Polls: Majority Of Voters In Fla., Va. And Ohio Prefer Obama On Medicare

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Double-Parked by elycefelizNationally, the president is also seen as the better candidate for Medicare.  The PollTracker Average shows that Obama has expanded his advantage on the issue over the last month, coinciding with his growing leads overall in swing states and nationwide.
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Video: Health Care Insurance Reform Town Hall in Ohio: Financial Security, Medicare and Education (2009)

Daily Kos: Medicare plan tanks Romney’s campaign in critical swing states

But that’s a shrinking percentage of those that are tuning in to this election cycle. Somehow, they are not dominating the narrative this time around. Enough to make you wonder if Murderdoch has some kind of problem with Rmoney (or is trying to stall off Obama’s DoJ). I don’t know if it’s just because Rmoney is such an unsympathetic personality, running so badly, or if Obama’s team have really mastered working a mostly hostile media machine, but this time around Conventional Wisdom of the past several cycles is right out the window. Corporate Media is not able to make the Republicans look good, HUGE money is not selling their product, especially the Top-o’th’Ticket. High unemployment and a still uncomfortable economy are not seeming to work against the Incumbent this time and of course, the GOP strategy of obstruction and blame the gridlock on Obama, none of that is working as they envisioned.
Source: dailykos.com

Overcoming Bias : US Politics Of Medicine

Underlying support for not changing Medicare is the widespread belief that the system is functioning smoothly. In Florida, 70 percent of all voters say the system is working well — rising to 91 percent of the state’s seniors — and positive assessments of Medicare are nearly as high in the other states. … There is also a widely held public perception that changes are needed to keep Medicare sustainable for future generations. The problem for Republicans is that swelling budget deficits are not a sufficient motivator for voters. Across the three states, about three-quarters of voters say that Medicare cuts are not essential to deficit reduction. (more)
Source: overcomingbias.com

Older voters look beyond Medicare, Social Security

FILE – This Aug. 18, 2012 photo shows Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introducing his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, to supporters at a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla. (AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)  
Source: wishtv.com

Ohio Health Policy Review: CMS estimates Medicare drug costs to jump in Ohio next year

The 1.8 million Ohioans covered by Medicare could pay more for prescription drugs next year, according to new data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serivices (Source: "Cost for many Medicare drug plans to increase in 2013," Akron Beacon Journal, Sept. 19, 2012).
Source: healthpolicyreview.org

Why Mitt Romney May End Up Wishing He Never Picked Paul Ryan

There are a number of reasons  why Romney can’t dent Obama’s lead in Ohio, like his opposition to the auto bailout and Obama’s superior “ground game” and significant head start in the state. It’s also true that the 47 percent video is not going to help. But the 47 percent video is only just now becoming an Obama ad, and Romney’s troubles in the state predate the tape’s release. In fact, according to TPM’s polltracker, Obama began pulling away — after a decent Romney convention bounce — in late August. Romney picked Paul Ryan in early August. Is Ryan actively hurting Romney in Ohio? Probably not that much. But he’s obviously not helping.
Source: alternet.org

New Polls Show Obama Ahead in Florida, Ohio

The majority of respondents in both states — 55 percent in Florida and 56 percent in Ohio — think the country is “pretty seriously” on the wrong track. But in both places they also appear more confident it will get back on track economically if Obama is re-elected. In Florida, 52 percent say they are confident the country will do so under Obama in the next year or two, while 47 percent say they are not confident. In Ohio, the margin is 53 percent to 46 percent. If Romney is elected, 48 percent of Florida voters say they are confident the economy will get back on track under his administration, while 51 percent say they are not confident. In Ohio, that ratio is 48 percent confident, 51 percent not confident.
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Despite Obama Attacks Romney Will Win The Senior Vote

Romney needs to make the primary concern in Ohio – as well as Florida – the concern that seniors are having throughout the majority of the country, which is the economy in general – the current national debt as well as the debt being accumulated for these seniors’ grandchildren. Romney must stress that voting over concern of Medicare and Social Security doubts is not nearly as important as the overall failing economy – as he seems to be successful in convincing futuristic-thinking economically-minded seniors though most of the country.
Source: cbslocal.com

Voucherizing Medicare Turns Out Not to be a Brilliant Political Proposal

Really, it’s pretty amazing. Just two years ago, Republicans walloped Democrats in the midterm election, at least partly due to a tsunami of ads accusing them of taking money away from Medicare. And Republicans have been on the receiving end of Medicare attack ads too. So they know perfectly well just how sensitive this issue is and how much damage it can do. And yet, somehow they convinced themselves that Paul Ryan had some kind of magic fairy dust that would make the American public sit up and suddenly say to themselves, "He’s right! We do need to turn Medicare into a voucher!"
Source: motherjones.com

Ohio Medicaid Program Raises Stakes For Nursing Homes

States such as Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont have tried to change that by awarding a small bonus (from 60 cents to $6.16 per day) if facilities achieve various standards. But industry representatives say those incentives are insufficient to generate significant enthusiasm for altering the status quo, according to Nicholas Castle, who has surveyed nursing home administrators and is a professor of health policy at the University of Pittsburgh.
Source: gantdaily.com

Medicare Advantage enrollment projected to grow 11 percent in 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

OBAMACARE WATCH: MORE DARKNESS THAN LIGHT AND OF COURSE TAXES AND PENALTYS by SS&SSHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the latest data shows that the reform law’s curbs on premium rate increases and other regulations on private insurers has made Medicare Advantage more accessible to the nearly 50 million senior citizens and disabled Americans who are Medicare beneficiaries.
Source: medcitynews.com

Video: Problems with Medicare Enrollment

Medicare open enrollment a time to ponder changes

It’s a chance to see what plans are offering for the coming year, and whether switching to another plan might better suit you. Open enrollment is also a chance to review the broader changes to the Medicare program that will take effect in January.
Source: marketwatch.com

It’s Time for Medicare Open Enrollment

Trained and certified insurance counselors are available at the Staunton Senior Center to give you personalized information about your medication costs and which Part D plan is best for you in 2013.  They can also provide information about copays and other out-of-pocket costs for the 2013 Medicare Advantage plans.  Insurance counselors are part of the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP) and do not sell insurance or endorse any company.  The service is free of charge but donations are gratefully accepted to keep the program going and are tax-deductible.   The number to call to schedule a Medicare Open Enrollment appointment is 540-949-7141.
Source: stauntonseniorcenter.org

7 pointers for navigating Medicare open enrollment

These plans include HMO-style offerings under which care is coordinated through a network of doctors and hospitals, according to Cindy Polich, president of United HealthCare’s Medicare division. In-network pharmacies may offer cheaper prices for drugs, whether through an in-store or a mail-order option, Polich says.
Source: insurancequotes.com

Medicare Savings Program sees enrollment rise

Enrollment increased 5.2% in 2010 and 5.1% in 2011, according to the GAO. It attributed the growth to factors including the SSA’s efforts as well as the economic downturn. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 requires that the SSA address the roadblocks preventing low-income beneficiaries from signing up for the savings program. Those barriers were pegged as low awareness and cumbersome enrollment processes. In addition to outreach, the SSA was also required to transfer information on beneficiaries who file a low-income subsidy application to a state Medicaid agency. Officials in 28 states reported growth in their Medicare Savings Programs as a result of Social Security Administration transfers, the GAO found. The GAO noted that the amount of additional work for states will depend on whether they decide to re-verify the information beneficiaries provided to the SSA and whether their eligibility requirements align with the federal government’s.
Source: modernhealthcare.com

HHS: Medicare Advantage enrollment is up, premiums down

Medicare Advantage plans cover skilled nursing facility stays following acute episodes and other post-acute care. MA also includes special needs plans for chronically ill and disabled individuals such as dual eligibles. Republicans raised concerns over an MA demonstration project in June that gave quality bonuses to plans with more stars.
Source: mcknights.com

Medicare Enrollment [Infographic]

GoHealth aims to take the mystery out of Medicare enrollment. Our handy new infographic lays out all the important information you need in a simple, colorful format. Dare we say, it makes the notion of Medicare enrollment attractive?
Source: gohealthinsurance.com

Weekly Update: CMS Medicare Enrollment and Change of Ownership

Do you need help with your CMS Enrollment or Change of Ownership Forms?  The process to obtain enrollment in Medicare or change enrollment status can be time consuming and frustrating.  We will coordinate and facilitate enrollment with all state and federal forms including Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ( CMS) Form 855A for prospective RHC’s, and CMS Form 29 for existing RHC change of ownership needs.  Return submissions of the CMS Form 855A is included. For more information please contact Courtnay Ryan at cr@coruralhealth.org
Source: blogspot.com

Time to Ponder Open Enrollment for Medicare

Howard has been active in financial and estate planning since 1991, Howard started his career with MetLife after college. Howard has become an authorized representative of Tarkenton Financial, LLC, a national marketing company, in order to make available to his clients numerous options in order to protect their financial future. Howard currently lives in the Clearwater, Fl area with his wife Laura and their 5 children. There family is active in the many water activities in the area and are big Tampa Bay Rays fans.
Source: tarkentonfinancialofclearwater.com

Daily Kos: I Hate Explaining the Medicare “Donut Hole” (Updated with explanation of donut hole)

I had a chance to talk to Tom Scully, the head of HMS at the time and the creator of Plan D and the donut hole about why he did it. There were two reasons. First, he had a budget of $400 billion over ten years for the program so he had to design something that hit his budget target and he did a great job on that. Medicare Part D is the only government health program where the ten year cost was actually under the budget estimate. I think it came in at $380 billion. The second reason was to make seniors really think about generics and switching from higher priced brand name drugs to lower cost generic substitutes. And that part worked as well. You need to remember that before Part D all prescriptions were out of pocket expenses for seniors on Medicare, so even with the donut hole Part D was a big benefit.
Source: dailykos.com

Utah Office of Health Disparities: Medicare 2012 Open Enrollment Period

) is beginning its outreach to Medicare beneficiaries regarding the 2012 Open Enrollment Period during which beneficiaries are encouraged to review their Part D Medicare Medication Plan for 2013 and determine if it is in their best interest to continue with the Plan in which they are currently enrolled OR to select another Plan that will cover more medications at less cost to them during 2013.  The importance of this process to each Medicare beneficiary cannot be under-estimated as it may truly mean potential significant costs savings given the changes each Plan makes every year.
Source: blogspot.com

Administration Touts Thriving Medicare Advantage Under Health Law

The Hill: HHS: Health Law Strengthened Medicare Advantage Enrollment is up and premiums are down in Medicare Advantage (MA) as a result of the healthcare law, the federal health department reported Wednesday. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued projections that MA enrollment will increase by 11 percent over the next year while premiums hold steady. Sebelius attributed a 28 percent rise in MA enrollment and 10 percent drop in MA premiums since 2010 to the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically divisive (Viebeck, 9/19).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Several Companies Ending Medicare Advantage Plans in Wyoming

Option 1: Participants can join another Medicare health plan, if one is available in their area. Most Medicare health plans include prescription drug coverage. If the plan does not have drug coverage, participants under these Medicare Advantage Plans will need to join a separate Medicare prescription drug plan to get prescription drug coverage. Option 2: Participants can change to standard Medicare. Standard Medicare is fee-for-service coverage managed by the federal government. If choosing standard Medicare, participants will need to join a separate Medicare prescription drug plan to get prescription drug coverage. Participants may also want to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy to fill in the gaps in original Medicare coverage.
Source: kgab.com

Missing Medicare Plan Deadlines Will Cost You: When to Enroll

Medicare Part A If you already receive benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board, you are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B; no action is required on your part to enroll. If you do not meet the criteria listed above, then you must enroll in Medicare during the period beginning three months before you turn 65 and ending three months after your birthday.
Source: gohealthinsurance.com

Find Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Your Area With the Senior Advisor Group

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSThe Senior Advisor Group is an independent insurance advisory group specializing in Medicare insurance and other insurance options for those on Medicare. Their role is to assists seniors in finding with the best Medicare Supplemental Insurance, including advice on Supplemental Plans, Advantage Plans, Medicare Part D insurance and other related supplemental insurance. By partnering with over 40 different insurance companies, the Senior Advisor Group works on the side of the client’s with no obligation to any one insurance company. For the individual client they will search from all of the top insurers to find the best products at the best price – as well as provide ongoing professional, personalized service to each Medicare beneficiary year after year. The Senior Advisors also provides clients on Medicare with dental, hearing, and vision coverage, as well as Rx discount cards at no cost to customers. As a national advisory group, Senior Advisor Group represents all of the top rated and the largest Medicare supplemental insurance providers available. Their objective is to provide unbiased advice on Medicare Supplemental Insurance from highly trained, Medicare insurance specialists. Each specialist is trained on the various Medicare Insurance options, and will assist each individual with a plan selection, and provide continual advice year after year on Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Part D coverage. As Medicare insurance specialist, Medicare Insurance is not just a part of their business it is their business. The Senior Advisor Group was established to deliver what insurance companies can’t – unbiased and objective advice. They will assist and complete enrollment in the best available plan for the client, not the best available plan for the provider. For those new to Medicare or just looking to compare coverage options simply submit a request and one of their specialist will call within 24 hours.
Source: sbwire.com

Video: Learn About Medigap Plans

Today’s Influence Ads: AARP Medicare Supplement, Shale Gas Production

A slew of new ads are out today as Congress embarks upon its last week before the elections. AARP and UnitedHealthCare have a new ad today promoting AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans as the only standardized Medicare supplement plan that AARP  endorses. American Clean Skies Foundation has a new ad pushing for the production of shale gas in the United States. The government of Panama’s new ad promotes the country as a good place for American businesses to invest. And Across the Aisle Foundation has a new ad inviting senior House and Senate staffers from both parties to an October event to discuss how the new Congress should tackle its first 100 days. Others with new ads, per Kantar Media’s Washington Eye, include: American Petroleum Institute, American Sugar Alliance, American Veterinary Medical Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Employee Freedom Act Committee, Fair Search, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Neustar and Radiation Therapy Alliance. Those with continuing ad include: Altria, American Cancer Society, American Council of Life Insurers, American Hospital Association, AT&T, Beirut Families, Boeing Company, BP, Chevron, CIT Group, CME Group, Hologic, Honda, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Lockheed Martin, Mars Chocolate, Northern Dynasty Minerals, Nuclear Energy Institute, Pfizer, Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America, Southern Company, United Soybean Board, Univision, WellPoint, WTOP and Zurich.
Source: nationaljournal.com

California Medicare Supplement Plans Blue Shield

each month for 12 months on your Medicare Supplement Plan rates.To qualify, you must be age 65 or older, and Blue Shield must receive your application within six (6) months of the date you first enrolled for benefits under Medicare Part B. Savings will be effective for the first twelve 12 months of your plan dues.The Welcome to Medicare Rate Savings is available for all Medicare Supplement Plans that Blue Shield of California offers. You can also take advantage of our two-party rates and Easy$Pay
Source: mattlockard.net

Medicare Supplement Insurance Texas Clients By Offers Various Benefits

Private agencies were given permission from the federal government to sell supplemental policies to consumers. This type of coverage helps individuals to afford care that their basic program does not cover. Agents who sell such policies must follow very strict state and federal guidelines. Such companies are standardized according to United States government regulations and all plans provided must offer the same coverage, regardless of the company from which the policy is acquired. Each agency, however, is allowed to set its own rates for the policies.
Source: chillicious.com

Indiana Farm Bureau Offers New Medicare Supplement Plans Benefit

4G cattle CBOT china commodity corn crude oil drought DuPont energy Extension farm bill farm bureau farm policy FIELD CROPS REPORT financial futures grain Hibberd HSUS Indiana Soybean Alliance livestock market report markets Mintert Mobile NPPC Pioneer Pork Pork Board President Barack Obama purdue purdue extension renewable fuel Rural Seed Consultants Smartphones soybean harvest soybeans USDA Verizon weeds wheat
Source: hoosieragtoday.com

2012 Medicare Open Enrollment Period

You can also enroll for the first time in a Part D plan during AEP if you did not enroll during your open enrollment window when you first became eligible for Medicare Part B.  If you do not have credible drug coverage, you may be subject to the Part D late enrollment penalty.  This penalty is calculated by adding 1% to your premium for each month you were not enrolled and should have been.
Source: ohioinsureplan.com

The Talk About Anything Blog

If it is time to for you to enroll for Medicare, or if your open enrollment period is coming up, then it is time to consider what coverage you need compared with what you currently have. All Medigap providers must, by law, offer the same basic coverages as all the other companies. The big difference will be the prices as well as the various plans they offer. The big thing to keep in mind when enrolling or changing your Medicare plan is that you are not eligible for supplemental insurance if you are also enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Source: curlingserbia.com

Are Medicare Supplement Plans Something You Need to Know About?

Supplement Plans must be purchased during the open enrollment period. This is a six-month period beginning the month you turn 65 and have Medicare Part B coverage. During this time, you are allowed to purchase any plan regardless of your health history. At any time outside of this open enrollment, the insurance company can decide to not enroll you based on your medical history, or they may charge you additional premiums. It is best to make the decision that is best for your healthcare needs during this initial six-month period.
Source: todaysseniors.com

Medicare Supplement plans to receive rebates

[…] Independent agent for health and life insurance in northern California. CA LIC. 0H12644. Focusing on families, individuals, self employed and small business. Representing several insurance carriers including Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans. Life insurance, final expence and funeral trusts. My pledge to my clients: 1. I respect your time and decisions. 2. I will not try to sell you something you do not want or need. 3. I will not call you after 5pm unless you ask me to.Source: insuremekevin.com […]
Source: insuremekevin.com

Things you should know about Medicare Supplement Insurance at Maximum Performance Begins With A Healthy Body

If you already have Medicare Part A or Part B, you can also buy medigap cover because it provides coverage for coinsurance, co-payments, and deductibles. In this arrangement, original medicare policy pays for the approved amount for health care cost. The medicare supplement policy will supplement your coverage by providing its share afterwards. However, there are few things that are not covered by Medigap policies. Dental and vision care, glasses, hearing aids, private nursing services, and long-term nursing facilities are not covered by Medigap.
Source: procureperformance.com

New Efforts To Improve Medicaid in California, Colorado

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

CENTRAL CITY, COLORADO 1968 by roberthuffstutterThe Lund Report: Governor Kitzhaber Seeks To Expand Coordinated Care Organizations With coordinated care organizations – better known as CCOs — in full swing for the Medicaid population, Governor John Kitzhaber is setting his sights on the next targets – people on Medicare, the state’s public employees and the private business sector. “The biggest challenge with Medicare is that it’s not a sustainable model,” the governor told Beaverton residents last week at a town hall meeting hosted by Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton). Why not allow people on Medicare to participate in a CCO on an “experimental basis,” he suggested (Lund-Muzikant, 9/12).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: SEIU/COPE Medicare Colorado

Older voters look beyond Medicare, Social Security

FILE – This Aug. 18, 2012 photo shows Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introducing his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, to supporters at a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla. (AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)  
Source: wishtv.com

Week before Obama visit, report finds Colorado Democrats cut Medicare by $6 billion for seniors in Colorado

“Seniors are among those in Colorado hit hardest by this recession,” Call concluded. “With many seniors living on fixed incomes, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans struggling to find work and a debt level that threatens to downgrade America’s credit rating again, we can’t afford another four years of Obama and the Democrats’ failed economic policies.”
Source: cologop.org

Colorado’s Medicaid Cost Drivers

Health policy discussions often focus on controlling the cost of the sophisticated medical care that is provided to relatively few people. Outside of this blog, relatively few people pay attention to the impact of routine costs like the cost of an extra physician visit for each of 150 million people. This is one reason why so many people are surprised by the fact that consumer directed health plans with proper incentive structures can lower health care expenditures by as much as 20 percent without compromising health or externally rationing care. It also explains why so many Medicare commentators have difficulty understanding how the Ryan Medicare reform plan might work.
Source: ncpa.org

W. Colorado Moves Forward on Primary Care Initiative, Payers Resist

Glenn Kotz, M.D., solo-practitioner at MidValley Family Practice, one of the CPC initiative sites, says “the basic EHRs need to beef up their processes.” He adds that the federal government has not mandated that EHRs perform specific patient-centered medical home processes. “That information, that kind of process within the EHR, all the vendors need to spend a lot money to get what we need in there,” Kotz adds. “We need more care coordination templates or workflows. Our biggest first step is going to be how do we get consults or data in from outside sources, and push it into our EHR in a way that makes sense for us to process that.”
Source: healthcare-informatics.com

Montrose Colorado News, Information, Sports, Community

Congressional District has heated up with both candidates, Sal Pace and Scott Tipton taking to the airwaves and taking shots at each other.  Both apparently have conflicting views on medicare and Pace has said that the voucher system for medicare that Tipton supports  would raise costs considerably for seniors.  Tipton responded by saying the proposed changes he supports would give seniors options including traditional medicare but it does not  include a voucher system.
Source: coloradoradio.com

Medicare top issue for surge of older voters in Colorado

Colorado has a significantly smaller percentage of seniors — about 11 percent — than traditional magnets for retirees like Florida, where about 22 percent of the population is 65 and older. But the unprecedented population growth among older adults is far outpacing other population growth across Colorado. Between 2000 and 2010, the population of adults ages 60 to 64 who were on the cusp of Medicare eligibility, increased by a whopping 86 percent in Colorado, while the population as a whole grew by 17 percent.
Source: healthpolicysolutions.org

Medicare is broke; Enlighten us, David Sirota; and more

Thank you, David Sirota, for enlightening us on the questionable background of Paul Ryan (“Who is this Paul Ryan, who will save America from socialism?” August 18). We Gazette readers surely want to make informed choices on who we vote for in November, and your insight is to be valued. Hey, while you’re at it, why not write a complementary column, “Who is this Barack Obama, who will save America from (fill-in-the-blank)”? After all, we hardly knew ye, Mr. Obama, when you were elected four years ago. 
Source: gazette.com

Insurance Carrier Not Entitled to Post

This interesting case does not take into account the Defendant Insurance Carrier’s Mandatory Insurance Reporting responsibility.  Medicare is a secondary payer if another plan is responsible to make payment for an item or service.  Once a determination of responsibility is made, the Defendant Insurance Carrier is responsible to report its Ongoing Responsibility for Medical (ORM).  When Medicare is aware of the Defendant insurance carrier’s responsibility to pay medicals, it will suspend future Medicare benefits and redirect providers to bill the Defendant insurance carrier.  Medicare will also review its records and determine if it may have made any mistaken payments.  If it has, it will issue to the Defendant Insurance Carrier a Conditional Payment Letter as a start to the reimbursement process.   Thus, even in Defendant insurance carrier were successful in achieving a set-off it would not escape exposure to Medicare as once judgment is entered,  the Mandatory Insurance Reporting responsibility would require it be reported and any Conditional Payments owed Medicare would then have to be reimbursed.  If not, Medicare has the right to file a lawsuit for double damages against the insurance carrier.  Of course, this is all dependent on Medicare being aware of the Defendant insurance carrier’s responsibility to pay medicals and subsequent judgment.  In the past, Medicare had no way of identifying these situations.  However, with the implementation of Mandatory Insurance Reporting and penalties for failure to report these situations, Medicare is now better aware of these situations and will protect itself.  Recoveries are to be expected as well as Medicare denying future Medicare benefits.  State court Judgments that attempt to maintain Medicare as a primary payer, in situations where medical benefits are available to pay, don’t work.  Federal law will supersede and the Defendant insurance carrier should proactively address Medicare rather than pin responsibility on the Medicare beneficiary.    In this case, the legal decision has placed the Defendant Insurance Carrier in a worst position.  It now has to pay the entire funds to Plaintiff, but is still required to report the situation to Medicare that it has a responsibility to pay.  It is subject to a reimbursement claim by Medicare if Plaintiff does not immediately reimburse the conditional payments under 42 C.F.R. Section 411.24(i).  It could now pay twice for the same exposure.  Dealing with Medicare upfront saves money.
Source: francosignor.com

Agency: Medicare refills strong drugs despite law

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in response to the report that the inspector general was misinterpreting partial “fills” dispensed to patients in long-term care facilities as refills. Partial fills occur when a pharmacist does not dispense all doses of the prescribed medication at one time. But the report said there was little evidence of that.
Source: newson6.com

Daily Kos: I Hate Explaining the Medicare “Donut Hole” (Updated with explanation of donut hole)

I had a chance to talk to Tom Scully, the head of HMS at the time and the creator of Plan D and the donut hole about why he did it. There were two reasons. First, he had a budget of $400 billion over ten years for the program so he had to design something that hit his budget target and he did a great job on that. Medicare Part D is the only government health program where the ten year cost was actually under the budget estimate. I think it came in at $380 billion. The second reason was to make seniors really think about generics and switching from higher priced brand name drugs to lower cost generic substitutes. And that part worked as well. You need to remember that before Part D all prescriptions were out of pocket expenses for seniors on Medicare, so even with the donut hole Part D was a big benefit.
Source: dailykos.com

Romney camp continues push to define Medicare issue first

“When [Obama] ran for office, he said he’d protect Medicare,” Romney told supporters in Ohio on Tuesday. “But did you know that he’s taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund. He’s raided that trust fund. And you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven federal government takeover of health care. And if I’m president of the United States, we’re putting the $716 billion back.”
Source: kwgn.com

Greeblemonkey: Talking with actress Kyra Sedgwick in Colorado Springs about Women's
Issues in this election.

I feel really lucky, considering all the awesome things I get to do because of this blog.  One of the most special ever happened this past weekend when I headed down to Colorado Springs to meet with Kyra Sedgwick. (Does this now make me two degrees of Kevin Bacon?!) Kyra was in town to talk about why she supports Barack Obama, and meet with people from Colorado to talk about issues in the 2012 election. Specifically, of course, she is most concerned about women’s issues. Kyra was incredibly well-spoken, and she worked on the Obama campaign in 2008 as well. We both attended a small gathering of Democratic women and then I was honored to have a one-on-one interview with her before she moved on to her next event in the area. I asked Kyra why she came to *Colorado* to speak about Obama. She answered that first and foremost, she felt that Barack Obama was the clear choice for reelection – and she was proud to work for his campaign again. But specifically, she has a sister who lives in Boulder and she has been visiting Colorado regularly for at least 20 years. She commented on the loveliness of our state, and really appreciates how much we care about the environment – a concern that is very near and dear to her heart. (Of note: On Obama’s watch, wind production in Colorado is up 49%, and there are at least 18 major manufacturing facilities currently producing components for the wind industry here.) Good news for my best friend who just went back to college for an environmental engineering degree. We then talked about women’s issues and the 2012 election. One thing Kyra said has stayed with me. “I am so surprised, in this day and age, that I am worrying about whether my daughter will have the right to discuss her health and her body privately in her doctor’s office.” Meaning these are the things that are at risk in this election. I understand not everyone is pro-choice. But Romney/Ryan have stated they will work  to repeal Roe vs. Wade. Personally, I find this incredibly scary. I will be flat out honest. I have never had an abortion. I feel for people who have faced that choice, I know it is not easy. Either way, I *do* want that choice available for future generations, particularly in the instances of rape and incest. I also know that if I had to face that choice, I would prefer to have that discussion privately with my doctor. Wouldn’t you? I love this line from a very detailed Guardian article on this subject. “Republicans, who accuse President Barack Obama of putting government bureaucrats between doctors and their patients, were trying to mandate a medically unnecessary procedure that required the insertion of a wand into a woman’s vagina.” So, yeah, we talked about healthcare. This is probably the single most important issue to me in this election. As I mentioned before, I went uninsured this summer until I was forced to go on COBRA for an exorbitant amount of money. Kyra was very sympathetic. She mentioned that she was lucky to have amazing insurance through the Screen Actor’s Guild, but she watched her brother struggle to find insurance due to pre-existing conditions. That he ended up paying large amounts of money for insurance that didn’t cover very much. We both agreed how important preventative care is, that perhaps we can shift our thinking regarding insurance? I mentioned that I am a good example of both sides of that coin. That I work hard to control my diabetes, but was declined for insurance. Then – my life-threatening ear infection! Bam! Something that could happen to anyone, anywhere! Yikes. Kyra went on to talk about the other things that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is important for… providing access to birth control (which is medically necessary in quite a few cases, as opposed to Viagra which *is* covered by most insurance), making it illegal to charge women more for insurance (I still can’t believe that was happening!), removal of the pre-existing conditions denials (woot!) and strengthening Medicare. Medicare is really important to me as well, because several family members need it. Here in Colorado, 631,400 adults depend on Medicare… that’s a lot of people who need protection. Kyra described what Romney & Ryan would like to do with Medicare: vouchers. Personally, I think that is a very scary proposition for our seniors and people like myself who are, gulp, middle-aged. (Is 42 middle-aged? Close enough.) P.S. I find this timeline from Healthcare.gov helpful in figuring out what is happening when for Obamacare. After health, we talked about education. “We can do better! Education is a building block for future generations!” Kyra felt pretty strongly, and as her children are just entering their twenties, she is a good position to understand this. She talked about how Obama is working to protect Pell grants to college students, creating tax credits to help middle-class families send their kids to college and expanding access to community colleges and skills training programs. Plus, I loved the story of  a project in Eastern Colorado that will improve high speed internet for over 1,000 households, 270 businesses, and 40 critical community facilities, including five schools.
Source: greeblemonkey.com

Daily Kos: Medicare plan tanks Romney’s campaign in critical swing states

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Benefit Security Card .. HALF of the U.S live in households that receive government benefits (26 May 2012) ...item 2.. Brevard man gets 4 years in Social Security fraud case (Jun 1, 2012 ) ... by marsmet481But that’s a shrinking percentage of those that are tuning in to this election cycle. Somehow, they are not dominating the narrative this time around. Enough to make you wonder if Murderdoch has some kind of problem with Rmoney (or is trying to stall off Obama’s DoJ). I don’t know if it’s just because Rmoney is such an unsympathetic personality, running so badly, or if Obama’s team have really mastered working a mostly hostile media machine, but this time around Conventional Wisdom of the past several cycles is right out the window. Corporate Media is not able to make the Republicans look good, HUGE money is not selling their product, especially the Top-o’th’Ticket. High unemployment and a still uncomfortable economy are not seeming to work against the Incumbent this time and of course, the GOP strategy of obstruction and blame the gridlock on Obama, none of that is working as they envisioned.
Source: dailykos.com

Video: Medicare Explained

Daily Kos: Romney on Medicare in The New Yorker

The solution for Medicare that Ryan and Romney favor “fixes” its funding issues by raising the eligibility age (leaving 65 year olds in the lurch) and gradually replacing it with a voucher system that would cap the government contribution to healthcare costs, leaving seniors to pay more–probably much more over time, as healthcare inflation is likely to rise faster than voucher amounts. And where is this extra money that seniors have lying around to pay more for healthcare? For most seniors, it just isn’t there, so you are going to see more self-rationing, as seniors skip doctor visits and fail to take medications.
Source: dailykos.com

FACT CHECK: No cuts to existing Medicare benefits

So where will Medicare reduce its spending? It cuts payments to providers. Subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans ($156 billion); hospital reimbursements ($260 billion); skilled nursing services ($39 billion); home health care ($66 billion) and hospice ($17 billion). (All of these are over 10 years.)
Source: mattandagnes.com

Obama Tells Seniors They've 'Earned' Medicare and Social Security, Forgets to Note We Haven't Paid For Them

Social Security, meanwhile, certainly isn’t a guarantee. Obama might consider the retirement program a “bedrock commitment,” but the Supreme Court doesn’t. The court has ruled on two difference occasions that citizens are not entitled to the dollars they pay into the entitlement. Money paid into the program can be used to fund other totally unrelated government activities, just like any other tax dollars. The commitment to the program is dependent on the whim of politicians who are legally allowed to tax you for one thing and use that same money to pay for something else. That — and nothing else — is what seniors paying into Social Security have actually earned. 
Source: reason.com

Daily Kos: The Debates: S/S & Medicare Off The Table?

Well, you can make a difference by telling Jim Lehrer to include Medicare and Social Security in the debates. Thanks to AARP, all you have to do is Go Here and fill out the form. You’re a leftie. You know the drill. I did it. I also tweeted about it, posted about it on FB, and sent an email message to about 50 of my closest friends, a half dozen of whom have already done the same. This is an exceptionally important issue for all of us, even those Tea Bagging dipshits who don’t know which side of their toast the butter’s on. Do you want your retirement to be left to the vagaries of the market, especially when you know it’s crooked as hell and likely will steal much of your savings from you? Maybe we can fix it in the next decade, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be holding my breath. Hell, before I was 30 (that’s more than three and a half decades ago) I thought there was going to be a revolution in this country. Actually, there kind of was, but it went in the opposite direction from where I thought it would.
Source: dailykos.com

Voucherizing Medicare Turns Out Not to be a Brilliant Political Proposal

Really, it’s pretty amazing. Just two years ago, Republicans walloped Democrats in the midterm election, at least partly due to a tsunami of ads accusing them of taking money away from Medicare. And Republicans have been on the receiving end of Medicare attack ads too. So they know perfectly well just how sensitive this issue is and how much damage it can do. And yet, somehow they convinced themselves that Paul Ryan had some kind of magic fairy dust that would make the American public sit up and suddenly say to themselves, "He’s right! We do need to turn Medicare into a voucher!"
Source: motherjones.com

Ryan budget plan would end traditional Medicare benefits, candidate says

MANATEE — The choice of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential nominee and the embrace of his budget plan would “break the moral contract” to take care of seniors and the disabled with Medicare if the GOP wins in November, a congressional candidate said Friday.
Source: bradenton.com

Several Companies Ending Medicare Advantage Plans in Wyoming

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Congressman Kendrick B. Meek by cliff1066™Option 1: Participants can join another Medicare health plan, if one is available in their area. Most Medicare health plans include prescription drug coverage. If the plan does not have drug coverage, participants under these Medicare Advantage Plans will need to join a separate Medicare prescription drug plan to get prescription drug coverage. Option 2: Participants can change to standard Medicare. Standard Medicare is fee-for-service coverage managed by the federal government. If choosing standard Medicare, participants will need to join a separate Medicare prescription drug plan to get prescription drug coverage. Participants may also want to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy to fill in the gaps in original Medicare coverage.
Source: kgab.com

Video: What Is Medicare Advantage?

House Cmte. Looks at Status of Medicare Advantage Program

The head of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said his organization is trying to craft a new formula for Medicare payments to doctors.  Glenn Hackbarth says the goal is to release that recommendation this fall.  Since 1998 Congress has passed legislation every year known as the “doc fix” overriding scheduled cuts in Medicare payments.  At a Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing, Mr. Hackbarth also presented the recommendations in MedPAC’s latest report.  It includes a 1% increase in hospital payments and a 1% increase in physician fees.
Source: c-span.org

HHS Touts Growth In Medicare Advantage Plans, Drop In Premiums

More than 13 million Medicare beneficiaries – just over a quarter of all Medicare enrollees – are in Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative to traditional Medicare offered by insurance companies. The health law will reduce payments to Medicare Advantage plans by $156 billion from 2013 through 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office. President Barack Obama and many Democrats have backed payment cuts to the plans, citing data that the government has in the past paid about 14 percent more per beneficiary in Medicare Advantage than per beneficiary enrolled in the traditional program. Proponents of the private plans point to their better coordination of care and extra benefits and services they provide, including vision, hearing and dental benefits.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

The Senior Insider: Why Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare Advantage Plans are provided through private insurance companies that have a contract with Medicare. These plans often have a higher level of benefits than found in original Medicare with lower premiums and copays. For example, some plans offer coverage for dental, vision, routine foot care and gym membership. Plans may have a monthly premium, use co-pays for certain treatments and include an out-of-pocket annual maximum to protect a person from catastrophic illness. Medicare Advantage Plans are available with and without Part D prescription drug coverage. Two important points to remember about Advantage Plans: – Benefits in a Medicare Advantage Plan must be at least equal to or better than that of original Medicare. –  Medicare no longer covers your health care costs. The Medicare Advantage Plan pays instead of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans generally operate as an HMO, PPO or private fee-for-service plan. Interested in learning more?  Call me at 440-255-5700. I am affiliated with many of the nation’s most respected insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, and AARP so I can help you find the plan that includes your doctors, your medical facilities and fits your budget. For a complete list of companies, go to www.mutskoinsurance.com/products-services. You never pay a penny more for my services. Not now. Not at any time throughout the year. 
Source: blogspot.com

AHIP Testimony: Value Offered by Health Plans Participating in the Medicare Advantage Program

  Medicare Advantage plans also protect beneficiaries from catastrophic health care costs.  In 2012, all Medicare Advantage plans offer an out-of-pocket maximum limit for beneficiary costs, and about 78 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that have annual out-of-pocket maximums of $5,000 or less.  These out-of-pocket maximums – which are not offered by the Medicare FFS program – help protect Medicare beneficiaries from catastrophic health care expenses that otherwise might pose a serious threat to their financial security.  Medicare Advantage plans also help reduce out-of-pocket costs for enrollees by reducing premiums for Part B and Part D, and by limiting cost-sharing for Medicare-covered services, including primary care physician visits and inpatient hospital stays.
Source: ahipcoverage.com

Medicare Advantage enrollment projected to grow 11 percent in 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the latest data shows that the reform law’s curbs on premium rate increases and other regulations on private insurers has made Medicare Advantage more accessible to the nearly 50 million senior citizens and disabled Americans who are Medicare beneficiaries.
Source: medcitynews.com

Executive: Let more Medicare plans offer LTC

A SNP is supposed to provide an alternative to traditional Medicare for “dual eligibles” — consumers who are both poor enough to qualify for Medicaid and either old enough or sick enough to qualify for Medicare; for people who suffer from severe or disabling chronic conditions; or for Medicare enrollees who already live in nursing homes or other long-term care (LTC) institutions or are getting a comparable level of LTC services in the community.
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Time to examine Medicare Plans

Medicare Advantage may also see changes. Medicare Advantage offers a different type of coverage than original Medicare. According to Medicare’s website, “A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.”
Source: medhelperapp.com

Billions Spent to Make Medicare More Efficient Make Medicare More Expensive

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at CMS Jonathan Blum visits Christiana Care to speak about accountable care organizations by Christiana CareIn the wake of the two payment reforms, hospitals began to manipulate the system through “upcoding”—systematically shifting patients into higher-paying DRGs. Research by economists at Dartmouth University suggests that during the early 1990s, hospital administrators figured out ways to substantially increase the number of Medicare cases they billed to higher-paying DRGs. Payment games continue today. In October the Senate Finance Committee released a report accusing several large home health care companies of abusing Medicare’s payment rules by pushing employees to perform extra therapy visits, thereby qualifying for Medicare bonus payments, even when those visits weren’t strictly necessary. But for many health care providers, that’s the business. Hospital administrators “are people whose job it is to game the system,” Kling says. “They know every little detail of the rules.”
Source: reason.com

Video: Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary Measure National Provider Call – February 9, 2012

Doctors billing Medicare patients at higher rates, report finds

President Obama is out on the campaign trail running for reelection and one of the major achievements he points to for his administration is the passing of the Affordable Care Act. What Obama and the rest of those who support this legislation have failed to acknowledge is the extremely negative implications of this act. In order to fund this new health care act, there were major cuts made to Medicare. These cuts are set to reduce payments to doctors and hospitals considerably. This reduction is so severe that many health care providers have stopped taking new Medicare patients or are indicating that if the cuts go through as planned that they will no longer take Medicare patients. In many cases, doctors are even telling current patients that if the cuts go through they will no longer see them as Medicare patients. These patients are being told that they will either have to become cash pay patients or find a new doctor. The ACA is creating a two tier health care system. Those people covered by Medicare will be reduced to only being able to see second rate doctors who are still willing to take Medicare as the better doctors who are not hurting for patients will no longer accept the measly payments that Medicare provides. This is a complete failure on the part of the administration and has left seniors and those on disability with trouble finding competent doctors to care for them. The lists of doctors who will accept Medicare has been shrinking for years due to the low payments and if the cuts planned as part of the ACA actually go into effect the problem is going to get much, much worse very quickly. This is one of those dirty little secrets about the ACA that the Democrats have been hiding from seniors and others in order to maintain support for this deeply flawed piece of legislation. Barring some new law being passed forcing all doctors in the US to accept Medicare, which is not likely to occur with the strength of the AMA lobby, the day is not far off when those who rely on Medicare will have extreme difficulty finding competent doctors, particularly specialists, who will take them as patients. These seniors will find themselves having to travel great distances just to receive second rate care from the handful of doctors that will remain available to them. This is completely inexcusable and is a breach of the promise made to all of those on Medicare when they were paying into the system their entire careers. Those on Medicare deserve to be able to obtain the same quality health care as everyone else and should not be forced into a second rate system of substandard doctors and facilities.
Source: nbcnews.com

Automatic Budget Cuts Will Reduce Medicare Payments To Doctors, Providers By $11 Billion

The numbers came in a report that details how federal agencies would implement roughly $110 billion in mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts agreed to by Congress and President Barack Obama last August as a way to end a bitterly partisan dispute over raising the debt ceiling.  Lawmakers in both chambers, as well as Obama, want to avoid the automatic cuts that would trim federal spending by $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years, called sequestration.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Hospitals, Providers to Lose $11.1B From Medicare Sequestration Cuts

Last summer, the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, more commonly known as the “supercommittee,” was unable to reach an agreement on ways to reduce the national deficit. As such, the Budget Control Act of 2011’s sequestration process became the default plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years via across-the-board budget cuts to all government agencies. In the sequestration plan, roughly $109 billion of cuts would be implemented every year from fiscal year 2013 to FY 2021. Defense spending would take the biggest hits with cuts of 9.4 percent. Nondefense spending would be reduced by 8.2 percent, most entitlement programs by 7.6 percent and Medicare by 2 percent. Two percent of Medicare’s budget ($554.3 billion) is roughly $11.08 billion. Medicare providers — ranging from hospitals and physician practices to home health agencies and hospices — would see reductions in their payments, but Medicare beneficiaries would not lose any of their benefits. Over the next 10 years, Medicare providers stand to lose upwards of $120 billion. In addition to the Medicare cuts, the National Institutes of Health would also have to “halt or curtail scientific research, including needed research into cancer and childhood diseases,” according to the OMB’s report. President Barack Obama and the OMB said the sequestration process is a “blunt and indiscriminate instrument,” and the reductions could be “destructive” to the country’s social programs, national security and other governmental functions. President Obama has called on Congress to “act responsibly” and put forward a new proposal. “[Sequestration] is not the responsible way for our nation to achieve deficit reduction,” according to the OMB’s report. “The President has already presented two proposals for balanced and comprehensive deficit reduction. It is time for Congress to act. Members of Congress should work together to produce a balanced plan that achieves at least the level of deficit reduction agreed to in the BCA that the President can sign to avoid sequestration. The administration stands ready to work with Congress to get the job done.”
Source: beckersorthopedicandspine.com

Grassley says providers who overbill Medicare are draining its finances

Physician groups argue that coding guidelines are vague and subjective and that just as many doctors undervalue their work by picking lower codes as bill too much. Medical organizations also argue that more elderly patients over the past decade have been diagnosed with multiple health problems that require additional time and effort to treat. But  the Medicare billing data analyzed by the Center do not show that patients are getting more infirm; their reasons for visiting the doctor’s office and hospital emergency rooms were essentially unchanged over the decade. And the average age of patients remained the same as well. It is clear that Medicare auditors have uncovered a high rate of billing mistakes — many of them overcharges—in several states.
Source: publicintegrity.org

Medicare changes will focus on care

The value-based purchasing program, as the new system is described, will affect 43 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospitals in Kansas, which includes community hospitals and some surgical hospitals. It does not affect 83 critical access hospitals in Kansas that are located in rural areas and are reimbursed differently. Five Kansas IPPS hospitals were excluded in the program for this year because they did not have enough data or patients, according to Cindy Samuelson, vice president of member services and public relations at the Kansas Hospital Association.
Source: kansas.com

EHR Use Might Allow Health Care Providers To Overbill Medicare

It’s not might, it’s guaranteed to raise cost in Medicare/caid patients. Doctors will be allowed to bill appropriately now and because of that the threat of 30% cuts in reimbursement to Doctors threatened for Jan. 1st, 2013 WILL go through. It has to to meet PPACA balanced billing promise. I thinks since i’m not going to EHR I should get a raise or certainly not be cut by 30% as my billing practises won’t have changed and I won’t be overbilling the CMS.
Source: ihealthbeat.org

Providers should prepare to face even more audits under healthcare reform, expert warns

In a web conference held Tuesday, Freedman said provider compliance officers should be prepared to spend a lot more of their time appealing and defending audits, according to a report by the Bureau of National Affairs. Data mining and data analytics programs can help providers make sure their billing operations don’t stand out, Freedman advised.
Source: mcknights.com

Paul Ryan’s Plan for Medicare: A Disaster for Seniors (Why Doctors Might Stop Taking Medicare)

How important is Medicare’s market share in influencing physician participation? The evidence is limited, but the best study to date suggests it is significant. In the 1990s, Peter Damiano, Elizabeth Momany, Jean Willard and Gerald Jogerst, all associated with the University of Iowa  surveyed  Iowa  physicians and examined variation among counties. They found  that for each percentage-point increase in the share of Medicare beneficiaries in a county’s population, doctors were 16 percent more likely to accept patients on Medicare. The only other study I know of on this topic, an unpublished analysis by Matthew Eisenberg of Carnegie Mellon University  also found an effect from Medicare’s market share, albeit one that was substantially smaller than the one Damiano and his colleagues found.
Source: healthbeatblog.com

Agency: Medicare refills strong drugs despite law

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in response to the report that the inspector general was misinterpreting partial “fills” dispensed to patients in long-term care facilities as refills. Partial fills occur when a pharmacist does not dispense all doses of the prescribed medication at one time. But the report said there was little evidence of that.
Source: theolympian.com

Automatic Budget Cuts Will Reduce Medicare Payments To Doctors, Providers By $11 Billion

Lawmakers could still act to stop the cuts if they think doing so is in their best interests. In order to avoid a government shutdown in the middle of election season, party leaders in both chambers just cut a deal to prevent the government from running out of money when the fiscal year ends in September. The House voted yesterday to approve the six-month package and the Senate is expected to send it to Obama next week.
Source: aarp.org

Daily Kos: Medicare plan tanks Romney’s campaign in critical swing states

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Joe the Plumber - To Flush The System ...More scams aim to ensnare Brevard seniors - Their ingenuity is boundless, Archer said. (Jul 2, 2012) ... by marsmet524But that’s a shrinking percentage of those that are tuning in to this election cycle. Somehow, they are not dominating the narrative this time around. Enough to make you wonder if Murderdoch has some kind of problem with Rmoney (or is trying to stall off Obama’s DoJ). I don’t know if it’s just because Rmoney is such an unsympathetic personality, running so badly, or if Obama’s team have really mastered working a mostly hostile media machine, but this time around Conventional Wisdom of the past several cycles is right out the window. Corporate Media is not able to make the Republicans look good, HUGE money is not selling their product, especially the Top-o’th’Ticket. High unemployment and a still uncomfortable economy are not seeming to work against the Incumbent this time and of course, the GOP strategy of obstruction and blame the gridlock on Obama, none of that is working as they envisioned.
Source: dailykos.com

Video: How to Understand Medicare Plans

Obama, Romney Spar Over Medicare, Health Reform Policies

The Associated Press/ABC News: Older Voters Look Beyond Medicare, Social Security Who wins the trust of seniors … will be a deciding factor in the presidential election. That should be good news for Mitt Romney, because those 65 and older have backed the Republican candidate in both of the last two presidential elections. But President Barack Obama has been pounding Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, on their plan for Medicare. Those attacks are starting to bear fruit for Obama, who is gaining ground among seniors in two key battlegrounds: Florida and Ohio. Still, Romney has the edge nationally among seniors — in no small part thanks to seniors’ concerns about Obama’s handling of the economy (Lederman, 9/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

American Crossroads Hits Nelson On Medicare

The spot also takes aim at a provision of the law that sets up a 15-person Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) charged with making recommendations to slow the growth of Medicare costs, suggesting an “unelected board could decide to cut Medicare spending.”
Source: fldemocracy2012.com

Obama Ad Attacks Romney’s Medicare Plan In Florida

The Obama campaign is attacking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher system in a new ad running in Florida, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The ad also defends actions taken by the Obama administration to strengthen Medicare and lower premiums, including cracking down on fraud and cutting payments to providers.  
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Ryan in Florida: 'Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for Obamacare'

The Obama campaign appears to have been caught completely flat-footed by Romney and Ryan’s aggressive stance on Medicare reform.  Obama’s hapless deputy campaign manager, documented liar Stephanie Cutter, was reduced to contradicting her own statements from just one week earlier about the ObamaCare raid on Medicare funding.  As the Romney campaign was happy to point out, Cutter was describing the Medicare raid as an “achievement” in cost-cutting on last weekend’s talk-show circuit, but now she’s singing from her panicked campaign’s new “math is hard” playbook:
Source: humanevents.com

In Florida, Medicare is not a senior

The law does not lower the bottom-line of future Medicare spending but reallocates some of what would have been spent under old rules. The reductions come mostly from payments to providers and private insurers who offer plans in lieu of traditional Medicare. The money will cover annual physicals, preventive care and more generous prescription drug coverage. Republicans argue that fewer physicians and hospitals will accept Medicare, meaning fewer services. Obama argues that better access to preventive care and drugs will prevent more expensive hospitalizations.
Source: spokesman.com

Obama Expands Leads in Florida, Ohio and Pa.

Florida, with its 29 electoral votes and diverse electorate, is a valuable prize for the presidential candidates. But both men have their sights set this week on Ohio, a state that no Republican has won the presidency without carrying and where Obama and Romney campaign events will overlap on Wednesday. The president holds a 10-point lead there, attracting 53 percent of the support. Independent voters are split: 47 percent back Romney while 46 percent support Obama. The president holds a 25-point lead over Romney among women voters, while men back the GOP nominee by eight points. Romney edges Obama among white voters by three points. Obama leads by eight points among voters 55 and older — who, by a 13-point margin, say the president would do a better job on Medicare. By a three-point margin, voters say Romney would better handle the budget deficit.
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Overcoming Bias : US Politics Of Medicine

Underlying support for not changing Medicare is the widespread belief that the system is functioning smoothly. In Florida, 70 percent of all voters say the system is working well — rising to 91 percent of the state’s seniors — and positive assessments of Medicare are nearly as high in the other states. … There is also a widely held public perception that changes are needed to keep Medicare sustainable for future generations. The problem for Republicans is that swelling budget deficits are not a sufficient motivator for voters. Across the three states, about three-quarters of voters say that Medicare cuts are not essential to deficit reduction. (more)
Source: overcomingbias.com

Older voters look beyond Medicare, Social Security

FILE – This Aug. 18, 2012 photo shows Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introducing his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, to supporters at a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla. (AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)  
Source: wishtv.com

Medical Holocaust: Florida, HCA, Rick Scott and Medicare Fraud

Take the time to watch these videos and when you are done you will see that members of the ruling class like Florida’s Governor Rick Scott is no different than a common street thug other than the ruling class can commit massive criminal wrong doing and not go to jail. Rick Scott is just one of many corporate gangsters operating in the lucrative and largely unregulated medical industry.  Now street level thugs in Florida have taken a lesson form guys like Rick Scott and are bilking Medicare for billions. Rick Scott wins the gold medal when it comes to bilking Medicare and private insurance out of billions and his gold medal performance has inspired other criminals of a slightly different pedigree to follow in his footsteps.
Source: blogspot.com

Is Florida Medicare Insurance Different From Other States?

Florida Medicare Insurance differs because many seniors have trouble paying out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles after their Florida Medicare Insurance Part A and B pays their share. Currently, Floridians have the highest insurance rates in the country. And, the amount they pay for their Florida Medicare Insurance depends on the county they live in.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Medicare coverage and Rheumatoid Arthritis

The foundations that had been established to provide financial assistance have already exhausted their funds this year, so about 36 percent of Medicare Advantage RA patients lost their foundation support and were unable to get treatment. This break in therapy can result in disease progression that can lead to permanent damage. There is also an increased risk of infusion reactions if the therapy is interrupted for more than four weeks and then resumed. This can be life threatening and could require finding another treatment regimen that works for the patient.
Source: floridahealthinsurancebroker.com

Agency: Medicare refills strong drugs despite law

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Counter demonstration: wingnuts by tswedenThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in response to the report that the inspector general was misinterpreting partial “fills” dispensed to patients in long-term care facilities as refills. Partial fills occur when a pharmacist does not dispense all doses of the prescribed medication at one time. But the report said there was little evidence of that.
Source: newson6.com

Video: Arkansas Medicare Supplements

Viewpoints: Clinton’s Rousing Support For Medicare, Health Law; Thalidomide And The Struggle For An Abortion; Arkansas Health Innovations

The New England Journal of Medicine: Health Insurance — Motivated Disability Enrollment and the ACA The United States relies on employer-based health insurance to cover working-age adults and their families. As a result, Americans who are unable to engage in full-time work because of a chronic health condition must not only seek out wage replacement but also pursue alternative sources of health insurance. … However, purchasing private insurance is rarely an option, owing to high costs and structural barriers such as lifetime spending caps, waiting periods, and exclusions of preexisting conditions from coverage. Disabled workers often apply for public financial disability benefits in part to obtain public health insurance — a uniquely American phenomenon that we call health insurance–motivated disability enrollment (HIMDE). We believe that HIMDE is an important driver of the unsustainable growth in enrollment in public assistance programs for people with disabilities (Jae Kennedy and Elizabeth Blodgett, 9/5). 
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Subsidies for Electronic Medical Records Leads to Higher Medicare Bills

Some experts blame a substantial share of the higher payments on the increasingly widespread use of electronic health record systems. Some of these programs can automatically generate detailed patient histories, or allow doctors to cut and paste the same examination findings for multiple patients — a practice called cloning — with the click of a button or the swipe of a finger on an iPad, making it appear that the physicians conducted more thorough exams than, perhaps, they did.
Source: tenthamendmentcenter.com

Roundup: Texas Probes Xerox In Medicaid Overbilling; Miss. Abortion Clinic Fights To Stay Open

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

i don't need your rockin' chair... by jmtimagesKaiser Health News: California Pilot Offers Caveats For Moving ‘Dual Eligibles’ To Managed Care As federal officials evaluate state proposals to move millions of the nation’s poorest and sickest individuals into managed care plans, they might consider a recent report from the California HealthCare Foundation. The report analyzed California’s year-long transition of 240,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities from fee-for-service plans into managed care as part of a federally approved demonstration project. Beneficiaries had to pick a managed care plan, or the state assigned one to them (Carey, 9/4). Politico Pro: Miss Abortion Clinic Fights To Survive Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic won a six-month reprieve from a new state law threatening its existence this spring. But now, it’s buried in paperwork as it fights to stay open. The law, which went into effect in July, requires all physicians on the clinic’s staff to be certified OB-GYNs with hospital admitting privileges. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization went to court and a federal judge granted a partial preliminary injunction, giving the clinic six months to try to comply without a penalty from the state (Smith, 8/31).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicare Questions? South Texas Crossfire interviews Cinia Clarich Montoya

State Strategies For Controlling Medicaid Costs

What about under treatment? When doctor’s get a bonus from surplus created by NOT providing health care then the incentive is to deny treatment even if it is necessary care. The problem with the HMOs from the 1990s is that they pocketed the money from premiums and then didn’t let people have sufficient health care. People died who didn’t have to die. The only way to have high quality health care but control costs is to have single-payer national health insurance because everyone is in the same system and costs can’t be shifted. Everyone has incentive to keep costs as low as possible but quality as high as possible. Every other nation has some form of national health insurance where for-profit companies are not allowed to play a dominant role in health care. We spend 31% of every health care dollar on administration because we use a for-profit health insurance based system. Traditional Medicare uses only 3% – 6% administrative costs – if you let for-profit health insurance companies take a medicare pie with the Medicare Advantage programs you increase your administrative costs to 12% – 20% but the quality of care goes way down. Quit blaming patients and doctors. The problem is the greedy for-profit health insurance company middlemen who are only takers and provide nothing of value to our health care system.
Source: thedianerehmshow.org

Medicare Supplement Insurance Texas Agencies Offer Is Helpful To Certain Clients

The federal government allows private agencies to sell supplemental policies to customers. These policies help individuals to pay for the things that their original insurance does not cover. Companies that sell such policies must comply with very strict federal and state laws and regulations. They are standardized according to guidelines created by the United States government and all such policies must provide the same coverage, regardless of the agency from which the coverage is obtained. However, each agency is allowed to charge different rates for the coverage.
Source: myglobalseattle.org

Texas doctor pleads not guilty again in fraud case

In June, the Texas Medical Board said Roy had agreed to surrender his license to practice medicine in the state. The order says the 54-year-old Roy does not admit or deny the federal allegations against him, but agreed to a settlement to avoid a possible lawsuit.
Source: ktre.com

Medicare and Appeal Rights for Hospice Care Patients

Much can be learned through the unfortunate case of Howard and Emily Back. Emily, now deceased, was a California hospice patient covered by Medicare. Howard appealed his wife’s lack of treatment through the court process. However, the court was quick to point out that there is an administrative appeals process through Medicare regarding its hospice care decisions.
Source: kenvanway.com

Medicare Supplement Insurance Texas Clients By Offers Various Benefits

Private agencies were given permission from the federal government to sell supplemental policies to consumers. This type of coverage helps individuals to afford care that their basic program does not cover. Agents who sell such policies must follow very strict state and federal guidelines. Such companies are standardized according to United States government regulations and all plans provided must offer the same coverage, regardless of the company from which the policy is acquired. Each agency, however, is allowed to set its own rates for the policies.
Source: chillicious.com

Texas Medicare Supplement

Texas is a big state and a lot of seniors are there. We have found that e-medigap is a great Medicare supplement brokerage to work with. They are located in Austin, Texas and have many years of experience dealing with Texas Medicare supplements. They are brokers and represent many different companies. If you are looking for a texas medicare supplement  you have found the place to go. If is important to get quotes from many different companies first since all companies offer the same benefits from company to company. The only thing that differs is price. Be sure to contact e-medigap for all your medicare needs!
Source: bellportbrookhavenhistoricalsociety.org

TX Register Updates: 9/13 Hearing, Medicare Equalization

HHSC intends to submit Transmittal Number 12-035 to the Texas State Plan for Medical Assistance, which would exempt emergency ambulance transports and hospital-to-hospital transport services from Medicare Equalization to allow Medicaid to make higher cost-sharing payments. For more information, see the Texas Register.
Source: garloward.com