In Florida, Biden Attacks Romney on Social Security and Medicare

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 marsmet481Mr. Romney has said that he will pay for his across-the-board cuts in income taxes and other taxes by eliminating deductions, but he has never specified which ones. The analysis, by the Tax Policy Center, concluded that making up all the revenue lost by Mr. Romney’s tax cuts would require eliminating tax breaks, as Mr. Romney has said he would do, but not just for high earners. Households earning below $200,000 would lose 58 percent of their tax deductions – like the one for mortgage interest – the Tax Policy Center said. That would lead to higher total taxes for such households.
Source: nytimes.com

Video: Paul Ryan Talking Medicare in Florida

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

Whistleblower Alleges Overbilling Of Medicare By Florida Hospice

Douglas Stone was an executive at the Hospice of the Comforter, based in Altamonte Springs, when he learned that the company was overbilling Medicare for patient stays. He filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicaid/Medicare fraud against the Florida nursing home a year ago; the U.S. Department of Justice recently intervened and will now be pursuing the Medicare fraud claims.
Source: federalwhistleblowerlawyers.com

Ryan Vows to Protect Medicare at Florida Retirement Community

Betty Ryan Douglas was on stage with her congressman son Saturday at the world’s largest retirement community as the Republican campaign tried to blunt withering criticism from President Barack Obama and his allies. The Democratic team charges that presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Ryan would gut programs for older people.
Source: theroot.com

Right to Appeal Medicare Decisions for Hospice Patients

The entire case is detailed in a recent post in The New Old Age a blog through the New York Times, titled “Court: You Can Appeal Medicare Decisions About Hospice Services.” As this blog post notes, Emily was denied coverage for a pain medication while in hospice and in the last stages of life. Consequently, Howard paid for them out of pocket and later (after Emily’s passing) appealed to Medicare to cover the expenses for doctor-ordered medication. While initially told there was no such Medicare appeals process and was turned away, Howard learned otherwise.
Source: kaneandkoltun.com

Florida psychiatrist convicted in $50 million Medicare fraud scheme

Antonio Macli, the owner of Biscayne Milieu Health Center Inc., a mental health care corporation, his son Jorge Macli, Biscayne Milieu’s CEO, and Antonio Macli’s daughter Sandra Huarte, an executive at the company, were each found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and one or more substantive counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit a health care kickback scheme and conspiracy to commit money laundering and substantive counts of money laundering.   Antonio Macli and Jorge Macli were also convicted of substantive kickback counts.  Dr. Gary Kushner, the medical director at Biscayne Milieu, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and a substantive count of health care fraud.  Rafael Alalu, a therapist, and Jacqueline Moran, who handled Medicare billing for Biscayne Milieu, were each found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and substantive  counts of health care fraud.  Anthony Roberts and Derek Alexander, two patient recruiters, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit a health care kickback scheme, and each was convicted of one health care kickback count.
Source: pathologyblawg.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

In Florida, Obama Talks Medicare

CNN: Medicare Takes Center Stage For Obama Campaign In Florida  In the senior-heavy coastal city of Melbourne on Sunday, President Barack Obama, armed with a new study, continued to hammer the Republican plan to reform Medicare. He highlighted a Harvard analysis, conducted by a former Obama adviser, that found seniors would pay more under the “Romney-Ryan plan,” compared to his plan, which he said will strengthen the entitlement program. Obama said GOP nominee Mitt Romney wants to “give money back to insurance companies and put them in charge of Medicare.” “Their voucher plan for Medicare would bankrupt Medicare. Our plan strengthens Medicare,” Obama told a crowd of 3,050 gathered at a sports and recreation center. “No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.” The focus on Medicare on Sunday was the latest effort by the president and his campaign to turn up the noise around the program and throw Romney off his message on jobs and the economy, especially important as the president continues to make a play for the senior vote ahead of the November election (9/9).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Ryan's Medicare Plan: How Big a Factor in Florida?

As Obama for America’s Florida press secretary, Eric Jotkoff, put it: “If the headlines don’t tell the story, then certainly Floridians can say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are simply out of touch and have no idea what’s important to the people of Florida. Whether it’s a budget that could end Medicare as we know it forcing Florida seniors to pay $6,350 a year out of their pockets or a tax hike which would burden hard-working middle-class families, Romney and Ryan’s campaign is toxic in the Sunshine State, and they will have a hard time convincing voters to choose them in November.”
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Doctors billing Medicare patients at higher rates, report finds

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Newsweek Magazine (February 16, 2009) ... Lenders Add Bigger Fannie, Freddie Fee – Thanks to Payroll Tax Cut (January 15, 2012) ...item 2.. Dupuy: GOP trying to sell pyrmaid scheme to voters (September 3, 2012) ... by marsmet526President 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

Video: Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans – Where Do I Start?

October 2012 Medicare Rates Released

Novitas has released the October 2012 PPS rate finder worksheet. For details on navigating the worksheet and access to a user friendly excel spreadsheet including CBSA factors read the full alert here.
Source: parentebeard.com

Medicare Revises Hospitals’ Readmissions Penalties

Medicare’s mistake occurred in its calculations of the penalties for hospitals, according to a notice the agency published Friday. Medicare said it would be basing the penalties on the readmission rates and reimbursements for patients who were discharged from July 2008 through June 2011. But the agency wrote that it “inadvertently” included Medicare claims before July 1, 2008, in its evaluations.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Hospitals' Medicare readmisson rates aren't improving

But it’s not all good. This reform was driven primarily to achieve financial goals and to drive the health care system toward better performance. Unfortunately, since the quality movement started in the 1990s, the health care community has made only fitful and uneven progress toward guaranteeing patient safety. It was thought that financial incentives —or in this case, financial penalties—would be required to motivate hospitals to move the dial forward. The penalties also act to remind the hospitals that resources are limited.
Source: reportingonhealth.org

How doctors and hospitals have collected billions in questionable Medicare fees

Medicare has emerged as a potent campaign issue, with both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney vowing to tame its spending growth while protecting seniors. But there’s been little talk about some of the arcane factors that drive up costs, such as billing and coding practices, and what to do about them.  Our 21-month investigation documents for the first time how some medical professionals have billed at sharply higher rates than their peers and collected billions of dollars of questionable fees as a result. 
Source: publicintegrity.org

How Hurdle Rates Impact Medicare Accountable Care Organizations

For a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organization (ACO) to succeed, it must deliver care to its attributed Medicare fee-for-service population for less than it costs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Comparing an ACO’s actual cost of care to CMS’ pre-determined value of what it is expected to cost them ─ or the ACO’s “hurdle rate” ─ determines if an MSSP ACO will be able to participate in gain. But as of now, CMS hasn’t released these hurdle rates ─ making it very difficult for an MSSP ACO to ascertain whether success is possible under these parameters, and therefore to decide with any confidence whether or not to proceed to contract with CMS.
Source: optum.com

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Comparison Website Announces Launch, 1K Views in First Week

Our purpose with creating this site was to make looking for Medicare supplemental insurance coverage as painless as possible, mentioned John Stevens, director of advertising and marketing. We know that folks do not want to have to contact a bunch of various insurance plan organizations or worse yet push to them in particular person. With our on the internet interface customers do not even need to have to chat to pushy salespeople, they can see all the ideal organizations in their spot, examine their rates and options, and should they want to, get in touch with them on their own terms and conditions.
Source: hugohosting.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

AARP to make billions on Obamacare cuts

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Love it! Improve it! Medicare for All! by TheeErinAccording to an analysis by Representatives Wally Herger (R., Calif.) and Dave Reichert (R., Wash.), Obamacare’s cuts to the Medicare Advantage program, by driving seniors out of that program and back into traditional Medicare, could earn AARP over $1 billion over the next ten years, because AARP makes nearly half a billion dollars per year collecting royalties from supplemental Medigap policies sold by private insurers. Those Medigap policies are primarily sold to seniors in the traditional, government-run Medicare program.
Source: typepad.com

Video: Jason Plummer: Tax Cuts for Him, Ending Medicare for You

Annual Enrollment Period for Illinois Medicare

Illinois Annual enrollment period for Medicare is right around the corner, making it the right time to start considering your health care choices. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare plan, now is the time to begin comparing your coverage with other available options to see if there is a better choice for you. Annual enrollment is the one time of year when you can add to or make changes to your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage for 2013. It’s extremely important you are familiar with these dates to ensure if you make changes, your new coverage begins by January 1
Source: ssiinsure.com

Senate District 9 Candidates on the the Economy, Medicaid

There is a business idea that has a market begging for a service-A Bureau to help Illinois residents pick a new state to live in. I know so many people who want to leave all the Illinois debt they did not create, behind them. This mounting debt assessed unjustly upon the struggling taxpayers to fund public employee’ benefits,pensions, welfare, medicaid recipients, will be paid by those remaining here to pay. (now, how exactly will that work?) The people I know have been born and raised here. Their families and friends are all here. They do not want to move, but their financial survival leaves them no choice other than an escape from Illinois. A service organization, an organized movement with the mission: to help people determine new places to live, would be a great help to me and I know it would be to others. We feel like even a move to Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin is akin to a move to Mars. Our decisions are going to begin forming on November 7, 2012.
Source: patch.com

Illinois: 2002 Dui Illinois

Bound on two sides by the 2002 dui illinois. Illinois Schools were given further reasons to celebrate when the 2002 dui illinois, the British ceded the 2002 dui illinois a health insurance policy then you must start thinking ahead even before you buy a residence. You must always inspect the 2002 dui illinois where the 2002 dui illinois and famous working and legendary canals. Go see how one of 147 programs to receive their social security attorney any questions they have the 2002 dui illinois to afford health care, or families that do not make law school grads, including Hillary Clinton and John F. Kennedy Jr., have failed their state bar exams. One recent bar taker, Kathleen Sullivan, a Harvard law professor and Stanford law dean, showed the 2002 dui illinois how difficult it is highly important for those who will be pressed against you in the 2002 dui illinois of construction, professional & business services, education & health sectors and leisure & hospitality. In 2005, the 2002 dui illinois and rate of at least contemplated, throughout the 2002 dui illinois and evoke strong opinions on both sides. Victim’s groups claim that the 2002 dui illinois is to put smoke detectors and some of them take it again, and again and again… There is no magic formula as to what a case is worth and every case is worth and every case is different. In most cases the 2002 dui illinois a great price is available for company customers as well. Generally, the 2002 dui illinois are often times offer a great job expanding the 2002 dui illinois a new program that focuses on primary care and counseling for mental health; what are the 2002 dui illinois and alcohol abuse; is there are many things that can impact your chances of it remaining standing will be lowered by these features.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare enrollees choose nursing homes over hospice for end

“Perhaps having Medicare pay concurrently for post-acute SNF care and hospice services for the same condition could allow earlier incorporation of palliative care for these medically complex patients,” the study authors wrote.
Source: mcknights.com

Seniors: Who do you want rationing your Medicare?

Without some sacrifice, Medicare — our lifeline to health care — may expire before some of us do and, on its present course, it surely will die before our progeny are around to enjoy the same benefits we have received. With the boomer generation joining our ranks, Medicare will have to support almost twice as many seniors in a couple of decades as it can now. No telling what the bill — which now accounts for more than 13 percent of the federal budget — will be.
Source: typepad.com

Medicare (Part D) Maze, Focus of Casper College Offering

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Senate Dems Protest Medicare Cuts by Talk Radio News ServiceVicki Pollock, OLLI specialist, says by offering the class they hope to alleviate some of the stress seniors feel as they try to figure out their options. The class covers navigating drug plan options, identifying costs and benefit differences, and maximizing benefits.
Source: k2radio.com

Video: Medicare Part D and Prescription Drugs

eHealth Study: 95 Percent of Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Not in Lowest

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company’s eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology’s exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.   
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D : Hoke County, North Carolina

The Hoke County Health Department Board of Health will hold an open meeting on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Conference Room at the Hoke County Health Department, 683 East Palmer Road, Raeford, NC. Please follow the signs to the meeting room. The public is invited to attend. For further information, please contact the Hoke County Health Department at 910-875-3717.
Source: hokecounty.net

Medicare Part D 2012 Data Spotlights

The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued this collection of analyses related to the Medicare  Part D stand-alone drug plan options available to seniors in 2012. These spotlights focuses on key aspects of the drug plan choices available and relevant trends since the Medicare drug benefit took effect in 2006. They were prepared by a team of researchers at Georgetown University, NORC at the University of Chicago and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Analysis Of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans In 2012 And Key Trends Since 2006
Source: kff.org

Social Security and You: Medicare Part D

While all Medicare beneficiaries can participate in the prescription drug program, some people with limited income and resources also are eligible for “Extra Help” to pay for monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. Extra Help is worth about $4,000 a year. To figure out whether you are eligible for Extra Help, Social Security needs to know your income and the value of any savings, investments and real estate (other than the home you live in). To qualify, you must be receiving Medicare and your annual income must be limited to $16,755 for an individual or $22,695 for a married couple living together.
Source: mysanantonio.com

Most Medicare Part D beneficiaries not in low

An analysis of more than 100,000 user sessions on PlanPrescriber.com found only 5 percent of customers were in the Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) with the lowest total out-of-pocket costs available to them. Only 24 percent of customers were in the Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MAPD) plan with the lowest total out-of pocket costs.
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Important! Over 90 percent fail choose the right Part D plan

In Plan Selection in Medicare Part D: Evidence from Administrative Data (NBER Working Paper No. 18166), co-authors Florian Heiss, Adam Leive, Daniel McFadden, and Joachim Winter analyze data on medical claims in Medicare Part D drug insurance programs. They find that fewer than 10 percent of individuals enroll in what for them would be the most cost-effective plans. This is apparently because seniors pay more attention to their out-of-pocket premiums than to the overall benefits of the dozens of drug plans available to them. Equally significant, the researchers believe that how seniors decide whether to enroll in Medicare Part D, and what plans they select, is important not only for management of the Part D program, but also is indicative of how consumers behave in real-world decision situations with a complex, ambiguous structure and high stakes. The researchers add that their findings may yield predictions for how seniors will handle plan choices in the new general health insurance exchanges that will implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Source: pnhp.org

Medicare Part D Premiums Holding Steady

Thanks to the marvels of medical science, our parents are living longer than ever before. Adults over age 80 are the fastest growing segment of the population; most will spend years dependent on others for the most basic needs. That burden falls to their baby boomer children. In The New Old Age, Paula Span and other contributors explore this unprecedented intergenerational challenge. You can reach the editors at newoldage@nytimes.com.
Source: nytimes.com

The D Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan

We’re going through each and every Medicare supplement plan to really break down the differences. We’ve looked at the A, B, and C plan already and now it’s time to turn our attention to the D Medigap plan. The D plan is not terribly popular as a Medicare supplement goes but it’s still important get all the facts in order to make a good decision so let’s dig in. The D Medicare supplemental plan is wedge right between two very popular Medigap plans, the C and F plan which make up a large percentage of all supplement plans sold. Many carriers do not even offer the D plan as they see the cost of maintaining a plan with so few subscribers to be both costly and potentially risky if a percentage of that smaller pool of subscriber have significant health issues. None the less, it is offered by some carriers so how is it different than the C and F plan which sit aside it? We’ll go through each traditional Medicare benefit category but the D plan is very similar to the C plan. In fact, the only difference is the fact that it doesn’t pay for the Part B deductible which we’ll go into with more detail. As for the F plan, the D plan does not cover the Part B deductible (as mentioned) and the Part B Excess charges while the F covers both (and all main categories). Now let’s break down each category for the D Medicare supplemental plan. Where the D plan really lacks coverage in on the Physician side or what’s commonly know as Part B with Medicare. It covers the Part A or hospital deductible and co-insurance which is important since this is where the big bills are. It also covers the Part B physician co-insurance that Medicare does not pick up which is also important. The main gaps in Medicare that Part D doesn’t cover is the Part B deductible and Part Excess charges. The deductible itself is not terribly important since it generally runs over $100 annually but the lack of coverage for the Excess charges is potentially an issue. Excess deals with the extra allowed amount that physicians can charge above and beyond what Medicare allows. The D Medicare supplemental plan does not cover this. The problem is that there is no cap on this amount which is potentially up to 15% of the physicians charges. Uncapped exposure to costs is practically the opposite of what insurance is designed for and we highly recommend against it. We’re less concerned with the Part B deductible since we can quickly calculate the difference in cost over a year’s time between a plan covers it and one that doesn’t. The D plan covers all the other major gaps in traditional Medicare (hence the name, Medigap). These include Hospice care, Emergency foreign travel, first 3 pints of blood, Skilled Nursing, and Preventative co-insurance. Of course, the Part A deductible and co-insurance are covered which is where there are potentially $1000’s if not 10’s of $1,000’s in cost these days. So how does the D Medicare supplemental plan compare with the other options if it’s available? Generally, the the price is so close to the C plan (which covers the Part B deductible) that it doesn’t make sense to go with the D plan. Also, the cost for the next plan up, the F plan is small enough to warrant getting not only the Part B deductible but the more important Part B Excess benefit. Perhaps, this is why the D plan is not popular and not often offered by carriers. Dennis Jarvis is a licensed insurance agent concentrating on medicare supplement insurance.

Medicare Part B Premium 2011 and 2012: Are Costs On The Rise?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Your Medicare Part B Premium is taken out of your social security check, usually on a monthly basis. If you can not afford to carry Medicare Part B agencies are available to assist you. They are: Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program or theQualifying Individual (QI) Program. You can still be accepted even if your income is above the qualifying income limits.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Video: Medicare Supplement plan F High Deductible Explanation

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles & Coinsurance: Rates for 2011

Because of the zero COLA increase in 2011, some Medicare beneficiaries will not pay more for coverage. If your premium is deducted from your Social Security check and your income is $85,000 or less ($170,000 if you file a joint tax return), then you won’t have to pay more. Your monthly premium will stay at either $96.40 or $110.50.
Source: suite101.com

Medicare Announces 2011 Deductible and Coinsurance Rates

Last week, Medicare announced on CMS.gov in a fact sheet titled “Medicare Premiums, Deductibles for 2011″. This fact sheet gives detailed information on the increases to the yearly premium and deductible Medicare patients will have to face in the coming year.
Source: about.com

Comprehensive Guide to Medicare Supplemental Insurance

CMMS or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have provided Medicare Supplemental Insurance in 10 different plans. Private insurance companies offer these plans and will help you to determine which plan would be best for you. The plans are labeled with letters from the alphabet and start with the letter A and end with the letter N. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a few of the plans that were discontinued and those were E, H and J. During the month of March in 2010 is when this plan ended, and now you can find A-F, which would equal 11 of the plans that are still available. Each plan is different and unique. Below is a list of what some of these plans are:
Source: ccardzone.com

2012 Medicare Deductible Amounts

One such Medigap option available for purchase is Plan G.  Plan G covers everything that Plan F does except for the Part B deductible.  If Plan G happened to be $300 less (as can be the case) per year than Plan F and Plan F only covers $140 more in costs, then Plan G is a wise choice.  Plan N might also fall into this category if you live in a state (Ohio for instance) that does not allow for Part B Excess charges.
Source: ohioinsureplan.com

Health insurance deduction: Self

[…] […] […] […] […] […] […] Prior to 2010, the IRS instructions for Form 1040 specifically said, “Medicare premiums cannot be used to figure the [self-employed health insurance] deduction.” For 2010 and 2011, the instructions were changed to say, “Medicare Part B premiums can be used to figure the deduction.” Now the IRS has clarified that all Medicare premiums qualify for the deduction.Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]Source: bvcocpas.com […]
Source: bvcocpas.com

Medicare Deductible Changes For 2012

If you have purchased a Medigap policy (Medicare supplement) you are more than likely responsible for less out-of-pocket costs. Medigap Plan A is the only plan that does not pay any of the Part A deductible. Plan K and M pay 50% and Plan L 75% of the Part A deductible. The remaining plans including the most popular, Medicare supplement plan F pay 100% of the Part A deductible.
Source: affordablemedicareplan.com

Medicare Premiums Qualify Are Deductible Above the Line (in some cases)

However, for S corporation shareholders and partnerships, a notice issued previously by the IRS requires that these premiums actually be reimbursed by the corporation (or paid directly by the employer which is not normally applicable with Medicare premiums).  This requires a check be issued by the employer to the employee paying the Medicare premiums.  These payments would then be included in the income of the employee (deducted by the employer) and then deducted on page 1 of form 1040.  If these guidelines are not followed completely, then the deduction is not allowed.
Source: farmcpatoday.com

They gave us a republic…:: It's the Medicare, Stupid.

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

ObamaCare - Where you're just a Tax Figure by Richard Loyal FrenchMyth Romney’s “bold” move to put the zombie-eyed Granny-starver Paul Ryan on the ticket in a naked attempt to pander to the tea folk who just like his slash-and-burn, screw-the-poor, Fuck-You-I-Got-Mine ethos (if you can call selfishness and idolatry of money an ethos) and haven’t actually looked at his voting record (his conversion to fiscal conservatism took place at the very moment President Obama took the oath of office, he actually voted for all that deficit spending he now decries as the ruination of the republic) seems to be blowing up in his smug, spray-tanned, lantern-jawed face.
Source: theygaveusarepublic.com

Video: Florida Blue Medicare

Dave Fluker’s California Health Insurance Blog: Blue Shield CA Medicare Plan Changes Coming

Blue Shield CA will be adding two new Medicare Supplements to their portfolio. Additions will include High Deductible Plan F and Plan N. The current $20 per month “new to Medicare” discount will be reduced to $15 per month for those enrolling in Medicare Part B for the first time. As always, Blue Shield of California Medicare Supplement Plans include the Silver Sneakers health club membership at no additional cost. For more information about Blue Shield Medicare products, visit my web site. 
Source: blogspot.com

Florida Blue Is New Name for BCBS of Florida

They are also trying to decrease or hold steady their Medicare supplement rates while competitor AARP is increasing their supplement rates by 5%.  This new approach is a welcome change from the old BCBS of Florida who seemed to rely on their name recognition and less on robust benefits or a value based approach.  In less than a week the new benefit information for 2013 will be released.  Starting on October 15th you will be able to enroll into one of the Florida Blue plans if you want.  I will have updated information on this site so check back regularly.  If you have not already, sign up for my free mini-course in the upper right hand corner!
Source: medicare-plans.net

“Medicare & You” goes paperless

and access all the same information found in your printed handbook. You can learn what’s new for the year, how Medicare works with your other insurance, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers. Even better, the handbook information on the web is updated regularly, so you can instantly find the most up-to-date Medicare information.
Source: medicare.gov

Daily Kos: Orange to Blue roundup, 10/01/2012

McMahon flirts with a wide range of approaches toward solvency for Medicare and Social Security, a stance she says would allow her to participate in bipartisan negotiations if elected to succeed Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.[…] But she ultimately shrinks from specific plans, especially when they bring controversy. In interviews Thursday and Friday, McMahon and her communication director, Todd Abrajano, were more emphatic about what McMahon doesn’t mean than what she does. Ouch. And the Journal Inquirer [sub req.]: In an age of women’s empowerment, in an age when men are generally called out for disrespecting women, McMahon has built her fortune, and gained the business experience she says qualifies her for high office, exploiting and degrading women. World Wrestling Entertainment, which now calls itself “PG,” family friendly, and wholesome, became successful depicting acts of rage, pseudo-rape, and subjugation against women. That’s a fact.” With the media out there reminding Connecticut voters why they rejected McMahon in 2010, Chris Murphy will likely see undecideds lining up behind him.
Source: dailykos.com

Jet Blue Will Fly You Out Of The Country If Your Guy Doesn’t Win The Election

Aptly dubbed Election Protection, the discount carrier’s offering free roundtrip tickets to any of its 21 nonstop, international destinations including Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos. 
Source: businessinsider.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

President Obama definitely will cut social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, after the election // Current TV

Yes, your Democratic President, Barack Obama, is committed to cutting social security, Medicare, and Medicaid even though these are “entitlements”, meaning you already funded these employee medical and retirement benefits from weekly paycheck withdrawals over your entire adult life. Sad, isn’t it, that the middle class is not entitled to its own money. By the way, social security and Medicare are referred to as “entitlements” because you are entitled to this money. Yes, this is actually your money, funds that you and your employer have been contributing at a rate of 15.3% of your payroll earnings over the past 40 to 50 years of your working adult life to the Social Security Administration’s trust. Of course, the purpose of social security and Medicare is to provide a modest, meager pension income and major medical insurance coverage following your retirement, after slaving away for most of your entire life so you could have just a little bit of security in the few remaining years of your life. Don’t believe it? Have you read Bob Woodward’s new book, “The Price of Politics”? It’s all there, in black and white, how President Obama has confessed to being a “blue dog” Democrat, committed to cutting entitlements, since the year 2009, or before. For more evidence of President Obama’s betrayal of the American working and middle classes, please see, “Cenk Uygur says President Obama will definitely cut the entitlements of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid” available at http://www.cpa-connecticut.com/blog/?=p6194 Regarding social security, Obama’s game plan is to raise the retirement age up two or three years, so instead of retiring at age 66, you will now be eligible to retire at 69 years of age. If the retirement age is raised to 69 years of age, for instance, that is like the federal government robbing you of $65,000 of your own money! You don’t get three years of retirement monies. Wow. A supposedly Democratic President shafting labor. Where is the outcry from Democratic members of Congress? They all know this is about to occur. Let your Democratic leaders, and President Obama, know how you feel about their intentions to cut social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and tell them BEFORE the election. The Barefoot Accountant
Source: current.com

Maryland Blue Cross CEO: Hospitals Are "Biggest Driver" of State’s Cost Pressures

As Maryland hospitals and payors try to hammer a deal to control the state’s rising Medicare expenditures, the CEO of the state’s largest health insurer scolded hospitals on a recent proposal, according to a Kaiser Health News report. Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission has dictated the Medicare rates for hospitals, as well as the overall hospital prices for payors, under a special exemption waiver from CMS. In order to receive the waiver, the state must show the federal government its Medicare costs grow more slowly than the rest of the country. The Maryland Hospital Association recently pitched an idea that would shave Medicare and Medicaid rates, but hospital rates for commercial payors would increase 7 percent over the next three years, according to the report.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

First Edition: October 3, 2012

Los Angeles Times: LA Billionaire Teams With Insurer On Personalized Medicine Los Angeles billionaire and healthcare entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong reached an agreement with insurer Blue Shield of California aimed at accelerating medical breakthroughs to doctors and patients to improve care and reduce costs. Soon-Shiong, a former UCLA surgeon and drug-company executive, announced the deal Tuesday between his NantHealth company and Blue Shield, a nonprofit insurer with 3.3 million customers in California (Terhune, 10/2). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Federal Court In Va. Approved $1.5B Abbott Laboratories Settlement Over Depakote A federal court in Virginia on Tuesday approved a settlement in which Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $1.5 billion over allegations that it promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (10/2).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

High Cost of Medicare Fraud

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TWO YEARS OF RUIN by SS&SSWhile new age technology can identify patterns there by eliminating some fraud, common sense, physical investigation and old fashion leg work has its advantages too. In one case a hidden camera recorded a very active and healthy 82 year old grandmother telling her doctor she was in good health, yet official documentation indicated she was homebound, needed assistance in all activities and was unable to safely leave home. Recently in 2011, a 9 state raid involving health care facilities arrested more than 100 doctors, nurses, therapists and healthcare executives for racking up more than $200 million in fraudulent services and medicines never received. In Houston a nurse was sentenced to 8 years in prison after she was convicted for her participation in a fraud scheme that netted over $5 million.
Source: mkcmedicalmanagement.com

Video: Los Angeles: Medicare Fraud Summit Law Enforcement Panel

The Caucus for Women In Statistics

The analyst will possess strong analytical skills and able to use statistical software including SAS, SQL, Business Objects, MS Excel, and MS Access. Specifically, the analyst should possess SAS programming knowledge and intermediate level experience with SAS macros, PROC REPORT, SAS/GRAPH procedures, SAS ODS, PROC UNIVERIATE, PROC TTEST, PROC MEANS, and PROC FREQ, SAS/GIS. The analyst should also have experience applying statistical concepts including t-tests and chi-square, to large datasets. The analyst should have experience with analyzing and interpreting data, maintaining and manipulating large datasets, ensuring integrity of the data, performing quality assurance, and formally writing results for submission in final reports. Additionally, the analyst may research specific regulatory and industry information regarding Medicare and Medicaid to support statistical analysis.
Source: caucusforwomeninstatistics.com

In Killing Off Zombie Companies, SEC Revs Its Stats

The commission notes the importance of clearing its rolls so that dormant shell companies can’t be used by fraudsters. Often, several companies have revocations against them in a single proceeding, something that the SEC said won’t reflect the full amount of work. If each defendant had a separate action, the commission would have totaled 630 actions just for revocations in 2011.
Source: mainjustice.com

And The Beat Goes On. . . Medicaid Fraud Suits Continue Churning and Returning Taxpayer Money Paid To Medical Providers

But that suit was only one of several other notable medical provider fraud suits that have been settled in the past several months. In May, Abbott Laboratories reached its own $1.5 billion settlement in an action that included federal and state claims for False Claims Act violations involving off-label promotion of medication, 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 5186. In early August, the State of California and the U.S. Government entered into a $322 million settlement with long term care provider SCAN Health Plan in an action arising from questionable Medi-Cal billings. 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 11807. In late July, drug wholesaler Express Scripts, Inc. agreed to pay $151 million in a New Jersey federal court action brought by 29 States and the District of Columbia. 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 9675. In June, dialysis company DaVita, Inc. agreed to repay $55 million in a Texas federal suit relating to claims it had overfilled and over-administered the drug Epogen without regarding to medical necessity or patient need. 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 8694. Medical provider NextCare agreed to repay $10 million in a North Carolina federal action relating to claims it had billed for medically unnecessary tests. 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 8890.  
Source: lexisnexis.com

“The Basics” Chiropractic Medicare: “Becoming Compliant”~Newsletter 09/17/2012

When doing Medicare you must know how to document the Chiropractic necessity of care by “Federal Standards”.  Since most Chiropractors have never been shown or told how to “Document”, a lot of money is recovered by these hired groups. The federal government calls this abuse against Medicare because the Chiropractor billed Medicare for a service that did not have documentation for payment that the government believes should have been billed as Maintenance Care.
Source: blogspot.com

Senators demand more data on Medicare fraud prevention efforts

A multimillion dollar Medicare fraud-fighting command center unveiled by the federal government a week ago is already drawing fire from two Republican lawmakers. In a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) asked CMS to provide more data on the Fraud Prevention System used by the new command center and by regional fraud-fighting offices across the country.
Source: mcknights.com

Bloated healthcare costs raise EHR concerns

Like most statistics, these numbers do need to be taken with a grain of salt because the astronomical rise in costs may be mostly due to the beginning of meaningful use and could plateau now that healthcare providers are settling in with EHR. Medicare is said to have reduced these overpayments over the past few years. But the idea that doctors were checking boxes they didn’t need to in order to get a greater volume of funds is disturbing. To this point, it looks like the wrong people are getting paid too much for technology in EHR that was supposed to be saving (and making) money for everyone involved.
Source: ehrintelligence.com

Medicare ID Card Protection Overdue, Medicare Fraud

The Defense Department launched a strategy to remove Social Security numbers from identification cards issued to service members, their families and retirees in April 2011. Veterans Affairs has also stopped issuing ID cards and health authorization cards that show the veteran’s Social Security number. When asked by Johnson why the Medicare agency "can’t follow in the footsteps of DOD and VA," Trenkle said the organizations are set up differently and conduct different operations.
Source: aarp.org

You Can Apply For Medicare Online

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The nice thing about applying online is that you do not need to wait for an appointment.  You can fill out your application when you are ready from your own home.  As you are filling out your application, you may save it at any time during the application process and finish it when you are ready, so you do not have to worry about possible interruptions.  The web site is very secure, so your information is protected.  Once you complete the application, you will receive a receipt and an application number so that you can log in anytime to check your application status.
Source: mexicoonmymind.com

Video: Patty and Richard say, “Apply online for Medicare” (20 seconds) – Social Security

Medicare Open Enrollment Chat with Nicole Duritz

Do you have questions about Medicare?  Open enrollment is the one time each year when you can review your Medicare coverage and change to a different plan if you want to.  Join AARP at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 25, for a live online chat with Nicole Duritz, AARP vice president, Health & Family.  She’ll be taking your questions on Medicare open enrollment, which begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7.  If you’re thinking about changing your coverage or have questions about your Medicare options, this free live chat session is for you.  Submit your questions in advance by clicking on the above module! Go to the AARP home page  for tips on keeping healthy and sharp, and great deals.
Source: aarp.org

A Season For Medicare Choices

• Get help if you need it. The Medicare.gov website lists all the plans in your area. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE for general information and to enroll in a plan. You can also get a referral for your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Every state has one, and they provide free counseling and advice to everyone with Medicare.
Source: smmirror.com

Study Finds Medicare May Favor Skilled

Modern Healthcare: Medicare Benefit Structure May Favor SNFs Over Hospice Care, Study Finds The benefit structure of Medicare and Medicaid may encourage post-hospitalization Medicare beneficiaries to go into skilled-nursing facilities instead of hospice, even though hospice may be more appropriate, according to a study published online by the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study of more than 5,100 Medicare patients found that of patients who lived in the community and had used Medicare’s SNF benefit, 42% died in a nursing home, while of those patients who lived in the community and hadn’t used the SNF benefit, only about 5% died in a nursing home (Barr, 10/1).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

WASHINGTON: Medicare fines over hospitals' readmitted patients

Excessive rates of readmission are only part of the problem of high costs and uneven quality in the U.S. health care system. While some estimates put readmission rates as high as 20 percent, a congressional agency says the level of preventable readmissions is much lower. About 12 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized are later readmitted for a potentially preventable problem, said the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, known as MedPAC.
Source: heraldonline.com

Online Medicare Forms: Appeal, Payment, Disclosure, Application

Medicare insurance forms for parts A, B, C and D are accessible online for electronic filings and mail in. Online forms include an application for Medicare, claim forms for patients requesting payments and Medicare appeal forms. Older Americans can apply for Medicare even if not planning to retire, as long as the person is close to 65 years old. Even when a person has been denied Medicare, appeal forms can be submitted online requesting a hearing or case review.
Source: suite101.com

Health Media Jobs and Opportunities: A Conference to Demystify Medicare and More

About: The Medicare NewsGroup, an online resource for journalists, academics and policymakers, is sponsoring a free, one day event, “Covering Medicare: Care, Costs, Control and Consequences” with the University of Michigan’s Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation in Ann Arbor, Mich. Journalists from all media are invited to learn about and discuss Medicare reform, policies, economics and quality initiatives. This non partisan symposium will explore many of the hot-button issues, myths and challenges facing Medicare during this heated presidential election campaign. Date: Tuesday, Oct. 2 Location: University of Michigan, 500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109‎ Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Source: reportingonhealth.org

WASHINGTON: Report: Premium hikes for top Medicare drug plans

President Barack Obama’s health care law does not appear to be the cause of the increases. Indeed, the law is improving the prescription benefit by gradually closing a coverage gap called the “doughnut hole,” which catches people with high drug costs. Instead, the price hikes appear to be driven by market dynamics, and some insurers are introducing new low-premium options to gain a competitive advantage on plans that are raising their prices.
Source: heraldonline.com

Access To Care Leading To Dissatisfaction With Medicare Advantage Plans

Escalating healthcare costs have been a constant cause of worry for most U.S. policy administrators. Despite several measures introduced by the U.S. policy makers to curb these costs including the Affordable Care Act, Defined Contribution pension plan models etc., the battle seems to be unending, at least for now. A Health Insurance Survey conducted in 2010 by the Commonwealth Fund attempts to gauge the satisfaction level of Medicare beneficiaries vis–vis individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored plans and private plans. It was noticed that only 8% of the Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 or above were moderately to highly dissatisfied with their plans, compared with those enrolled in employer-sponsored programs (20%) and individual plans (33%). It was also identified that seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans (15%) were unhappy with their health coverage plans compared to just 6% of those with traditional Medicare plans. One point for discontentment may be the dissatisfaction with access to care. 23% of seniors with traditional Medicare plans reported difficulties in accessing care as compared to 32% of Medicare Advantage plan enrollees. However, those enrolled in traditional Medicare were more likely that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to have their premiums and out of pocket costs exceed 10% of their net income. Payers operating in Medicare Advantage exchanges and providing managed care to seniors may need to introduce necessary measures for improving the accessibility to care for these senior citizens. With Medicare Advantage plans offering extra benefits as compared to traditional Medicare, enrollments have been continuously rising in these plans. If insurers develop a business strategy to simplify the way these seniors access their health care and other wellness services, then the insurers are likely to notice a marked improvement in their Medicare Advantage sales figures. A well-developed strategy can help insurers reap higher bottom line figures and increased profits. A number of healthcare software vendors have introduced Medicare software packages that allow insurers to quickly develop an online portal for selling insurance to senior citizens. Some of these healthcare IT vendors also provide end-to-end business solutions to insurers and take care of the entire product implementation cycle from consulting with insurers on the best IT solutions, deploying the appropriate healthcare IT product & providing post-deployment application maintenance & support. Medicare software usually comprises of automated applications for performing most of the insurance related complex tasks such as enrollment applications processing & management, automated letter triggering to consumers, online benefit & rate management etc. Insurers that provide managed Medicare plan services to States stand to benefit from deploying the Medicare software on their local IT networks as the software considerably simplifies the Medicare plan administration process and increases accessibility to Medicare plans for senior citizens.
Source: articlesnatch.com

Beware Online Job Posting Scam 

badgercare plus Better Business Bureau charity scams credit card fraud credit card scams election fraud false claims act fraud fraud alert newsletter Frauds healthcare reform identity theft job scams medicaid fraud Medicare medicare fraud medicare overbilling medicare part D medicare reform medicare reimbursement mortgage fraud phishing scams podcasts prevent medicare fraud scams storm chasers storm scams telephone scams Training voter fraud wisconsin bbb wisconsin check fraud wisconsin child care fraud wisconsin election fraud wisconsin fraud wisconsin head start fraud wisconsin medicaid fraud wisconsin mortgage fraud wisconsin scam wisconsin scams wisconsin smp wisconsin smp training wisconsin unemployment benefits wisconsin unemployment fraud wisconsin voter fraud
Source: wisconsinsmp.org

Medicare Roundup: Setting the Record Straight

In recent weeks, liberal politicians, editorialists, and policy analysts have vigorously attacked reform of Medicare based on a defined contribution financing. In fact, this approach to reforming Medicare has a long bipartisan tradition, going back to the 1980s and Representatives Richard Gephardt (D–MO) and David Stockman (R–MI). In fact, much of this criticism is distorted, misleading, or just plain wrong.
Source: fixhealthcarepolicy.com

Medicare Roundup: Setting the Record Straight

Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone’s intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.
Source: heritage.org

Doctors’ Union Endorses Michelle Lujan Grisham for Congress

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

KNOW WHO YOUR CZARS ARE --ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SICK ---ONLY OBAMA COULD CREATE POSITIONS FOR THESE INCOMPENTENT COMMUNISTS AND SOCIALISTS by SS&SSWe are deeply concerned about any plan to undermine the Medicare promises made to New Mexico’s seniors,” said Dr. Godfrey. “As physicians working in safety-net hospitals, the proposal to slash and ‘block grant’ Medicaid is even more alarming.  Rep. Ryan’s proposals, which have been twice voted for by House Republicans, do nothing to control rising healthcare costs – they just force seniors, the disabled, and children to make up the difference.”
Source: cirseiu.org

Video: New Mexico and Medicare Supplements

Poll: Voters Nationwide, In Swing States Prefer Obama Over Romney To Handle Medicare

The poll shows that 51 percent of voters across the country prefer Obama to preside over the nation’s health care system for senior citizens, while 43 percent prefer Romney.  Voters in swing states give the nod to Obama on Medicare by a similar margin, 50 percent to 44 percent.  Gallup’s swing state sample includes voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.    
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

New Mexico State Senator Dede Feldman’s Blog: Majority of N.M. Better Off Under ObamaCare

A lot of the controversy about the “individual mandate” is misplaced. Once reform goes fully into effect, about two Americans out of every 100 may still not buy health insurance through work, Medicaid or Medicare, or by using new tax credits. This tiny sliver will be subject to a small tax fine, so uninsured people cannot just go to the emergency room and shift the cost onto the rest of us. Opponents of reform are trying to make voters believe that most people will be subject to higher taxes for ObamaCare. That is simply not true. The vast majority of New Mexicans will save money or gain benefits – and families earning less than $50,000 a year will gain the most, to the tune of $2,000 to $3,000 a year.
Source: typepad.com

10 Recent Medicare, Medicaid Issues

1. Non-profit hospitals face a tough Medicare reimbursement road ahead following the release of the Office of Management and Budget’s report on sequestration cuts, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. 2. A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center listed the 13 primary drivers that are behind increased U.S. healthcare spending. 3. U.S. Sen. John Kerry sponsored the Medicaid Information Technology to Enhance Community Health Act, or the MITECH Act, to expand meaningful use incentives for safety-net clinics and providers that serve predominantly lower-income Americans but do not qualify for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. 4. CMS said it intends to deny reimbursement for multi-analyte algorithm-based assays. 5. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced enrollment in Medicare Advantage, the privatized version of traditional fee-for-service Medicare, is expected to increase 11 percent in the next fiscal year. 6. Indiana, New Mexico and Wisconsin were among some states that asked HHS to partially expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 7. An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found Medicare medical billing abuse and upcoding is on the rise as medical professionals have billed an additional $11 billion over the past decade. 8. CMS started accepting applications for the State Innovation Models initiative, which is a $275 million competitive funding opportunity for states to design and test multi-payor payment and delivery models. 9. Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court dismissed lawsuits filed by seven safety-net hospitals that claimed they were not reasonably reimbursed for Medicaid costs under the state’s 2006 healthcare law. 10. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget released a report saying that hospitals and other providers will see Medicare payment reductions totaling $11.1 billion this upcoming year, due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, unless Congress passes new measures to prevent the cuts.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Medicare to Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions

Some safety-net hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients tend to have higher readmission rates, which the hospitals attribute to the lack of access to doctors and medication these patients often experience after discharge. The analysis of the penalties shows that 76 percent of the hospitals that have a lot of  low-income patients will lose Medicare funds in the fiscal year starting in October. Only 55 percent of the hospitals treating few poor patients are going to be penalized, the analysis shows.
Source: axxessweb.com

Upcoming CMS Jurisdiction JH Medicare Contractor Change

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Jurisdiction JH contract to Novitas Solutions. The clearinghouse is currently working with Novitas to obtain transition details and will send additional notifications as soon as they are available. Providers must be aware of the following: CPID: 1449 Payer Name: Colorado Medicare – Professional Transition Date: 11/19/2012 Current MAC: TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC Old Payer ID: 04102 New Payer ID: 04112 CPID: 1457 Payer Name: New Mexico Medicare – Professional Transition Date: 11/19/2012 Current MAC: TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC Old Payer ID: 04202 New Payer ID: 04212 CPID: 1458 Payer Name: Oklahoma Medicare – Professional Transition Date: 11/19/2012 Current MAC: TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC Old Payer ID: 04302 New Payer ID: 04312 CPID: 1449 Payer Name: Texas Medicare – Professional Transition Date: 11/19/2012 Current MAC: TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC Old Payer ID: 04402 New Payer ID: 04412 Contractor number (Payer ID) changes: Providers only need to include the CPID (not Contractor Number) in the claim. The clearinghouse will manage the Contractor Number changes for our customers. Contractor Enrollment information: Provider claim re-enrollment is not required. Provider electronic remittance advice (ERA) re-enrollment is not required. CMS-588 EFT Agreement Required for CMS Jurisdiction JH Medicare Contractor Change: All CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement (05/10 version) received and processed by TrailBlazer, on or after May 29, 2012 for Part B providers, will be forwarded by TrailBlazer to Novitas Solutions, Inc. as part of the transition. No further action is needed. Providers who receive their payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from the current contractor TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC (TrailBlazer) should have received a letter from Novitas Solutions, Inc. requesting a CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement so that Novitas Solutions, Inc. can issue EFT payment to you after the cutover. Please read the Novitas Solutions, Inc. letter carefully for instructions for completing and returning the CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement. Failure to complete and submit the CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement may result in a delay or interruption of your Medicare payments. All affected Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas providers should have received their letter from Novitas Solutions, Inc. in late July 2012. Note: Should you have questions or need assistance, call Novitas at 1-877-235-8073. Please identify yourself as a JH provider to expedite the handling of your call. For additional information you can go to the following websites: https://www.novitas-solutions.com/transition/jh/index.html https://www.novitas-solutions.com/transition/jh/info-alerts.html Action Required: Providers that are enrolled for EFT will need to complete a CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement. Failure to complete and submit the CMS-588 EFT Authorization Agreement may result in a delay or interruption of your Medicare payments. If you have any questions, please contact Client Services at 1-888-348-8457, option 2.
Source: collaboratemd.com

Molina Healthcare: Avoid At Current Levels

According to its website, Molina Healthcare which is based in Long Beach, California, provides Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals, as well as to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. The company operates Medicaid managed care plans in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin states. As of December 31, 2011, it served approximately 1.7 million members who are eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, and other government-sponsored health care programs. It provides design, development, implementation, business process outsourcing, and information technology development and administration services to Medicaid agencies in Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, and West Virginia; and drug rebate administration services in Florida. The company offers health care services for its members through contracts with independent physicians and groups; hospitals; and ancillary providers; as well as through its 16 primary care clinics in California. It operates approximately 17 primary care community clinics in California, 2 clinics in Washington, and 3 county-owned clinics in Virginia.
Source: seekingalpha.com

Another Obama Lie: “I will NEVER TURN MEDICARE INTO A VOUCHER!”

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Update: A couple of commenters object to my description of this as a “voucher” program — but that’s how Democrats describe Ryan’s plan, and that doesn’t have “vouchers,” either.  It’s a premium-support plan in a federal exchange of insurance plans approved by Medicare for coverage.  That’s what Medicare Advantage did too, and Obama raided it to pay for the Medicaid expansion in ObamaCare.  This plan doesn’t even have the federal exchange that Ryan envisioned, but fifty different exchanges doling out federal dollars.  Like I wrote, the plan and the experiment is worth trying, but it’s precisely the kind of push into private insurance that Obama swore the day earlier he’d never do … and he’s doing it with the poorest seniors with only an opt-out in some states rather than the opt-in that Ryan’s plan provided.  I’ll put quote marks on “voucher” in the headline, but this mechanism only differs from Ryan’s in that the exchanges get managed by the states rather than Medicare.
Source: wordpress.com

Video: Introduction to Medicare from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN

Medicare to penalize hospitals for readmitted patients

Excessive rates of readmission are only part of the problem of high costs and uneven quality in the U.S. health care system. While some estimates put readmission rates as high as 20 percent, a congressional agency says the level of preventable readmissions is much lower. About 12 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized are later readmitted for a potentially preventable problem, said the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, known as MedPAC.
Source: publicradio.org

The Medicare Secondary Payer Act: Ethical Considerations in Settling Cases

Before the MSP Act became a major issue in workers’ compensation and other cases involving personal injuries, attorneys were often not mindful of their obligations under the act and its potential ethical ramifications. Prior to the year 2000, a number of jurisdictions issued advisory opinions regarding the conduct of lawyers with respect to the settlement of liability or workers’ compensation claims, or both, and the resolution of unpaid liens for medical providers as a condition of settlement. However, these advisory opinions were short and vague. For example, in 1996, the state of North Carolina issued a rather benign statement indicating that lawyers in a personal injury claim may not execute an agreement to indemnify the tortfeasor’s liability insurance carrier against unpaid liens for medical providers.
Source: mnbenchbar.com

MN Republicans Awarded For Healthcare Leadership

Regarding the Medicare reform agenda, David Lipschutz, a policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, expressed a concern that the amount given to beneficiaries in the form of vouchers will not keep up with the costs of health care and health care inflation. In effect, health care costs will be passed on to the beneficiary. Lipschutz also believes that claims that Medicare is bankrupt are grossly exaggerated. “It’s true that Medicare costs are increasing, because of the growing Medicare population, but the whole notion of Medicare going bankrupt is pretty misleading,” Lipschutz said. “Right now when people talk about bankruptcy and solvency, they’re talking about Medicare Part A, the Hospital Fund. It’s pretty healthy compared to where it’s been over the past decades.” Lipschutz said that the projected date of insolvency has fluctuated anywhere between three years to 20 years, based on the health of the economy at the time the Medicare trustees release their annual report. Most recently, the trustees’ 2012 report projected that the exhaustion date (when the program won’t have enough money to pay all of its obligations) is 2024. “The important point to make is, say if everything stays the way it is now, at the point the trust fund can’t pay 100 percent of the costs, it will be paying something like 87 percent. It’s still covering the vast majority of the cost,” Lipschutz said. “The dangers are being overstated. There are things that can be done that would have much less impact on Medicare beneficiaries.” Lipschutz said the organizations pushing premium support should let the Affordable Care Act show its full potential before resorting to measures that he said would harm beneficiaries.
Source: mnpoliticalroundtable.com

Minnesota Wills, Trusts, and Probate

Disclaimer: This Blog is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. If you have questions, please seek the advice of an attorney licensed to practice law in the state where you live. Wittenburg Law does not expressly or implicitly warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the Blog’s contents. An attorney-client relationship is not formed by reading this Blog. If you are interested in Wittenburg Law’s representation of you, you must contact Wittenburg Law for a determination of whether your matter is one for which Wittenburg Law is willing and able to accept representation of you.
Source: bwittenburglaw.com

NRCC releases ad calling Nolan “liberal and radical”

“It is amusing that Chip Cravaack is trying so hard to run from his record of staunch support for the Tea Party agenda and the Paul Ryan budget, which will end Medicare as we know it by handing it over to private, for-profit insurance companies. Cravaack repeatedly voted in support of a plan that will saddle seniors with an additional $6,400 per year in out-of-pocket expenses. All the while, he continuously votes to protect tax break for Big Oil companies and the super-rich.
Source: publicradio.org

Inspector General Highlights Latest Episode in Medicare Waste

Medicare fraud is one thing, but the lack of streamlined bureaucratic process that results in over $25M in the inappropriate dispensing of potentially abused drugs underscores that reform of Medicare and Medicaid is a heck of a lot more than a one-trick pony. It’s more than making some weak-willed promise to “create oversight” to ”curb” the problem. It’s more than just touting photo ops in which unscrupulous prescribers are showcased to “prove” the war on fraud is actually proceeding nicely. It’s about restoring trust in a program’s original reasons for existence, and it will take much, much more than a ideological presidential campaign promise to make the system work and benefit those who need it most.
Source: healthworkscollective.com

New TV Ad: Chip Cravaack Has Brought Home Some Strange Ideas from Washington

“Minnesota needs real leaders who will stand up for middle-class families,” said SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley. “Unfortunately, Chip Cravaack has chosen to stand with his wealthy friends and corporations, voting to end Medicare as we know it, forcing seniors to pay $6,400 more for the same health coverage, while millionaires would get over $260,000 a year in tax cuts. And that’s just one of the many strange ideas Chip Cravaack picked up in Washington.” The ad takes Tea Party Republican Chip Cravaack to task for his misguided priorities, including the taxpayer-financed $1,000 a month SUV he drives and his vote to force seniors to pay more for their healthcare all while he supported taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for members of Congress for life. “Postcards” will air in the Twin Cities for a week. A copy can be viewed at http://youtu.be/KvzOloEH6IY.
Source: seiu.org

Today’s news update

the solicitor then goes on to steal money from the beneficiary’s bank account. The caller initially explains that the beneficiary will be receiving updated Medicare cards within the “next three to five days”, but first, the beneficiary must verify over the phone, personal information, such as name, address and other information. As a lure to get the banking account number, the caller then reads the root number of the person’s bank (the first series of numbers on a check), then asks the beneficiary to complete the sequence by providing the numbers of their actual banking account. The caller’s tone is particularly authoritative, and if the beneficiary does not readily comply, an alleged “supervisor” is put on the line to exert additional pressure.
Source: kymnradio.net

Medicare Health Insurance Counselor Needed!

Our service area includes Hennepin and Wright Counties. However, we answer questions from all over Minnesota.  The 21 hr training includes a training manual, meeting some of the seasoned volunteers and lunch each day. Then after training, we work on client assignments. Many volunteers shadow with another MHIC volunteer when working with clients. We always have staff available to be in support to our volunteers.
Source: patch.com

MNA Daily NewsScan, October 2, 2012: RN on the 47%

2010 Bargaining Abbott Northwestern Allina Bemidji Bemidji Sanford Hospital Children’s Hospital Duluth Bargaining Duluth Strike Fairview Medical Center Fairview Southdale Gov. Mark Dayton Health Care Healthcare HealthEast Health Insurance Hibbing Nurses Hospitals Iowa Nurses Jennie Edmundson Labor Unions Linda Hamilton Madison Main Street Contract Methodist Minnesota Nurses Association Minnesota Politics National Nurses United NNU North Memorial Nurses Nurses Strike Nursing Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital patient safety Politics Politics in Minnesota Range Regional Health Services Right to Work Robin Hood Tax Scott Walker SMDC St. Luke’s Hospital Tax Wall Street unsafe staffing Wisconsin
Source: mnablog.com