This week, open enrollment began for Medicare and runs through December 7, 2012. It is important for current Medicare beneficiaries to review their plans on an annual basis to ensure satisfaction with their current coverage. Some of the optional changes to your coverage you may wish to make during this period, which would take effect in 2013, are:
Video: How to report Medicare Fraud
Biden offers senior Floridians misguided information on Medicare
Under President Obama, that coverage for the screening procedures was expanded as a result of new directives forcing insurers to cover only those preventive services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. These mandates are another symptom of the centralized control that Obamacare exerts over the practice of medicine. But under Mr. Obama, the colonoscopies have faced offsetting new restrictions that mostly make it harder for seniors to access many of the tests.
The New Medicare.gov: Making Medicare Information Clearer & Simpler
The new Medicare.gov is just one of our efforts over the past year to make it easier for you to understand your Medicare. Whether it’s putting our information in simple, straightforward language so you can understand it the first time you read it or improving the design of the “Medicare Summary Notice ” so you can better understand your Medicare claims, we’re committed to making Medicare information clearer and simpler.
When Working Medicare Supplement Leads, Be Sure Customers Are Aware of Medicare Scams
To help clients and potential clients, keep on top of the latest fraud information out there. Check the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services to find out how to report Medicare fraud, visit the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and read the Elder Fraud and Abuse section, or check out the National Consumer Protection Resource Centre and read about their Senior Medicare Patrols, fraud prevention and health care fraud videos. “Arm you clients with the best information on scams you can find. They will thank you for it,” Green says.
How much does Medicare Advantage cost?
Plans with $0 Monthly Premiums: Among the 43,306 plans available in 2013, 13,741 plans (32 percent) will be offered at a cost of $0 above what a Medicare beneficiary already pays for Medicare Part B. By comparison, 14,297 plans (33 percent) were available with a $0 monthly premium in 2012 and 13,821 plans (35%) were available in 2011.
Hospitals Sue HHS Over Alleged Unfair Medicare Practices
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over its alleged refusal to meet its financial obligations for hospital services provided to some Medicare patients. The AHA was joined in the suit by four hospital systems: Missouri Baptist Hospital, a critical access hospital in Sullivan, Mo.; Munson Medical Center, a 391-bed hospital in Traverse City, Mich.; Lancaster General Hospital, a 631-bed facility in Lancaster, Pa.; and Trinity Health Corporation, which owns 35 hospitals.
More Time to Enroll in Medicare If You Live in Storm Areas
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn About Medicare Changes November 14
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Information on Medicare part b premiums for 2013
The standard Medicare Part B premium is determined by a formula contained in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, which set the premium at 25 percent of total program costs. The remaining 75 percent of program costs are financed through general revenues. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) requires higher-income beneficiaries to pay a higher percentage of program costs, resulting in multiple tiers of premiums based on income. The 2013 and 2014 Part B premiums haven’t been decided yet. Also note: There has been lots of confusion about Medicare Part B premium rates in recent years, because Medicare beneficiaries who receive Social Security were protected from premium increases in 2010 and 2011 under what is called the “hold harmless” provision, which freezes Medicare Part B premiums if there is no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
2012 PQRI/PQRS 1% Bonus Payments For Qualified Medicare Charges Determined (Based On 2011 Charges): Did I Qualify For My Bonus?
It’s November 15th, 2012. Are you wondering if you qualified for your PQRS (formerly known as PQRI) payments for 2012? If you’re wondering whether or not you are going to get your 2012 1% Medicare bonus payment for PQRS/PQRI for all Medicare charges between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2011, the decision has been made. I recently learned that I will receive my 1% bonus of allowable Medicare charges for my diligent PQRS efforts. This complicated voluntary program has been a thorn in many physicians’ sides as they find qualifying to be complex, confusing, time consuming, labor intensive and probably more expensive than the bonus payment is worth. Last year my hospitalist group had only 2 out of nearly 20 doctors qualify for the PQRS/PQRI bonus. I was one of the successful physicians. I have learned for their 2012 PQRS/PQRI experience (based on 2011 Medicare charges) that over 50% of our doctors qualified for their 1% Medicare bonus. That’s a significant improvement for which I have no explanation. But still, only 50%. I have blogged extensively about my experiences with PQRS/PQRI in the past and the difficulties of my member physicians to get qualified for their PQRS/PQRI program . I have a perfect 5 year track record of qualifying for my CMS PQRI/PQRS bonus. That’s because I understand how this obnoxious game works. It’s a game who’s relevance borders on absurd. One need only to take a look at this snap shot of what is required of me to submit on every patient I see in order to qualify for my bonus. And this is in addition to all CPT and ICD codes I must submit on every single encounter I have. Everyday. This is what practicing medicine has become.