A recent article in the latest edition of Health Affairs provides further evidence that Medicare Advantage plans are delivering higher-quality care to seniors and people with disabilities than the fee-for-service (FFS) part of Medicare. Data from the article show that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries utilize some health care services, such as the emergency department and ambulatory surgery or procedures, at a rate 20-30 percent lower than those in FFS Medicare. This data suggests that Medicare Advantage enrollees “might use fewer services and be experiencing more appropriate use of services than enrollees in traditional Medicare.”
Video: 2011- 4/19 MEDICARE PATIENTS HAVE SHORTER HOSPITAL STAY AFTER HIP REPLACEMENT BUT
Alberta’s health care queue
Then, unexpectedly, there were the testimony concerning Helios – which revealed that non-urgent patients referred by the private clinic to Calgary’s Forzani and MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre, jointly run by Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary Medical School out of a public hospital, were being fast-tracked for tests after waits of about three weeks, while other patients had to wait up to three years. Additional testimony yesterday revealed that some the line jumpers at the Forzani clinic were generous donors to the U of C.
President Obama Releases Ad Blasting VP Hopeful Paul Ryan’s Stance On Medicare [VIDEO]
Now that Mitt Romney has announced Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, President Obama has honed in on the aspiring vice president’s short comings. Ryan has been criticized for his stance on Medicare which he believes should no longer be offered by the government, but adjusted in the form of a stipend given to senior citizens to purchase their own health care.
Daily Kos: “I have to get my hip replaced now, because ObamaCare is cutting that off for old folks”
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How Medicare Measures Hospital Quality
There are many ways that Medicare evaluates hospital quality. Medicare conducts patient surveys (i.e,. HCAHPS). Medicare has hospitals report a variety of process of care measures through the Inpatient Quality Report (IQR) Program. Medicare uses data that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) tool to measure hospital-acquired infection (HAI) rates.
Hip Fracture Surgery Experience In Phoenix, Arizona (My Medicare Father at Banner Thunderbird Hospital, 2012)
I have taken care of many patients with broken hips over the years. Hip fracture carries an incredibly high morbidity and morality. Mobility is the absolute key to survival. If hip fracture patients cannot ambulate again, they can expect a life filled with recurrent complications. Add on the risks associated with Parkinson’s and I fear for my father’s life from any number of complications from aspiration pneumonia and bowel impaction to ileus and pulmonary embolism. The human body was built to move. His key to survival will be acceptance of any limitations, prevention of all falls all the time and continued aggressive physical therapy, without dropping him. Sometimes, it’s best for patients to swallow their pride and accept a walker as their best friend.
Medicare has Limits on Therapy
When you get this type of therapy, often in home or in an outpatient therapy facility, it may be a good idea to see if you can space your visits further apart to avoid running out of therapy mid stream. You may also ask your therapist for literature on how to perform the exercises on your own at a gym or in your house, using the therapy appointments as “follow ups”, to measure range of motion or strength, and to learn new exercises.
FDA To Step Up Evaluation Of Metal Hip Implants, Other Devices
The Wall Street Journal: Metal Hip Implants Face Tighter Controls The Food and Drug Administration is studying whether several medical devices already on the market, such as electroconvulsive therapy devices for depression and emergency defibrillators, require additional evidence to prove they’re safe. As part of that re-evaluation, the federal agency on Thursday proposed that companies making so-called metal-on-metal artificial hip joints produce medical evidence demonstrating their safety in order to stay on the market (Burton, 1/17).
The ABCs (and D) of Medicare
Medicare helps pay for health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses. Medicare is divided into four parts: Part A, generally called hospital insurance, covers services associated with inpatient hospital care (including an overnight stay in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or psychiatric hospital). Part A also covers hospice care, home health care and medications received while in the hospital. Part B covers your doctor bills and other outpatient services. Some of the bills covered include medical equipment, lab tests and rehab. Doctor’s services are paid by Part B whether received in the hospital or in the doctor’s office. While Part A covers medicines received while in the hospital, medicines administered in a doctor’s office are covered by Part B. Other services covered under Part B include ambulance service, preventive care and annual wellness visits. Part C is a different creature altogether. Instead of covering specific benefits, Part C offers you a different way to receive your Medicare benefits. Basically, Part C is an insurance package that covers Part A, Part B and sometimes even Part D benefits. Part C is often referred to as Medicare Advantage. Part D covers prescription drugs, including insulin supplies and some vaccines. The only way to get prescription coverage is to enroll in a Part D drug plan or to join a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription coverage. Services not covered by Medicare: Medicare covers services that it deems "medically necessary". Not included in this definition are vision, hearing and dental care. Also, nursing home care and medical services received outside the United States are not covered. Example of how Medicare coverage works: Assume you break your hip and go into the hospital for four days for treatment. Medicare Part B covers the cost of taking an ambulance to the hospital. Medicare Part A covers your expenses while in the hospital, such as your room, meals, and nursing care. Part A also covers the cost of the emergency room and medications received while you are in the hospital. Medicare Part B pays for your doctor bills, physical therapy and the cost of using a wheelchair. Note that your doctor bills are covered whether you see your doctor while in the hospital or at the doctor’s office.
Younger, Taller More Likely To Require Hip Revision
Its findings closely resemble a report published last October that finds for seniors between the ages of 65 to 75, the revision rate for a hip implant was 47 percent higher than for those patients over the age of 75. In the study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, men were 23 percent more likely to need a second procedure than women.