Open Enrollment 2013: Medicare Part D Benefits Improve but Premiums an…

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

DC Voting Rights by dbkingWhile Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums are generally expected to remain steady in 2013, this PPI Fact Sheet by Leigh Purvis and Lee Rucker finds that premiums for many popular plans will actually be considerably higher than they were in 2012. Many plans are also increasing cost-sharing and their reliance on utilization management tools for covered prescription drugs. Medicare beneficiaries should closely examine their 2013 prescription drug plan choices during open enrollment for Part D.
Source: aarp.org

Video: 5 minutes to lower Medicare Part D spending on MedicareSaver.com

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Source: webmd.com

Commentary: The case for Medicare Part D

One certain reason enrollees are satisfied is that 2012 premiums are lower on average than 2011 premiums. In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that the Medicare Part D program saved enrollees $2.1 billion in 2011 because of the Gap Discount program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide discounts on brand-name and generic drugs to seniors in the gap or “donut hole.” About 3.6 million enrollees nationwide benefitted from these discounts, at an average of $604 each.
Source: northwestopinions.com

The Hunt is Afoot For Medicare Part D

You can complete an easy-to-use online application for Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov. Click on Medicare on the top right side of the page. Then click on “Get Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.” To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to your nearest Social Security office.
Source: patch.com

Cost Of Raising Medicare Eligibility Age

We must give them a chance — early indicators are positive, though they may be conflated with recession-induced (i.e., temporary) dips in demand.  If they fail to control costs, then it’s back to the drawing board.  But now’s the time to watch and evaluate, not to reduce access to what is a highly efficient, effective form of health coverage for the nation’s seniors.
Source: businessinsider.com

Making Sense Of Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Each year, plan premiums, deductibles, prescription co-payments and annual out-of-pocket expenses can change. When considering what plan works best for you in terms of cost, it is important to consider all these elements (premiums, deductibles and co-payments) in order to calculate the total cost of the plan. Drugs covered under Medicare Part D may also vary from plan to plan and from region to region. It’s important to re-evaluate your plan if your prescriptions have changed, you’re traveling more frequently or have moved. Selecting the right plan can save you money and put you on a path to better health.
Source: sundaynewscape.com

Medicare Part D :: Buddy Carter

Currently, 1.3 million Georgians depend on Medicare. We have to do everything we can to preserve the program for them and future retirees. Yet, Democrats have no plan to save the program, and continue to chastise Republicans for proposing credible solutions to the imminent crisis. Even as Medicare is foundering, Democrats have raided $716 billion from the program to finance Obamacare.
Source: friendsofbuddycarter.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

Lord of the (Medicare) Rings: One price to rule them all, and in the federal register bind them.

Since premium support is likely off the table for the time being, there are still many other things that Medicare can do to improve care coordination and value. We should bundle Medicare services by putting Parts A&B together, with one premium for seniors, which would encourage providers to better coordinate care. We should allow administrative services organizations (ASOs), widely used by large private employers, to set up networks of preferred providers in Medicare, and offer seniors incentives – through reduced co-pays or enhanced benefits – to utilize low-cost, high quality providers. ASOs could also represent an appealing ideological mid-point between premium support, traditional Medicare FFS, and Medicare Advantage plans. The key would be to bundle payments and have all providers “go naked” on their outcomes data so we have some correlation between the money spent and actual performance. Additional, web-based tools could then help seniors find the providers who offered the best care at the lowest cost. Indeed, this approach is already being tested by United Healthcare at a number of oncology centers around the country. In an effort to control costs of cancer treatment, the insurer will provide up-front payments for a typical 6 to 12 month course of treatment, and allow the oncologist to determine the specifics, rather than paying by volume of care. An earlier study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found evidence to support this type of approach, identifying some $9,000 in savings for patients on evidence-based pathways in the treatment of lung cancer, with little change in 12 months survival rate. Studies like this can provide a benchmark for weighing how different treatment strategies and practice designs affect the cost of care and health outcomes and – most importantly – inform patient choice in the oncology setting.
Source: medicalprogresstoday.com

2013 Part D Medicare Changes

Prescription drug coverage costs are increasing in 2013 again.  Not by a lot, but costs to seniors have been steadily increasing since 2006.  The CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have created a benefit cost chart from 2006 to 2013.  To name a few of the changes:  Initial deductibles will increase by $5.00 rising from $320.00 in 2012 to $325.00 in 2013.   The initial coverage limit will increase to $2970.00 from $2930.00, and the out-of-pocket threshold (Donut Hole) will increase from $4,700.00 to $4,750.00.
Source: americaninsuranceforexpats.com

Picking a Medicare Part D Plan is not that confusing, but it can be aggravating!

Although the author of said article disagrees with me on this point, I always tell people to choose a plan with a high star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The star ratings measure everything from customer service issues such as call wait times to clinical issues such as adherence rates for members taking diabetes and hypertension medications. Starting in 2015, CMS will begin terminating the contracts of Part D and Part C sponsors that fail to receive at least a 3-star (average) rating for 3 years in a row—so if you choose a low-rated plan, you may end up having to switch plans in two years. To me, that’s a hassle.
Source: themeddiva.com

Daily Kos: Abbreviated pundit roundup: Taking Social Security off the table

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Economically - Challenged & illiterate .. CIA website forced offline (11th February 2012) ...item 2.. Anonymous turns its attention to the U.S. Senate over controversial bill -- upgrade your lifestyle (December 8, 2011) ... by marsmet526Bringing wages up will automatically add money to these programs because there will be more income at the current rates. But to really fix the problem you also have to account for the fact that productivity is up about 80% or more over the last 30 years. This increase has not gone to workers (whose wages have stagnated). Increases in worker productivity have gone to profits. It’s gone to companies, and so those companies should be paying a higher rate. It is no longer fair for the worker and employer to pay the same rate. The employer rate has to rise to compensate for their increased profits on labor. It should go up by at least 50%.
Source: dailykos.com

Video: Social Security Gearing Up for Civil Unrest

Divorce, Remarriage, and Social Security

Disclaimer:  The information on this website is not legal advice.  No attorney-client relationship is created via the information on this website.  Blog articles and other items on this website are for nonspecific informational purposes only. The information on this website is not intended to address your specific legal problem. All legal situations are unique and you should consult with a lawyer for guidance based on the facts of your legal case.  The laws of Colorado and different jurisdictions may change since the publication of articles on this site.  You should never act based on the information on this website without first consulting with a licensed Colorado attorney.  The Marrison Family Law LLC assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of information on this website.
Source: marrisonlaw.com

SOCIAL SECURITY Q & A: Working with SSA while out of town

A. Any SSA bureau or write core can entrance your record to answer questions or refurbish your record. You can hit any office, or call a inhabitant write number. Do what is many accessible for you. The Social Security inhabitant toll-free write number, (800) 772-1213, TTY (800) 325-0778), has member accessible from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. internal time. Find internal bureau information during a SSA website, www.socialsecurity.gov. Online services for people receiving benefits, FAQs and module information are on a website too.
Source: socialpaygate.com

Social Security Disability: Where can I get more information?

Transmission of information to you from this website or receipt of documents or messages from you through this website does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., nor is the information considered private or privileged. You should not rely on this web site as a source of legal advice. Legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.
Source: burgsimpson.com

Website Update: Social Security Disability Definitions

Lapin Law Offices has updated its website to include definitions of commonly used words and phrases in Social Security Administration Disability claims [Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI)]. These definitions can be viewed here: Social Security Disability Definitions
Source: lapinlawoffices.com

Why Social Security Reform Would Be Good For Liberals

What I mean by this, of course, is that it would be as far off the table as anything ever is in real life. Nothing will make everyone happy. Nothing will fix Social Security forever. Nothing will shut up the Glenn Becks and the Birchers and the libertarian hard cases. But if the VSPs are on board, Social Security would, for all practical purposes, cease to be a subject of controversy for many, many years. I think that would be good for the country, good for seniors, good for the liberal project, and well worth doing. The problem is finding any negotiating partners on the other side who are serious about making a deal.
Source: motherjones.com

Social Security Increase for 2013! No Medicare update yet.

Because Phase2IA has a number of clients receiving Social Security Benefits, we try to keep on top of announcements each year about cost of living increases.  Last year, we waited until the details about Medicare changes were announced to make a joint announcement. This year, the Medicare changes have yet to be announced, while the Social Security Administration (SSA) made the announcement last month!  To keep clients up to date as family may be coming to town for the holiday season, we thought we would make the SSA details available now, with a link to the Medicare page we believe will eventually show those updates.
Source: phase2ia.com

AARP launches Ready for Retirement website

Jean Setzfand, AARP’s vice president of financial security, said that the Social Security benefits calculator helps users “unearth the intricacies” of Social Security, including how divorce affects Social Security benefits, how earned income affects Social Security benefits, spousal benefits and claiming strategies.
Source: benefitspro.com

Charlotte Social Security Disability Attorney Website

We recently discovered a unique Charlotte Social Security Disability Attorney website. This website was created to help individuals throughout our community to access quality legal services. I have been very impressed with all of the detailed information that is available on this site. I have been able to get answers to quite a few of my legal questions by browsing through this site. I would highly recommend this site to anyone who is currently having a difficult problem with their Social Security benefits.
Source: suchasmartmom.com

CNN Poll: Majority Opposes Medicare Changes

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

William D. Novelli by Center for American ProgressA clear majority of Americans opposes the Republicans’ plan to change Medicare, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, with seniors particularly opposed to any changes to the program. Just 35 percent of Americans favor the GOP plan, according to the poll, while 58 percent oppose it. Only 32 percent of seniors aged 65-and-over favor the plan, while 64 percent were in opposition. Among those under the age of 50, only 36 percent support the plan. Independents also side heavily against the Republicans’ proposal; only 34 percent favor the GOP proposal. As last week’s special election in New York showed, the Medicare provisions are beginning to define the GOP budget. Some Republican Senate candidates were hesitant to embrace Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., proposal in House votes last week, and other GOP candidates facing competitive primaries are being pressured to go on record with statements of support or opposition.
Source: nationaljournal.com

Video: The Cities | Medicare Changes & Circa ’21 Producations | WQPT

Romney University 103: What Mitt Romney’s Medicare changes mean for Virginia

In Virginia more than 559,753 seniors who rely on their Medicare benefits receive one or more preventive services–such as cancer screenings, diabetes testing, and bone density scans–free of charge through their Medicare plan. This is saving Virginia seniors money each year and also providing them with the care needed to protect their health.
Source: progressva.org

Medicare payment changes draw fire

Mass. General is among several hospitals in Massachusetts evolving into an accountable care organization. Under such a system, Medicare effectively sets a target for the cost of overall patient care, with hospitals sharing in savings or losses. With such arrangements, which emphasize preventive care, the neurology cuts could become irrelevant, Schwamm said, and doctors’ pay would be less contingent on fees from individual tests or treatments.
Source: wordpress.com

Learn About Medicare Changes November 14

789with which a consensus emerged within hours t http://www.coachfactoryoutletonlinebc.org air force, Western governments have shown little appetite for http://www.coachoutletod.com new military ventures in such a complex Arab state.nd Russia and China, which have blocked http://www.coachfactoryoutletbo.net previous moves against Assad in the United Nations http://www.coachoutletpn.com swiftly to alter positions which call for dialogue with Assad and view opposition groups http://www.coachfactorystoredo.com as being in thrall to the West.egional power Iran, in whose Shi’ite brand of http://www.coachfactoryoutletsp.com Islam Assad’s Alawite minority has its religious roots, remains firmly behind the president http://www.coachoutletstorefb.com in a conflict which pits him against majority Sunni Muslims supported by Iran’s http://www.coachoutletstoreonlinert.com Sunni Arab adversaries.After long arguments over whether and how to form the new http://www.coachoutletonlinelc.net opposition assembly, the speed with whichttp://www.coachoutletonlinelon.com that Khatib stood unopposed for the post of president was notable and may encourage its http://www.coachoutletonlinelsa.com supportersHis deputies will be Riad Seif, a veteran dissident who had proposed the U.S.-backed initiative http://www.coachoutletrf.com to set up an umbrella group uniting groups inside and outside Syria, and Suhair al-Atassi, one http://www.coachfactoryonlinebp.com of the
Source: patch.com

Health Care Reform Brings Major Medicare Changes

In addition, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun this month reimbursing hospitals for Medicare services based on how well they follow “best practices” or clinical guidelines and how their patients respond to satisfaction surveys. This is known as “value-based purchasing” or “paying for performance.” Some hospitals will be paid less while higher-performing hospitals will be paid more. Beginning this month, Medicare is reducing payments to hospitals that had higher-than-expected readmission rates over the last three years for patients who returned within 30 days of being discharged after pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure. More conditions will likely be added in the future.
Source: northcarolinahealthnews.org

Area Agency on Aging Presents ‘Medicare Changes Everyone Needs to Know’

Join the Area Agency on Aging from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Troy Community Center for this session on the changes to Medicare, the Part D drug plans, and how the Affordable Care Act will change Medicare in 2013.  Reservations are not required. 
Source: patch.com

Potential Medicare Changes for Deficit Reduction  

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

Dave Fluker’s California Health Insurance Blog: Medicare Changes for 2013

David Fluker Insurance Services – Gilroy, California Serving California Residents Since 1995 For specific Health Insurance information, use my site link below www.davefluker.com Email Me CA Insurance License # 0B58920
Source: blogspot.com

Retired Teachers Concerned About TRS Medicare Changes!! » Toni Says

For the past 2 weeks, I have researched the changes with TRS retiree benefits and as mentioned in the second quarter 2012 TRS newsletter, “The Voice”, TRS seems to be having a “little” problem.  On page 2 it states, “TRS-Care has developed compromises to keep TRS-Care premiums from skyrocketing”.  “The TRS-Care fund is nearly gone” so says the newsletter and TRS has responded by implementing new Part D prescription drug option with Express Scripts (the EGWP) and the Aetna PPO Medicare Advantage options.  The newsletter also states, “TRS-Care hopes to save as much as $385 millions.  This of course depends on how many TRTA members enroll in the new Medicare Advantage options.” Nick, my guess would be that is why the marketing material is slanted more to the Aetna Medicare Advantage plan to help save the TRS-Care fund.
Source: tonisays.com

2013 Part D Medicare Changes

Prescription drug coverage costs are increasing in 2013 again.  Not by a lot, but costs to seniors have been steadily increasing since 2006.  The CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have created a benefit cost chart from 2006 to 2013.  To name a few of the changes:  Initial deductibles will increase by $5.00 rising from $320.00 in 2012 to $325.00 in 2013.   The initial coverage limit will increase to $2970.00 from $2930.00, and the out-of-pocket threshold (Donut Hole) will increase from $4,700.00 to $4,750.00.
Source: americaninsuranceforexpats.com

Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes

The income gap among Republicans and Republican leaners is about as large as the difference between GOP supporters of the Tea Party and non-supporters. Among Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the Tea Party, 57% view deficit reduction as more important than preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are. Among Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party, just 36% say that reducing the deficit is more important than maintaining benefits.
Source: people-press.org

Alexandria Seniors Can Get Help with Medicare Plan Changes

Open enrollment for making changes to Medicare D and Medicare Advantage plans is under way and will continue until Dec. 7.  Changes made during this period will be effective Jan. 1.   It is important to review your plan because Medicare Part D and Advantage plans are allowed to make changes in their premium costs, deductive, co-payments and formularies (the list of drugs covered by their plan), according to a city news release.   Free counseling will be provided in Alexandria through VICAP, the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program, and the Department of Community and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services. 
Source: patch.com

Medicare changes: What you need to know this year — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

The site will still be viewable but certain elements might display incorrectly. In order to enjoy all the features of our site, we recommended you upgrade to a newer, more secure browser. Read more ». If you don’t have administrator privileges for your computer, you can still take action. Google has developed a free plugin for Internet Explorer called Google Chrome Frame. You can install it on any computer, even if you can’t install applications, and it will ensure your computer stays secure and that you can still visit our website. Enable Google Chrome Frame now »
Source: bangordailynews.com

Medicare Premium Changes Announced for 2013

Earlier this year CMS projected that the standard premium for Medicare Part B (which covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services) would rise by more than $9.00 a month in 2013. However, the good news is that the increase will be lower — $5.00 — bringing 2013 Part B premiums to $104.90 a month. By law, the premium must cover a percent of Medicare’s expenses; premium increases are in line with projected cost increases. Medicare Part B premiums have gone up slowly over the past five years – an average of less than 2 percent a year, or $8.50 total.
Source: hcafnews.com

5 mistakes retirees make choosing a Medicare plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Undecided?  Still?? by Patrick FellerIt’s also easier to find quality plans this year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has beefed up its star ratings system to alert consumers to the best-performing plans and remind those stuck in continuously low-performing ones that they can switch plans. Beneficiaries have 127 four-star or five-star Medicare Advantage plans from which to choose, up from 106 during open enrollment for 2012. And those in original Medicare have 26 high-performing prescription drug plans at their disposal, up from 13 last year.
Source: sltrib.com

Video: Medicare Locals Video

What You Should Know About Choosing a Medicare D Plan

 What drugs are you on? You may want to speak with your physician about changes that could reduce costs.  What pharmacy do you want to use? You need to be sure your pharmacy accepts the plan you’re considering.  How much does the plan cost?  Do you want to go “a la carte” with a free-standing prescription drug plan (PDP) or choose one that combines medical benefits and prescription drug plans (MA-PD)?  Are you on a retiree plan that limits your choices?  Does your choice of plan affect your spouse’s plan? Be sure you understand the details of how the two interact. Where Can I Get Help? There are several excellent tools available to help you examine all of the plans and analyze your options. As a care manager, I have used all of these tools with great success: 
Source: jewishcentralvoice.com

Health Leaders Applaud Medicare’s First Initiative to Train More Highly Skilled Nurses

About AARP AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Source: rwjf.org

DCCC’s First TV Ad? About Medicare, Of Course

Using a GOP politician’s own words to drive home the Social Security/Medicare message has been an effective strategy for Democrats. In an Arizona special election earlier this year, such ads helped torpedo the candidacy of Jesse Kelly, the Republican who was seeking the seat of former Rep. Gabby Giffords.
Source: nationaljournal.com

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

NOTE: Originally released in October 2012, this data spotlight was updated in November 2012 to reflect revised data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
Source: kff.org

Capita acquires Medicare First Ltd

Commenting on the deal, Dawn Marriott-Sims, head of Capita’s workplace services business, said: “Medicare’s social work and allied healthcare divisions are run by dedicated recruiters who have in-depth industry experience and recognise that success and reputation depends upon providing a high-quality, responsive service to their customers. The business, the largest supplier of social workers in London and the Home Counties, provides natural synergies with our existing social care locum business which has a strong footprint in northern England and the Midlands. Medicare already contracts, successfully, with more than 150 organisations nationwide and its skill and professionalism will add attractive breadth and depth to our specialist recruitment business.“
Source: pressreleasepoint.com

Medicare First! :: Dynamist

I put a plate on a distal radius today. Fifteen years ago, I may have used a cheaper technology, an external fixator or reducing and pinning it. Open reduction and internal fixation of distal radius (wrist) fractures gives the best result and it is because of significant improvement in plate and screw design and manufacture (and better surgical technique, if any credit in America can go do physicians). This is on small problem that can lead to significant disability and pain. Multiply by every medical and surgical condition. Under a government controlled healthcare system, how much improvement will follow? Where will be the evidence for “evidence based medicine” when a green eyeshade guy is determining whether new technology can be used? If everyone is happy with healthcare in 2009, performed at the lowest per capita cost that can be managed, then go for Obamacare. If you think there might be significant improvements in the future, realize Obamacare will be an abortion. Doctors will do their best with whatever system we get, but we are not driving this. If it is a poor system that we get from the government, expect a worse future for medical care. Thanks for letting me vent.
Source: dynamist.com

Democrats Resist Significant Changes To Medicare, Other Entitlement Programs

CQ HealthBeat: A House Of Cards In Deficit Talks Talk of finding health care savings in the federal budget inevitably involves making changes to Medicare. But some lawmakers are starting to suggest that President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul also imposes costs that must be borne by taxpayers and that could be pared back. In its entirety, the law is expected to reduce the deficit over time, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time, it contains individual provisions that, by themselves, cost money. Some observers, especially Republicans on the lookout for ways to constrain the 2010 law, say negotiators trying to avoid upcoming tax increases and spending cuts — known collectively as the fiscal cliff — should take a hard look at those provisions. The problem is, the two most costly parts of the law — setting up subsidies to help people buy insurance and expanding Medicaid to provide care to more uninsured Americans — are also two of the pillars upon which the law is built. If lawmakers start scraping money away from either, they risk weakening the law (Attias, 11/26).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Health First Health Plans Offers Medicare Advantage Plans

At Health First Health Plans, eligible beneficiaries can choose from a suite of Medicare options, including four Medicare Advantage plans with Part D Prescription Drug coverage (MA-PD), one Medicare Advantage Plan without Part D prescription drug coverage (MA), two stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDP), and Supplemental Plans (Medigap).  Typically, you may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during the annual enrollment period from October 15 through December 7 of each year.  There are exceptions that may allow you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan outside of this period (otherwise known as Special Election Periods).
Source: spacecoastbusiness.com

GOP fiscal plans sharply at odds with public opinion

As with plans to voucherize Medicare, the primary effect of increasing the age of Medicare eligibility would be to shift costs onto needy individuals, while also leading to worse health outcomes. Nor, in the grander scheme of things, would the proposal save the government much money, since most Medicare spending is concentrated on people well over the age of 67, and many of the people who would be cut from the Medicare rolls would wind up on Medicaid or qualifying for other means-tested government subsidies. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if the proposal were fully in effect in 2014 it would generate only about $5.7 billion in net federal savings but would impose twice as much cost ($11.4 billion) on individuals, employers, and states.
Source: msnbc.com

Medicare Part D Plans Expanding Five

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

319 | Tragedies of Medicine by The DoctrA review of Part D plan design trends among the leading sponsors shows that Humana has switched to five-tier formularies, UnitedHealth is using a preferred pharmacy network and CVS Caremark is sponsoring plans that include community-based independents in its preferred network.
Source: elsevierbi.com

Video: Medicare Part D Formulary

Medicare Part D and Dual Eligibles: Prescription Drug Formularies and Drugs Used by Dual Eligibles

Medicare drug plans may exclude drugs from formularies or may control drug use in an effort to contain costs, but they must meet certain criteria in doing so.  Each PDP and MA-PD drug formulary is reviewed by staff in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Generally, Part D plan formularies must cover at least two drugs in every theraputic class.  Under CMS rules, Part D formularies must also include all or substantially all drugs in six protected classes: immunosuppressant (for prophylaxis of organ transplant rejection), antidepressant, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, antiretroviral, and antineoplastic drugs.
Source: piperreport.com

CamCo Holds Medicare Open Enrollment Session Wednesday

“It’s time to compare plans and select the right one for you,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Division of Senior & Disabled Services. “If you are unhappy with your current plan, use this open enrollment period as an opportunity to look for a new one with better coverage, higher quality and lower cost.”
Source: patch.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

The page could not be loaded. The Medicare.gov Home page currently does not fully support browsers with "JavaScript" disabled. Please note that if you choose to continue without enabling "JavaScript" certain functionalities on this website may not be available.
Source: medicare.gov

Step by Step: What are Medicare Prescription Plan Drug Tiers?

It is also important to be aware that all Medicare Part D plans are required to make medically necessary drugs accessible to the policyholders who need them to treat their conditions. While the exact medication you take may not be included in your policy’s formulary, in most cases you can find a drug that will be just as effective in treating your associated medical condition.
Source: gohealthinsurance.com

Lord of the (Medicare) Rings: One price to rule them all, and in the federal register bind them.

Since premium support is likely off the table for the time being, there are still many other things that Medicare can do to improve care coordination and value. We should bundle Medicare services by putting Parts A&B together, with one premium for seniors, which would encourage providers to better coordinate care. We should allow administrative services organizations (ASOs), widely used by large private employers, to set up networks of preferred providers in Medicare, and offer seniors incentives – through reduced co-pays or enhanced benefits – to utilize low-cost, high quality providers. ASOs could also represent an appealing ideological mid-point between premium support, traditional Medicare FFS, and Medicare Advantage plans. The key would be to bundle payments and have all providers “go naked” on their outcomes data so we have some correlation between the money spent and actual performance. Additional, web-based tools could then help seniors find the providers who offered the best care at the lowest cost. Indeed, this approach is already being tested by United Healthcare at a number of oncology centers around the country. In an effort to control costs of cancer treatment, the insurer will provide up-front payments for a typical 6 to 12 month course of treatment, and allow the oncologist to determine the specifics, rather than paying by volume of care. An earlier study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found evidence to support this type of approach, identifying some $9,000 in savings for patients on evidence-based pathways in the treatment of lung cancer, with little change in 12 months survival rate. Studies like this can provide a benchmark for weighing how different treatment strategies and practice designs affect the cost of care and health outcomes and – most importantly – inform patient choice in the oncology setting.
Source: medicalprogresstoday.com

Medicare Made Clear: Importance of the Medicare Drug Plan Formulary

The Medicare beneficiaries who are want to enjoy the benefits from Part D should affirmatively enroll in the plan. The participants can choose the plan they want to enroll in according to their needs. Based on the medicare formulary, not all drugs will be covered on the same level and the participants will enjoy the incentives provided if they choose one drug over the other. Typically the medicare formulary is divided into tiers with a set of co-pay amount. If you are a senior citizen, it is important to know that the coverage under Part D varies according to the medicare formulary, convenience and the quality of the medication.
Source: blogspot.com

Growing Pains for the Medicare Hospice Benefit

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

For 30 years, the Medicare hospice benefit has played a key role in shaping end-of-life care in the United States. Authorized by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the benefit was meant to improve the dying experience for terminally ill beneficiaries and to reduce the intensity and cost of health care services at the end of life. After a slow start, hospice became an integral part of Medicare, and nearly half of all people who die while covered by Medicare now use the benefit before death.
Source: globalhealthhub.org

Video: Health Insurance Information : About Hospice Medicare Benefits

Updating the Medicare Hospice Benefit

This also makes the physician’s decision to request hospice more difficult. In its current form, a physician requesting that their patient seek hospice care means that she believes that curative treatments are no longer beneficial.  While this is likely true, the firm line that has to be crossed by patient and physician can likely be misunderstood as the doctor giving up on their patient. The current system creates an artificial distinction between curative treatments and care geared towards the patient’s emotional needs while providing care to ensure their comfort. Even in Medicare Advantage, a program that promotes coordinated, streamlined care through its capitated payment system, the Medicare hospice benefit is excluded. A patient enrolled in Medicare Advantage who elects hospice care reverts back to regular fee-for-service Medicare.
Source: policyinterns.com

Is it time for another lawsuit? Advocating to change the Medicare Hospice Benefit eligibility requirements

I have decided that there is compelling evidence that the Medicare Hospice eligibility requirements are outdated and need to be re-written.  These policies are not driven by patient need and the evidence is mounting that limiting access to hospice and palliative services actually increases the cost of health care at the end of life.  Those with concerns about the rise in the cost of the Medicare Hospice Benefit appear to put undue focus on the increasing length of stay of a number of hospice patients without considering that hospice and palliative care can be more cost effective than usual care.  This cost reduction does not come from “irrationally rationing” health care but by facilitating conversations that allow patients and families to understand prognosis and verbalize preferences and goals about end-of-life care.  These conversations enable health care providers to guide patients away from costly treatments and interventions that do not facilitate attainment of patients’ goals or add to the quality or length of their lives. If you agree that it is time for a change to the eligibility requirements, what can we do as hospice and palliative medicine providers to advocate for our patients to receive high-quality palliative and end-of-life care in a manner that makes sense? Do we wait until the results of the concurrent care demonstration project are in? Do we ask AAHPM, NHPCO, and HPNA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committees to weigh in on the matter?  Or do we wait until the lawyers file another class-action lawsuit against Medicare? by: Shaida Talebreza Brandon (all opinions expressed are my own)
Source: geripal.org

Benefits of Medicare Hospice Services

WAXAHACHIE, TX—U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (second from left) meets with area staff members at Odyssey Hospice’s South Dallas office to learn more about the ways that Medicare-supported hospice services can benefit Texans with life-limiting illnesses.  Among those attending the session were (left to right): Seeley Avery, Odyssey’s Regional Vice President-Sales; Rep. Barton; Pamela Bailey, Quality Manager; Jennifer Leggett, Account Executive; Larry Chesney, Clinical Liaison; Doris Barnes, Registered Nurse; Mark Cook, Area Vice President-Sales; and Trivia Spencer, Community Liaison.
Source: countylifeonline.com

Safe Medication Dispensing: Current Issues in Hospice Care

The recent rise of hospices in the United States indeed proves staggering. According to recent reports, “since 1990, approximately 1,500 new hospice agencies have emerged, a 125 percent increase from 1992. Medicare spending under the Medicare Hospice Benefit increased from $445 million in 1991 to $3.6 billion in 2001, and the number of Medicare hospice beneficiaries increased more than sixfold during the same period.” (Carlson, et al., 2011). Indeed, these increases prove to be a logical outgrowth of changing demographic trends here in the country, resulting from the nascent elevation of baby boomers to post-65 ages. Consequently, “with the aging of the population and decrease in the length of hospitalizations, greater numbers of older adults are managing multiple chronic conditions in the community with increasing levels of disability. They are particularly vulnerable because of strained caregiver systems, limited decisional capacity, and financial resources.” (Carlson, et al., 2011). The latter point of this quote denotes the specific problem that families face when facing the problem that will be the focus of the remainder of this blog post: safe prescription medication management.
Source: automatedsecurityalert.com

Medicare as insurance innovator: the case of hospice

Interestingly, hospice is the only part of the Medicare benefit package that is carved out of the Medicare Advantage program. I am unsure of why this is the case. I believe it is likely related to the fact that hospice was created as a demonstration in Medicare as part of TEFRA 1982, as was what I think was the first private insurance option in Medicare. After both parts were later mainstreamed into Medicare, I think they were just never joined. However, it is also possible that it is related to the politics of hospice and end of life care generally. Those politics have only gotten worse (more hysteria, less reasoned discussion) in the last few years. I will be writing more about this and you have thoughts about why someone who elects hospice while in a Medicare Advantage plan reverts to FFS Medicare for hospice, let me know.
Source: wordpress.com

Study Suggests High Use of Medicare Skilled Nursing Benefit at End of Life

While most Medicare beneficiaries enroll in skilled nursing facility (SNF) care for rehabilitation or life-prolonging care, experience suggests that some dying patients are discharged to a SNF for end-of-life care. Switching patients from Medicare coverage under the SNF benefit to the hospice benefit has financial implications for the patient and for the nursing home. Unlike the SNF benefit, the hospice benefit does not pay for room and board, which means patients who transition to the hospice benefit must pay out of pocket or by enrolling in Medicaid, for which many patients do not qualify, according to the study background.
Source: nursezone.com

Hospice of the Comforter Inc., Faces Whistleblower Lawsuit

administrative complaint Administrative Hearing attorney audit controlled substances dea DEA investigation defense attorney defense lawyer department of health Department of Health (DOH) doctor doh DOH investigation drug enforcement administration emergency suspension order false claims act florida Florida prescription drug crackdown fraud prevention health care fraud health law hipaa investigation legal representation licensing and regulatory medicaid medical license medicare medicare audit Medicare fraud Medicare investigation Medicare overbilling nurse nurses overprescribing pain clinics pain management pharmacies pharmacist pharmacists pharmacy physician physicians prescription drug trafficking
Source: wordpress.com

Joe Thompson: Expanding Medicaid Will Help Arkansas Catch Up

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Counter demonstration: wingnuts by tswedenUnder the federal law, the federal government agreed to pay the full tab for the Medicaid expansion when it begins in 2014. After three years, states must pay a gradually increasing share that tops out at 10 percent of the cost. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June upholding the federal overhaul gave states the right to opt out of the expansion. DHS estimated the state would save $44 million next year if it expanded Medicaid.
Source: arkansasbusiness.com

Video: Strengthening Medicaid is a Good Deal for Arkansas

Proposed Arkansas Medicaid Cuts On the Table

The Arkansas Medicaid Program faces a budget shortfall of up to $4 million. Even with the Governor’s proposal to add $90 million in state general revenue and $70 million in general improvement funds, it still leaves a $138 million shortfall. The Department of Human Services says that would mean 75,000 adults would be cut from medicaid services. Arkansas Advocates For Children and Families said one way to help these families is by extending Medicaid coverage. “Up to 138 percent of the poverty level, which is about 31,000 for a family of four, those families served by the Arkansas Health Networks Programs that is on the list of potential cuts, they could be covered through the medicaid expansion,” said Anna Strong. DHS suggest a three-pronged approach to cutting $130 million out of its budget: The big ones include cutting provider payment rates by 3 percent, eliminating adult dental care, dropping ArHealthNetworks coverage for working adults, freezing eligibility for home and community based waiver services for the aged and those with disabilities, and cutting level 3 nursing care for those not wholly dependent on help for activities of daily living. The final determination will be made during the 2013 regular session.
Source: arkansasmatters.com

Arkansas Medicaid Faces $138M Deficit Next Year

The Arkansas Medicaid program is facing a $138 million shortfall next year, and Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has said expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would help fight that deficit, according to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Associated Press report. Earlier this week, Arkansas state officials proposed countering the Medicaid deficit through rate freezes for hospitals and other providers as well as elimination of the lowest level of nursing home care. The nursing home cuts would potentially save $35 million, but up to 15,000 low-income seniors would lose access to nursing care, according to the report.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Arkansas Medicaid Officials Apply For $60 Million Federal Grant

The grant application notes that the estimated cost to the state for this system transformation will be about $32.8M over a three and a half year period beginning in January 2013.  That’s a significant sum, but putting it into perspective, that would allow us to achieve lasting and fundamental quality and cost improvements for less than 1% of our current annual expenditures with the potential, if successful, to return over $1 billion in savings to the state Medicaid program through 2020.
Source: talkbusiness.net

Eyes Turn To Arkansas’ Bold Effort To Cut Medicaid Costs, Add Transparency

First, the three entities analyzed historical billing data to determine the state’s highest-volume and most costly medical conditions. Then, they each individually targeted three conditions for which they would track the costs for “episodes of care” — meaning the total charges of treating patients for that specific illness, everything from office visits, to medications and specialty care. The conditions included perinatal care, upper respiratory infections, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, hip and knee replacements, and congestive heart failure.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

The case for expanding Medicaid

Luckily, children were spared, for the most part, from direct cuts. However, 75,000 parents, grandparents, and other adults may not be so lucky. The state cannot afford to make the penny-wise but pound-foolish decision to cut back on current Medicaid services. Nor can we miss the opportunity to guarantee coverage to all eligible Arkansans. Not only will strengthening Medicaid give Arkansans more health coverage options, it will help some of the state’s fiscal problems by making sure rural hospitals stay in business, generating tax dollars that will stimulate the economy, and cutting down on the cost of uncompensated care all at a cost of $0 over the first three years. In fact, DHS’s revised savings from extending Medicaid total $159 million in 2014-15.
Source: arktimes.com

Healthcare reform and Medicaid: Everyone must be under the umbrella

In light of Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas, fraud was a major issue among the group who stressed the need for a possible co-pay requirement for Medicaid recipients and more screenings of applicants. “I have a problem with someone coming to the ER that doesn’t have insurance but has a Coach purse”, said one of the members. Another option given by the group was random drug testing.  Rahn said, “If we do it for Medicaid we must do it for all government assistance programs.” He continued by acknowledging that socioeconomic factors must be addressed such as education and access to resources.
Source: wordpress.com

Medicaid: Docs Cautious About Arkansas Payment Plan

As in many states, Arkansas’ Medicaid program was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. State revenues dropped and enrollment skyrocketed. And now, when the $300 million shortfall that the state faces for its 2013 Medicaid budget is combined with lost federal matching funds, Arkansas stands to lose about $1 billion in Medicaid money for next year.
Source: arkansasmutual.com

NE: Lawmakers look at cost of expanding Medicaid

Indeed, a consultant hired by the state Department of Health and Human Services estimated the cost of expanding Medicaid at $465 million to $617 million during the first seven years, while the Kaiser Foundation estimated the cost at $106 million to $155 million. The Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center pegged the cost at $140 million to $168 million.
Source: watchdog.org

Group Health Teams With Hospital System In Pacific Northwest

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Massachusetts Association of Health Plans’ Annual Conference by Office of Governor PatrickProvidence officials hope the joint venture will enable their hospital system — Spokane’s largest, with 65 percent of the market — to position itself for an expected shift from fee-for-service payment to global payment for managing patients’ health. Both public and private insurers are moving in that direction. “This is part of Providence’s effort to move away from fee for service to payment for value and outcomes,” said Mike Wilson, head of the eastern region for Providence, which operates in five states in the Northwest.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: ObamaCare and Wisconsin, Part Two

Staten Island Insurance Agency Offers Free Medicare Health

“As an authorized representative of insurers such as Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield; AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare® (UHC); EmblemHealth®, and Touchtone, we routinely provide clients with a free comparison between all the different plans offered on Staten Island,” DeFranco said. “In addition, our firm has knowledge of which doctors and prescriptions are covered by each of the plans.”
Source: siborrealtors.com

Doctors glum over SA health plan

Questioned about their views on the key organisations in the health sector, 59% of respondents reported that they belonged to the South African Medical Association. Only 24% of the respondents belonging to it were positive about its focus. The association is the single most important representative entity for doctors in South Africa and best positioned to lobby on their behalf and this finding would therefore suggest that a change of focus is required by the association or, alternatively, that its focus should be better communicated to its membership.
Source: co.za

Democrats: Leave federal employee health plan out of deficit deal

“Federal workers have already sacrificed tens of billions of dollars over the past several years toward reducing the deficit,” Cummings said. “House Republicans should stop treating middle-class federal employees like a piggy bank they can raid without asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share. If we’re serious about resolving the fiscal cliff, we must take a balanced approach that includes both increased revenue and targeted spending cuts while protecting middle-class American workers.”
Source: govexec.com

Vatican May Halt Mercy Health’s Plan to Sell Arkansas Hospital

Disagreements with Vatican officials in Rome may halt Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy Health’s plan to sell Mercy Hospital Hot Springs (Ark.) to Franklin, Tenn.-based Capella Healthcare, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report. Catholic-based Mercy and non-Catholic Capella signed an agreement in principle to merge Mercy Hospital Hot Springs with Capella’s National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs. Soon after the agreement was signed, Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., expressed reservations in regard to the hospital’s future care for the poor. He has also accused Mercy officials of violating canon law by not seeking a Catholic partner for the hospital and voiced concern that Capella may eventually permit abortions at the hospital, according to the report. According to the report, Mercy Hospital Hot Springs CEO Tim Johnson told employees the Vatican has ordered Mercy executives to sit down with Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock to try and resolve differences. Under the proposed deal, Capella has agreed to provisions set by Mercy, such as refraining from abortion or sterilization procedures at the Hot Springs hospital for at least five years and committing to adopt Mercy’s charity care policy guidelines. The merger must still pass state and federal regulatory reviews.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It! Unless You Work For Christians

Just the other day, I was listening to a podcast (by Deutsche Welle) lionizing the gay British couple who have spent two years successfully suing a Christian couple for denying them a room in their bed and breakfast because that would violate their religious principles.  One of the couple launched into a spiel about how he had to stand up for his beliefs because he needed others to know that they have the rights to stand up for what they believe in and for what they think is right.  Had this not been a "news" organization slightly to the left of Engels, someone might be tempted to ask, "But didn’t the Christian couple stand up for what they believe in?  Did they have a right to act on their principles?"
Source: ricochet.com

Romney's Health Plan Would Have Impact on Current Retirees

Overturning President Obama’s health care law, as Mr. Romney has pledged to do, could wipe out several benefits that retirees are currently receiving because of the law. Chief among them are its provisions to help Medicare recipients pay for prescription drugs, to help cover the gap known as the “doughnut hole.” In the first eight months of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday, the law helped the average recipient save $641 on drug coverage.
Source: nytimes.com

History of NC’s Good Health Plan

amendment one Art Pope budget charter schools civil rights consumer protection corporations corruption Crucial Conversation death penalty Duke Energy economy Education Election energy environment federal budget fracking global warming Health health care higher education immigration jobless jobs Legislature LGBT rights Marriage amendment Marriage discrimination amendment medicaid mental health Phil Berger poverty Prosperity Watch public education Racial Justice Act Reproductive rights republicans right-wing state budget taxes Thom Tillis Unemployment Voter Suppression Wake County schools
Source: ncpolicywatch.org

Pharma Gains from Rule On Health Insurance Benefits

HHS responded by changing the rule so that plans now will have to cover the range of drugs offered through the “benchmark” insurance plan selected by the state, which generally is the largest commercial plan offered to small businesses in that market. And most small group plans, according to research by Avalere Health, cover more than one drug per class. Although the specific coverage policy will vary among the states, the one-drug-per-class standard becomes a minimum for setting drug coverage – not the norm. The HHS proposal includes a guide for insurers to calculate the drug list count of the applicable benchmark plan, with an eye to achieving an accurate assessment of chemically-distinct drug entities.
Source: pharmexec.com

Romney health plan would cost US, group says

If and when in the distant future we feel a need to enroll in Tricare and take advantage of the benefits I earned while serving, we will, but as of now we both feel it is more important that we don’t and let those who honestly need it be able to have it. We have discussed this several times and when we hit Medicare age we would then use it. For now we just don’t need it. Why take from a system we really do not need to take from? To us that isn’t fair to those who actually need it. We both make more than enough money to fund our own way. We both take good care of ourselves and are in perfect health. We both have successful companies and are not hurting financially. A simple principle to our life is self sufficiency and saving intelligently for a rainy day, not rely on others to pay our way when we can provide for ourselves. Even though we could have afforded a much larger and more expensive house and cars we didn’t feel it was necessary. The more people take the less their is to give. We have tens of thousands of vets who need the most from those programs and for us to take from it means less to them. I recently read a story about a soldier who needed a powered wheelchair and the one thing that was holding it up is the cost. So some private donors stepped up to the plate and got this wounded warrior what he needed. They also renovated his house for him so he could get around it easier. This guy served and sacrificed but the gov couldn’t take full care of him because of cost. Stories like this formed our decisions. Our country is broke in case you haven’t heard already. When I enlisted in 1983 I did it for the love of my country and not to squeeze every nickle and dime I could from it. I certainly did benefit greatly from my time served thru education and opportunities provided to me. That doesn’t mean I feel ill will towards those of you who do use your military medical benefits (Tricare, DEERS, and VA), you earned it. For us it isn’t necessary yet.
Source: nbcnews.com

Is a high deductible health plan right for me?

Well, the fact is that there’s no one health insurance plan that’s best for everyone. For example, some people value preventive medical care more than anything; others only want coverage that’s there for them in an emergency. Young people might need a different kind of protection than older people. Finding the right match for your needs isn’t easy.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Medicare Levy Low Income Thresholds 2012 Alan Lewis Accountants

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

$600 carer payment $900 $950 ATO BAS Bookkeeping/MYOB branding budget budget 2010 Business Management business plan business plans centrelink client retention concessional contributions customer service data matching debtors family tax benefit FTB household stimulus package insurance Jobs & Education Lifestyle marketing myob naming a business new company name one-off payment Online Services Planning & Growth Reminders Resources Service & Marketing Small Business SMSF Superannuation superannuation Taxation tax bonus tax deduction tax offset taxpayer alert tax return understanding benefits
Source: com.au

Video: Medicare Levy Surcharge 2011/2012: nib Health Insurance Explained

Midwives & Medicare: What’s Covered?

The good news is that Australia is one of the safest countries in which to give birth or be born. However, that doesn’t mean that the country has been meeting the needs of all Australia women when it comes to maternity care, according to the 2009 publication “Improving Maternity Services in Australia” That publication was based on the national Maternity Services Review in which women expressed frustration at the limited options available to them and called for new midwifery models of care that could provide greater continuity of care throughout their pregnancy. In response to this survey and report, the Government initiated the Maternity Services Reform.
Source: com.au

Just like Medicare, except Australians don’t want it

In recent days, she has begun arguing a new line designed to reassure nervous Labor MPs as much as anyone else. That involves likening carbon pricing to Medicare, and predicting that once Australians see the scheme in operation, and receive the compensation, it will be Tony Abbott who has the harder task in his blood pledge to repeal it.
Source: com.au

The Disability Information and Resource Centre

Medicare benefits will not be paid for any dental services under the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme after December 1st 2012. Patients without a GP care plan in place before September 8th 2012 will not be able to access the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme before it closes on December 1st 2012.
Source: org.au

Some Medicare changes are causing confusion

Humana offers three Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and three Medicare Advantage preferred provider organization (PPO) plans to Medicare beneficiaries in Corpus Christi, McLerran said. Three of these plans offer the fitness program at no cost to members during the 2012 plan year, he said.
Source: com.au

Confetti Wine Glasses, Medicare Enrollment This Week

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

HERES YOUR TOP TEN by SS&SSCraft your own set of four confetti wine glasses to give as a gift or use for your holiday entertaining on Saturday, December 8 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.. Samples will be on display at the Library. Class is limited to 20 participants. Registration required and can be done at the Circulation desk. Friends registration begins Nov. 11 – fee is $15. General public registration begins Nov. 18 – fee is $18.
Source: patch.com

Video: Promotores de Salud: How to Help People with Medicare During the Open Enrollment Period

Reminder: Optometrists subject to $500+ fee for Medicare DMEPOS enrollment

Optometrists who wish to provide eyeglasses for cataract patients under Medicare are subject to a new durable medical equipment prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) registration fee every three years, according to the AOA Advocacy Group.  As reported in AOA publications previously, the fee was put in place in March 2011 over the objections of AOA and other physician organizations when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to treat all DMEPOS suppliers as institutional fraud risks.
Source: newsfromaoa.org

Registration Began for Medicare EHR Incentive Program

Not all areas of the country will be implementing registration at the same time, so it is important to have an EHR representative to guide your facility through the process. Registration for the EHR incentive program will launch in January for Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Source: articleshot.com

Medicare Open Enrollment and Insurance Issues for Mesothelioma Patients

2012.  If you are locked into a Medicare HMO that is not meeting your insurance needs, now is the time to take action. The Meso Foundation is not advocating for any particular plan but we do find that university hospital-based systems are more likely to accept straight Medicare more than the restrictive HMOs that you may initially have signed up with. There are some great supplemental policies to add to the coverage provided by Medicare that you may wish to consider.
Source: wordpress.com

Wonder why Medicare is bankrupting the country? (Letter to the Editor)

But the charge for the emergency room visit was $865.11. Can you imagine my surprise? I am very fortunate that I have Medicare and also my private insurance to pay for it. I was with the doctor for about ten minutes. Can anyone explain to me why the charge would be that amount?
Source: al.com

Registration Due for Medicare Seminar

The program, titles “Welcome to Medicare” will be presented by Crossroads’ SHIPP volunteers. The program will cover Medicare Parts A, B, and D, as well as Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplemental insurance. Registration for the September 22nd program is required by next Tuesday.
Source: kniakrls.com

What’s New at the Senior Center: Navigate Medicare Open Enrollment

Art History: “American Art” Part 3 (1950-90)—Wednesday, Oct. 3, 10:30 a.m., at Avery Crossings. In the second half of the 20th century, America breaks free of its European bonds to defy convention and then dominate the entire art world. There was an explosion of creativity on this side of the ocean. American Art grows up and demonstrates its own unique personality—innovative, and sometimes controversial. But whether you swear by it, or at it, it is always fun.  Join us for a look at how art in America evolved in the modern era, from Pop Art to Grandma Moses, how it took the seat of power with all its new directions, energy and nerve. You can’t “like” it all, but you may go home with more than you thought. Where in the world do you think it is going next? This program is free, with no registration required.
Source: patch.com

Cost Of Raising Medicare Eligibility Age

We must give them a chance — early indicators are positive, though they may be conflated with recession-induced (i.e., temporary) dips in demand.  If they fail to control costs, then it’s back to the drawing board.  But now’s the time to watch and evaluate, not to reduce access to what is a highly efficient, effective form of health coverage for the nation’s seniors.
Source: businessinsider.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: Independence Blue Cross

Do you have all of your questions answered about Medicare?  Before Open Enrollment ends on December 7, come learn about one of the plan options in the Medicare Program: Independence Blue Cross. Tina Garrity of Senior Advisors Group will give a presentation on Blue Cross Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental Plans. She will highlight the plan benefits and changes for 2013. Through Senior Advisors, Ms. Garrity represents over 20 companies such as: Aetna, AARP, Mutual of Omaha, Central States Indemnity, Humana, Independence Blue Cross Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental Plans  and many more.  While her presentation will focus on Independence Blue Cross, she can answer questions about the difference between plans and about program participant’s Medicare Advantage plan, Supplemental (Medigap) plan, or their Part D Stand Alone Prescription Drug plan. This program is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required, but highly recommended. This program will be repeated on Tuesday,  November 27 at 7:00 pm
Source: patch.com

Medigap Advisors Greet Record Medicare Annual Enrollment with New Type of Customer Service

As record numbers of boomers sign up for Medicare Advantage plans during annual enrollment, the need for customer service has never been greater due to volume and plan complexity. This year, Health and Human Services found most counties offer an average of 26 Advantage plans that may have different requirements and benefits. All must provide standard Part A and B benefits, but many expand on original Medicare. The extra benefits range from help with dental care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, to memberships at health clubs. To meet the challenge, Medigap Advisors offers a new experience in customer service.
Source: directory-net.com

North Carolina Medical Society

For almost a year, CMS has been revalidating the enrollment of participating health care professionals enrolled in Medicare prior to March 25, 2011 as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the revalidation process is being phased in and scheduled for completion by 2015 this call will be useful to find out the latest information about the revalidation effort, including how improvements to the PECOS system make it easier to submit revalidated enrollment information electronically. As the completion date nears the medical community should learn what to expect and how to prepare for this process. 
Source: ncmedsoc.org

Medicare coverage and its supporting products are so difficult to understand?

each year.  Some insurance agencies hold informational meetings to help outline the differences in each plan.  Your health needs could change from year to year.  One year, you may find that you need only basic coverage.  Throughout the next year, your healthcare requirements increase and you see that adding additional coverage is necessary.  An insurance professional can work with you, looking up the tiers your medication falls in on the drug formularies published by insurance carriers or help you find participating providers in a Medicare Advantage HMO or PPO.
Source: foglegroup.com

Medicare, Medicaid EHR meaningful use payments surpass $8B in October

Even as more physicians and hospitals participate, the attestation data show that the level of performance has not changed, with providers exceeding the required threshold of performance for recording objectives for problem list, medications list or medication-allergy list. Providers generally hold the same popular and least popular menu objectives for meaningful use, he said.
Source: lawscribes.com