayment postingAR series Minimizes Administrative Projects of Physical Remedy and Rehab Pros.
Source: washingtoncities.net

Medicare crime is an issue that affects each US citizen because they're the taxpayers

advertising advice business careers computers education entertainment exercise family fashion finance fitness general health health and fitness hobbies home Home and Family Home Based Business Home Improvement insurance internet Internet Marketing Legal marketing MLM Network Marketing news online business other real estate recreation Reference and Education Relationships sales SEO shopping Shopping and Product Reviews society technology travel Travel Leisure Weight Loss women Womens
Source: legalarticledirectory.com

USA: Doctor jailed in medicare

mercurynews.com on January 13, 2012 reported that a Southern California doctor who participated in a sophisticated conspiracy to defraud three health clinics of Medicare funding, including one in Richmond, was sentenced Thursday to eight years and one month in prison. A doctor at the Richmond clinic also is awaiting sentencing in the case. A federal judge said Dr. Alexander Popov, 47, of Los Angeles, submitted more than $1 million in fraudulent Medicare billings and received more than $600,000 in payments on false claims made at clinics in Richmond, Sacramento and Carmichael. Most of the patients at the clinics were elderly and did not speak English, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. A jury convicted Popov on July 8.
Source: medicallicenseverification.com

Is Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model Viable?

Accountable Care Organization model of medical care – one of the important policy decisions to have emerged from the recent healthcare reforms by the Federal Government – no doubt, promises to be a harbinger of enhanced and streamlined medical care to an ever swelling population of Medicare beneficiaries. But, because of its far reaching influence, the physician community seems rather apprehensive of its incentive sharing model of revenue disbursement among themselves in an ACO model of operation. As Medicare accounts for nearly half of physicians’ revenues, they cannot be indifferent either. As policy decision, ACO model is a strategic way of curbing the Sustainable Growth Rate imbalance (SGR), which has reached its worst possible scenario – an imminent backlash of 25% reduction in Medicare benefits to the physicians associated with treating Medicare beneficiaries.
Source: medicalbillersandcodersblog.com

Tips and hints work from a medical billing specialty billing corporation as being a cpt developer

field and thiswill depend on bunch on whatinstructionyou have or if they have to teach you, what degree you have and in whatways much plus depend on whether or not you haveexpertise in both medical billing along with coding, certainly are a medical insurancephysician or possess training in only one of the grounds. But you can get a fairly superior salary utilizing even the most rudimentary of knowledge or instruction.There is fed money plus financial aid readily availablefor online medical billinginstructionwhether you want to go through your local college oruniversity on the net or aboutcampus or perhaps through an on the net school.
Source: cphconline.org

Use Your Health Billing Program for Analysis: Does Your Billing Actually Measure Up? Aspect I

Medical billing is an exercise which calls for submission of insurance coverage statements to the insurance coverage organizations or directly to the Government of United States. This is finished in order to get the payments for the services furnished by a medical doctor or other wellness service providers. Many insurance coverage organizations today, desire to provide do the job from property health-related billing services, as these are additional trusted in conditions of accuracy than the conventional paper charges. As a result, as a health-related billing personnel your career contains supplying e-billing service to dentists, medical doctors and numerous other health-related specialists in order to claim the perfect sum. Preparing e-charges is not that tricky, as you will get a health-related billing software program and you have to get ready charges in that software program itself. The charges that you get ready are then sent to the insurance coverage businesses for verification, evaluation and payments. Apart from supplying e-billing services, you also need to do jobs this kind of as functioning on the rejected statements, preserving a observe up of this kind of statements and also preserving a file of the billing accounts of sufferers.
Source: lafunda.com

Tips to get occupation within a medical billing specialty payments organization as a cpt programmer

Of course once you get into the field you are able to good employment with a good wage you can always take more coaching to advance towards a higher forking out radiology medical billing job.The responsibility of a health-related biller, often called some sort of medical billing specialist whether they have certification, as well as job of an medical developer is quite numerous. If you specialise in both accounts receivable and programming you are known as the medical insurance professional. If you turn into a coder you will see the ICD-9 rules and passcode medical treatments along with services, and so forth .. If you’re a health-related biller assistant or even specialist you’ll end up following through to the promises after they were coded. So if you’re a insurance specialist you possibly can do the two.There are actually many places to get a employment as a health-related biller or health-related coder or even as an insurance specialist. The responsibility listing often have them listed under lot of titles but usually you’ll be able to analyse if the tasks are in the accounts receivable and/or coding arena.
Source: southsimcoecic.ca

How to get a occupation in the medical billing specialty billing organization as the cpt programmer

Salaries possess a broad range on this field and will depend on large amount on whatschoolingyou have or if perhaps they have to teach you, what learning you have and how much along with depend on if you haveexperience with both medical billing andalso coding, can be a medical insurancemedicalspecialist or currentlyhave training in oneamongst the career fields. But you can expect a fairly fantastic salary using even the most straightforward of education andlearning or schooling.There is govt money along with financial aid intended for online medical billingschoolingwhether you desire to go through your local college oruniversity web based or regardingcampus or through an web based school.
Source: reqmana.com

Medical Billing and Coding Training Information

Furthermore, a urine catheterization (51701, insertion of non-indwelling bladder catheter [e.g., straight catheterization for residual urine]) and lumbar puncture (62270, Spinal puncture, lumbar, diagnostic);do not have edits placed on the code pair by NCCI so no modifier would be required for reporting this procedure. If you do use modifier 51, expect Medicare to reduce reimbursement by roughly 50%.
Source: mtathome.com

2012 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Co

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Healthcare in America: Who's Paying Who? And Who's Getting What? (g1a2d0014c1) by watchingfrogsboilEnrollees in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans pay premiums that vary from plan to plan.  Beginning in 2011, Part D enrollees whose incomes exceed the same thresholds that apply to higher income Part B enrollees must also pay a monthly adjustment amount. The regular plan premium will be paid to their Part D plan, and the income-related adjustment will be paid to Medicare.  The amounts by income level are below.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

Video: The Early Show – Medicare premiums up less than expected

Healthcare Bulletin: Medicare Premium, Coinsurance, and Deductible Update for 2012

This site and its content are provided for your convenience and use by Frost, Ruttenberg and Rothblatt, PC (FR&R). By gaining access to content contained in this web site, you are also confirming your identity for purposes of authentication. You are responsible for your username and password, and are responsible for their confidentiality. FR&R is not responsible for lost or stolen usernames and/or passwords that are used to gain access to this site. Failure to comply may result in termination of your access to content contained in this web site.
Source: frronline.com

The Inherent Flaws in Medicare Premium Support

On December 15 Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Ryan released another variation. Their plan is similar to the Rivlin-Domenici plan but removes the cap on the voucher. Instead, if Medicare spending growth exceeds growth in the economy plus 1 percentage point, then Congress must reduce payments to health care providers, reduce program overhead, or increase premiums for higher-income beneficiaries. Importantly, while the Rivlin-Domenici plan would require private plans to cover the same services as traditional Medicare, the Wyden-Ryan plan would only require private plans to cover any package of benefits that provides the same “actuarial value”—pays the same percentage of costs—as traditional Medicare.
Source: americanprogress.org

UnitedHealth's Fourth Quarter 2011 Results Beat Expectations …

The original Medicare program has two parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). Only a few special cases exist where prescription drugs are covered by original Medicare, but as of January 2006, Medicare Part D provides more comprehensive drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are another way for beneficiaries to receive their Part A, B and D benefits. All Medicare benefits are subject to medical necessity. Part A: Hospital Insurance Part A covers inpatient hospital stays (at least overnight), including semiprivate room, food, tests, and doctor’s fees. Part A covers brief stays for convalescence in a skilled nursing facility if certain criteria are met: 1. A preceding hospital stay must be at least three days, three midnights, not counting the discharge date. 2. The nursing home stay must be for something diagnosed during the hospital stay or for the main cause of hospital stay. 3. If the patient is not receiving rehabilitation but has some other ailment that requires skilled nursing supervision then the nursing home stay would be covered. 4. The care being rendered by the nursing home must be skilled. Medicare part A does not pay for custodial, non-skilled, or long-term care activities, including activities of daily living (ADL) such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, etc. The maximum length of stay that Medicare Part A will cover in a skilled nursing facility per ailment is 100 days. The first 20 days would be paid for in full by Medicare with the remaining 80 days requiring a co-payment (as of 2009, $133.50 per day). Many insurance companies have a provision for skilled nursing care in the policies they sell. If a beneficiary uses some portion of their Part A benefit and then goes at least 60 days without receiving facility-based skilled services, the 100-day clock is reset and the person qualifies for a new 100-day benefit period. Part B: Medical Insurance Part B medical insurance helps pay for some services and products not covered by Part A, generally on an outpatient basis. Part B is optional and may be deferred if the beneficiary or their spouse is still actively working. There is a lifetime penalty (10% per year) imposed for not enrolling in Part B unless actively working. Part B coverage includes physician and nursing services, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, blood transfusions, renal dialysis, outpatient hospital procedures, limited ambulance transportation, immunosuppressive drugs for organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy, hormonal treatments such as Lupron, and other outpatient medical treatments administered in a doctor’s office. Medication administration is covered under Part B only if it is administered by the physician during an office visit. Part B also helps with durable medical equipment (DME), including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters for those with mobility impairments. Prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs and breast prosthesis following mastectomy, as well as one pair of eyeglasses following cataract surgery, and oxygen for home use is also covered. Complex rules are used to manage the benefit, and advisories are periodically issued which describe coverage criteria. On the national level these advisories are issued by CMS, and are known as National Coverage Determinations (NCD). Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) only apply within the multi-state area managed by a specific regional Medicare Part B contractor, and Local Medical Review Policies (LMRP) were superseded by LCDs in 2003. Coverage information is also located in the CMS Internet-Only Manuals (IOM), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Social Security Act, and the Federal Register. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans With the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Medicare beneficiaries were given the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans, instead of through the original Medicare plan (Parts A and B). These programs were known as “Medicare+Choice” or “Part C” plans. Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, “Medicare+Choice” plans were made more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries by the addition of prescription drug coverage and became known as “Medicare Advantage” (MA) plans. Traditional or “fee-for-service” Medicare has a standard benefit package that covers medically necessary care members can receive from nearly any hospital or doctor in the country. For people who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, Medicare pays the private health plan a capitated rate, or a set amount, every month for each member. Members typically also pay a monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium to cover items not covered by traditional Medicare (Parts A & B), such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and gym or health club memberships. In exchange for these extra benefits, enrollees may be limited in the providers they can receive services from without paying extra. Typically, the plans have a “network” of providers that patients can use. Going outside that network may require permission or extra fees. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer coverage that meets or exceeds the standards set by the original Medicare program, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. If a plan chooses to pay less than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, the savings may be passed along to consumers by offering lower copayments for doctor visits. Medicare Advantage plans use a portion of the payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits. Some plans limit their members’ annual out-of-pocket spending on medical care, providing insurance against catastrophic costs over $5,000, for example. Many plans offer dental coverage, vision coverage and other services not covered by Medicare Parts A or B, which makes them a good value for the health care dollar, if you want to use the provider included in the plan’s network or “panel” of providers. Because the 2003 payment formulas overpay plans by 12 percent or more compared to traditional Medicare,[11] in 2006 enrollees in Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plans were offered a net extra benefit value (the value of the additional benefits minus any additional premium) of $55.92 a month more than the traditional Medicare benefit package; enrollees in other Medicare Advantage plans were offered a net extra benefit value of $71.22 a month more.[12] However, Medicare Advantage members receive additional coverage and medical benefits not enjoyed by traditional Medicare members, and savings generated by Medicare Advantage plans may be passed on to beneficiaries to lower their overall health care costs.[10] Other important distinctions between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare are that Medicare Advantage health plans encourage preventive care and wellness and closely coordinate patient care.[13] Medicare Advantage Plans that also include Part D prescription drug benefits are known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or a MA-PD. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew from 5.4 million in 2005 to 8.2 million in 2007. Enrollment grew by an additional 800,000 during the first four months of 2008. This represents 19% of Medicare beneficiaries. A third of beneficiaries with Part D coverage are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is higher in urban areas; the enrollment rate in urban counties is twice that in rural counties (22% vs. 10%). Almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least two Medicare Advantage plans; most have access to three or more. Because of the 2003 law’s overpayments, the number of organizations offering Fee-for-Service plans has increased dramatically, from 11 in 2006 to almost 50 in 2008. Eight out of ten beneficiaries (82%) now have access to six or more Private Fee-for-Service plans.[14] Each year many individuals disenroll from MA plans. A recent study noted that about 20 percent of enrollees report that “their most important reason for leaving was due to problems getting care.”[15] There is some evidence that disabled beneficiaries “are more likely to experience multiple problems in managed care.”[16] Some studies have reported that the older, poorer, and sicker persons have been less satisfied with the care they have received in MA plans.[17] On the other hand, an analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data published by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that Medicare Advantage enrollees spent fewer days in the hospital than Fee-for-Service enrollees, were less likely to have “potentially avoidable” admissions, and had fewer re-admissions. These comparisons adjusted for age, sex and health status using the risk score used in the Medicare Advantage risk adjustment mechanism.[18][19] In December 2009 the Kaiser Family Foundation published a report that rated Medicare Advantage organizations on a five star scale. The ratings were based on data from CMS, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data, and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS). New plans did not receive ratings, because data were not available. Almost six out of ten (59%) of MA plans did receive ratings, and these plans represented 85% of the enrollment for 2009. The average rating was 3.29 stars. Twenty-three percent of enrollees were in a plan with four or more stars; 20% were in a plan with fewer than three stars.[20] Twenty percent of African-American and 32 percent of Hispanic Medicare Beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2006. Almost half (48%) of Medicare Advantage enrollees had incomes below $20,000, including 71% of minority enrollees.[21] Others have reported that minority enrollment is not particularly above average.[22] Another study has raised questions about the quality of care received by minorities in MA plans.[23] The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2006, the plans earned profits of 6.6 percent, had overhead (sales, etc.) of 10.1 percent, and provided 83.3 percent of the revenue dollar in medical benefits. These administrative costs are far higher than traditional fee-for-service Medicare.[24] [edit] Part D: Prescription Drug plans Main articles: Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D coverage gap Medicare Part D went into effect on January 1, 2006. Anyone with Part A or B is eligible for Part D. It was made possible by the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. In order to receive this benefit, a person with Medicare must enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). These plans are approved and regulated by the Medicare program, but are actually designed and administered by private health insurance companies. Unlike Original Medicare (Part A and B), Part D coverage is not standardized. Plans choose which drugs (or even classes of drugs) they wish to cover, at what level (or tier) they wish to cover it, and are free to choose not to cover some drugs at all. The exception to this is drugs that Medicare specifically excludes from coverage, including but not limited to benzodiazepines, cough suppressant and barbiturates. Plans that cover excluded drugs are not allowed to pass those costs on to Medicare, and plans are required to repay CMS if they are found to have billed Medicare in these cases. It should be noted again for beneficiaries who are dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid eligible) Medicaid may pay for drugs not covered by part D of Medicare, such as benzodiazepines, and other restricted controlled substances.
Source: medicare-health.com

Medicare & State health programs Medical doctor Listing How to get Medical doctors Which Accept Medicare health insurance as well as State medicaid programs at Crystal Chandelier

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Congressman Kendrick B. Meek by cliff1066™There is not, and not continues to be, just about any need that will doctors deal with patients insured simply by Medicare insurance or State medicaid programs. Consequently, people with Medicare insurance or Low income health programs are progressively turning to government funded centers, as well as in order to emergency rooms that cannot, legally, switch them away. Regretfully, utilizing urgent situation suites regarding non-emergency health care is amazingly high-priced, producing the reduced payment Medicare/Medicaid charges not really fiscally wise in the long run.
Source: crystalchandelier.biz

Video: If Sean Duffy Wins, Wisconsin Loses Social Security, Medicare, Jobs, etc. etc. etc.

Message from LAPD: Possible Medicare Scam

Unless you know the caller to be a reliable Medicare source, please do not give out any of your personal information. Instead, gather whatever information you can from the caller (name, telephone number, medicare office address, etc.) and then contact Medicare yourself, by calling the number on your card or 1-800-MEDICARE.
Source: wordpress.com

Lessening Your Charges In Acquiring A Health Insurance Package In Texas

What may make items more puzzling is the fact health insurance packages possess the liberty to offer full health benefits or not. Several health insurance policies is usually made available at your table which you would possibly come across to get worthless in the long run. Health insurance companies will still allow you to avail comprehensive health plans. Nevertheless, this offers one the advantage to select the options he/she likes. This also success into a health package which you could truly contact your own and lets you save funds simultaneously.
Source: medicarestarratings.com

Medicare Supplement Insurance Provides Safety Net

Those who are on Medicare know the hassles that can come with it. Not everything is covered. There is a lot of money out of pocket. Even with insurance, one is often left with more than they can afford to pay for. This is extremely devastating at a time in life when a person is most likely to need more medical care and prescriptions. Medicare supplement insurance helps to bridge the gap that is left with standard Medicare. This allows those on it to have access to what they need without the added expense that often comes when your insurance just doesn’t cover it.
Source: ezinemark.com

Control your Life through getting a Medicare Supplemental Insurance

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Source: mayanz.com

CBO: Experimental Programs Have Not Reduced Federal Spending On Medicare

Disease management and care coordination demonstrations focused on programs that aimed to improve quality of care for those with chronic illnesses, which were predicted to be costly. Value-based payment demonstrations focused on programs that provide incentives to health care providers in order to improve quality and efficiency of care.
Source: businessinsider.com

Medicare Provider Enrollment Toolkit and PECOS help

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Jessica Sundheim by On BeingMedical practices have long suffered with a cumbersome Medicare provider enrollment process. As an alternative to the paper enrollment form (CMS-855), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) developed the Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).
Source: mgma.com

Video: Medicare Shared Savings Program: Application Process and Overview of the Advance Payment Model

Medicare General Enrollment Begins January 2nd: An Opportunity for Some Individuals and States to Expand QMB Coverage 

Secure a Form 795 from the Social Security Administration (SSA) (available online at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-795.pdf) and type into the large blank (lined) space the following:  "I wish to enroll for Hospital Insurance under Medicare on a monthly premium basis, which is in addition to my current coverage for Medical Insurance (or"I also wish to apply for Medical Insurance" if the client does not have Part B).  I understand that the State will pay my premium based on my eligibility for Medicaid (Medical Assistance) as a Qualified Medicare Beneficiary.  I also understand that if I am terminated under Medicaid (Medical Assistance) as a Qualified Medicare Beneficiary, I will have to pay my premium if I want to keep my Medicare Hospital Insurance."  The beneficiary should give the form to SSA with her/his application for Part A, but also make a copy for her/himself to take to the Medicaid agency to apply for QMB benefits.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

How to Apply for Medicaid Insurance

Medicaid Vs Medicare. U.S. Don’t allow the terms Medicaid and Medicare to confuse you. Although both refer to health insurance, technically they are not the same. On one hand, Medicaid is a form of health assistance intended to aid those who are not financially capable of paying their health insurance premium or co-payment requirement. For example, if your family income is within or below the poverty level set by the federal government, you can likely qualify as beneficiary of the program, and Medicaid will shoulder your premium payment, deductible amount and co-insurance.
Source: waysandhow.com

How Do I Apply for an Arkansas Medicare Provider Transaction Access Number?

21st Century Care Providers specializes in opening New Home Care Agencies. We will help you establish a well organized senior home care business that gives the highest level of service to your deserving senior population.Their new agency start-up program has NO FRANCHISE FEES – NO ROYALTY FEES or NO TERRITORY RESTRICTIONS. They can be reached at 888-850-6932 or visit them on the web. www.1stproviders.com.21st Century Care Providers specializes in opening New Home Care Agencies. We will help you establish a well organized senior home care business that gives the highest level of service to your deserving senior population.Their new agency start-up program has NO FRANCHISE FEES – NO ROYALTY FEES or NO TERRITORY RESTRICTIONS. They can be reached at 888-850-6932 or visit them on the web. www.1stproviders.com.
Source: 1stproviders.com

MEDICARE APPLICATION FORM

Specific MEDICARE APPLICATION FORM for groups is also available from the CMS. The difference is in few of the fields, while the rest are still the same as on any other forms. As a group provider, you must be able to fill in the fields 855I and 855B. Each of the providers from your group should individually fill in this field. There is another field 855R which requires the whole group to fill it in. If you have been previously providing Medicare as a solo provider, but you now own a company with different providers, you must fill out the group application form for your company.
Source: medicareapplicationform.net

Stay away from Delays on your Medicare Job application by Doing Forms Efficiently

You might solve this matter through the help of an remarkable and superb plan it is possible to supplement your own original Medicare policy. And this treatment plan is termed medigap medical care insurance plan. It is useful of having all some great benefits of your Medicare health insurance plan. It allows you to get all some great benefits of the preceding plan. But you need to do the initial first for you to claim almost all expenditures. It is actually called Medicare supplement plan sole because such plans cover Medicare Supplement Plans e gap relating to the Original Medicare policy and the whole bill payable which means the name is going to be this. Now it must be told that each these kinds of medigap options are applied by a lot of private businesses and purchased by these individuals only. No governmental body are designed for this package.
Source: colouredlenses.org

Recent Changes to Medicare Part A Enrollment Forms

Consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CMS published an Agency Information Collection Activities Notice, on May 20, 2011, consisting of a summary of the proposed revisions to the enrollment forms, with public comments due by June 20, 2011.[4] The final, revised forms became effective July 1, 2011.[5] The revised CMS 855A now explicitly requires disclosure of any entity whose mortgage, deed of trust, or other security interest in the Part A provider is equal to five percent (5%) or more of the total property and assets of the Part A provider.[6] This includes investment funds, holding companies, banks and financial institutions, and charitable and religious organizations.[7] The Part A provider must report the entity’s name, address, tax identification number, type of organization, percentage of interest in the provider, and an organizational chart identifying all of the owning or controlling entities and their relationship to each other and the provider. Dates of birth and social security numbers are additionally required for individuals who hold security interests.
Source: ebglaw.com

Maryland Gets $28.3M Health Performance Bonus

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Source: localinsuresearch.com

The southwest Seniors Not to mention Florida Medicare insurance Supplement Projects

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Part B is a other an important part of Medicare element A together with B, and addresses other areas of Medicare. Part T is supplied by government entities to those people who are eligible due to the benefits. It provides things which can be not included in part A FABULOUS like a number of home heath care treatment services, work and real bodily therapies, together with outpatient attention. However, there are many things you can aquire with the Medigap policy if you ever choose the provider which understands your certain needs additionally your specific finances. Another recommendation can be to eliminate your the deduction for that interest costed within home loan repayments. Even for people with pre-existing health risks, you are able to qualify on a Medicare Aid.
Source: meet-direct.com

Video: Can I work after I get SSD / SSI benefits? Texas – Social Security Disability Attorney – SSDI

Big Government Brings Big Profits To Texas Health Plans

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Source: thedoctorweighsin.com

Apply for Social Security Benefits Online

Patty Duke applies for benefits If you file online, you’ll be in good company. Stage, screen and TV actress Patty Duke recently celebrated her 65th birthday by going online to file for Social Security and Medicare benefits. As you’ll see if you watch this video, Duke had a bit of help from her husband, Michael Pearce, but her application took only a few minutes to complete. For the past three years, Duke has volunteered her time to promote Social Security’s online services in a series of public service announcements.
Source: aarp.org

Insurance Adjuster say I have to apply for MediCare, by law?

I and many supporters are fighting to repeal the TX DRL, TRC 708, Article 10, House Bill 3588, 78th Legislative Session. Please watch my post and draw your own conclusion. Go to: www.myspace.com www.repealdrptexas.com, www.corridorwatch.org, for more information or e-mail me at fightthetxresponsibilityprogram@yahoo.com. Sign the peition at www.petitiononline.com/txdrp07/petition.html Thanks for viewing and commenting. Keep it clean and nice please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Video Rating: 5 / 5
Source: about-attorneys.com

1915(b) Selective Contract Waiver application is strongly opposed by NAMI Texas

NAMI Texas and other mental health stakeholders have expressed repeatedly our keen interest in this waiver. In particular, many, many conversations have been held with the Department about the impact of the waiver on the efforts, now underway for several years, to develop a Certified Peer Specialist system in our state, and the importance of ensuring that this Waiver address and strengthen a system that supports Certified Peer Specialists and open up the system to other providers. It was clearly indicated that we would be part of this conversation in the submission of this waiver.Yet, we were not appropriately involved or notified.
Source: wordpress.com

Medicare Supplement Texas Insurance and Medicare

Apply early. It generally takes at least two weeks for a supplement application to be processed. If you are turning 65 be aware that some insurance companies will take applications six months from your birthday and all will take applications three months out. Answer the questions truthfully. If you have to answer health questions on the Medicare supplement application, answer them truthfully. The company checks your medical records, anyway. With few exceptions, when you apply before six months past your birth month, you cannot be denied coverage and there are very few medical questions to answer. Keep a copy for yourself. Whenever possible, keep a copy of your application for yourself. This always helps if there is a problem or question about something on the application. Ask questions upfront. It is always best to get all of your questions answered prior to applying for the policy. Remember to cancel your old policy. If you are replacing an older Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan, you must cancel your old policy effective the day your new one starts. This keeps you from having double coverage and double payments with no added benefits. Always wait until your new policy is approved before cancelling an old one.
Source: bestlongtermcare.org

Helpful tips for Medicare Additional Insurance coverage

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Code Pink R-E-P-P-E-N' ENDS! by eyewashThere are, but several external factors which will affect this particular Medicare Supplemental Insurance costs and also Plans. The financing that Medicare receives, for instance could affect actually private supplemental insurance coverage policies, and also Medicare extension which may reduce or even boost premiums. Also, Medicare health insurance gap insurance for example Medicare Plan N and Medigap never cover long-term medical care or long-term stay in private hospitals. They also avoid cover other health care issues, for example optician costs, personal nurses or dental expenses. These should be purchased elsewhere, for example in the Medicare advantage plans Plan which will not act as the Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan but as a whole replacement to some Medicare health insurance plan.
Source: grupointegracion.org

Video: Medicare Plan M and Plan N 2010 www.cochraninsuranceinc.com

Illinois Medicare Supplement Plan N

Plan N provides Basic Benefits (hospitalization and medical care) after a $20 copay for office visits and a $50 copay for emergency room visits. Your Part A deductible and coinsurance are covered completely and you receive an additional 365 days of hospital care after Medicare benefits end.  While your Part B deductible is not covered, a significant portion of your Part B coinsurance (which is usually 20% of Medicare approved expenses) is. Plan N pays for the first three pints of blood each year and 100% of your skilled nursing coinsurance. Plus, foreign travel emergency care is covered, so if you are in a foreign country and need medical care, you do not have to worry. Finally, if there are excess charges above what Medicare is willing to pay for Medicare approved services, Plan N covers them 100%. 
Source: ssiinsure.com