New Data Shows Affordable Care Act Reforms Are Leading to Lower Hospital Readmission Rates for Medicare Beneficiaries

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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In addition, this trend is widespread across the country. To see how rates are changing at the local level, we compared readmission rates over the first eight months of 2013 to the average rates for 2007-2011 in local health care markets. We found that this year’s readmission rates were at least a half a percentage point lower in 76 percent of local markets (232 of the 306). Fewer than 10 percent of local markets had higher rates. Using the same comparison, readmission rates also went down in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The only state that did not see a decrease – Utah – already had one of the lowest readmission rates in the country.
Source: cms.gov

Video: medicare vs medicaid

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: A Case Study

Solution: Using Apex and VisualForce, Buan implemented RECON, CMS’s highly customized, sophisticated Salesforce solution-with CRM functionality for accounts and contacts, an activity calendar, a custom object cloning feature, and a tagging system that categorizes organizations, events, and marketing campaigns.
Source: buanconsulting.com

Washington state to try dual Medicaid

Jane Beyer, assistant secretary for Behavioral Health and Service Integration in the state Department of Social and Health Services, said she expects the program to “reduce health disparities and better fit care with client needs, especially for people with complex-care needs.”
Source: seattletimes.com

Daily Kos: Paul Ryan adds Medicare and Medicaid to the ransom note

So far from taking Obamacare off the table, Ryan says he was expanding the playing field to include Medicare and Medicaid as well. Sure, he acknowledged that Obamacare can’t be fully repealed through through the shutdown threat, but: “We’re not saying stop going after Obamacare,” he said. “We’re saying add these other things to this list because we think they’re in this country’s interest, and by the way, in some of these instances, entitlement reform, I think the president might be willing to do this.” When he wrote the op-ed, Ryan might have been trying to limit the scope of the GOP’s demands. But faced with little more than Twitter backlash and a question from Antonin Scalia’s favorite news source, he’s now written an even bigger check for the GOP leadership to cash.
Source: dailykos.com

Medicare and Medicaid, Age and Income

Yet, this trend masks a great deal of variation between race and Hispanic origin groups.  As the figures show, the non-Hispanic white population is the only group that participates more in Medicare than Medicaid.  Given that to be eligible for Medicare, participants must be 65 and older, one of the biggest reasons for this is the different age distributions among these groups, and the non-Hispanic white population is much older than the other groups. For instance, in 2012, 17 percent of non-Hispanic whites were 65 and older compared with 10 percent of blacks, 10 percent of Asians and 6 percent of Hispanics. Moreover, with the large non-Hispanic white baby-boom population now starting to enter the Medicare-eligible age group, higher Medicare coverage rates for non-Hispanic whites will continue for some time.
Source: census.gov

Washington state tries Medicare

The program could affect some recipients of private disability insurance or long-term care insurance (LTCI) benefits who qualify for Medicare, either because they are older than 65 or are severely disabled, and who also qualify for Medicaid, because they meet state income and asset eligibility guidelines.
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Democurmudgeon: MacIver Institute pushes Government Broken Promises, like Medicare/Medicaid Cuts to Nursing Homes. GOP backed Sequestration at fault.

While little is said about the GOP’s successful efforts to trip up the Affordable Care Act, you’d think that maybe just one reporter would question Scott Walker’s claim the government will probably break its promise funding Medicaid’s expansion. “There’s a history of broken promises.” Democrats won’t Cut Safety Nets, so Who’s Breaking those Promises?: Perhaps its a matter of projection? After all, Paul Ryan Republicans want to scale back our the safety nets (hammocks). The GOP has been saying all along that the government “made promises they couldn’t keep” regarding Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. If you can’t keep your promises, break them, right? The MacIver Institute toadies for the Walker Authority kindly offered an example I could finally fact check. In a damning piece of intentional deception, Sec. of Health Services Kitty Rhoades feigned moral outrage over recent unexpected Medicare/Medicaid cuts to nursing homes. The dreaded “broken promise.”  But that’s not the whole story, and they know it. Republicans created this problems, just so they could complain about it:
Source: blogspot.com

What happens to my HSA when I become eligible for Medicare?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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In summary, if you are currently enrolled in any part of Medicare then you are ineligible to open and contribute to an HSA. If you have an existing HSA and turn 65 during the year in which you have it, you will be eligible to contribute a pro-rated amount to your account but will no longer be eligible to make contributions starting the first month you are enrolled in Medicare. However, you can still use any money left in your HSA on eligible expenses tax-free, and you can even use your HSA to pay for your Medicare premiums. Plus, turning 65 allows you to take money out of your HSA for non-eligible expenses without the 20% penalty! Just pay taxes on funds used for non-eligible expenses, similar to how you spend from your 401k.
Source: tangohealth.com

Video: Medicare Annual Enrollment Period 2014

Ask The Experts: Retirement

A. You should keep your FEHB enrollment and enroll in Medicare Part A. It will be free because you’ve already paid for it through payroll deductions. Whether you should enroll in Part B is up to you. You’ll need to compare the cost with the benefits, keeping in mind that your current health is only part of the equation. You also need to consider what your future needs might be.
Source: federaltimes.com

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Ends on December 7

Prescription drug coverage: Some Medicare Advantage plans may include prescription drug coverage and are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. Like stand-alone drug plans, these plans each have their own drug formulary, or list of covered drugs. If you take a specific drug, then you should be sure that your new plan will cover it or you may find yourself paying more out-of-pocket. In addition, if your plan does not include prescription drug coverage, then you may enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan. However, some Medicare Advantage plans do not allow enrollment in a separate drug plan.
Source: planprescriber.com

Ask the pharmacist: Expert advice for navigating Medicare Part D enrollment

* Know the basics: You are eligible for Medicare Part D when you turn 65. Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, 2013, and ends on Dec. 7, 2013. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be able to enroll again until fall of 2014, unless you qualify for a special election period. If you’re eligible (age 65), and neglect to enroll in Medicare Part D on time, you will be faced with a penalty when you do join the program.
Source: diggernews.com

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Ends on December 7

The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), also known as the Annual Enrollment Period, occurs from October 15 to December 7 of each year and it gives beneficiaries the chance to shop around for a new Medicare plan. This includes making changes to their Medicare Advantage (MA) and/or Medicare Part D coverage for the following year. With only a few days left in this enrollment window, it is important for beneficiaries to make sure that they are enrolled in the right Medicare plan(s) for their needs for the following year, for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period may be one of the only times they can make changes to their health and drug coverage.
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

Take action during the Medicare open enrollment

According to a recent survey, more than 60 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have never shopped around to find health or prescription drug coverage that might better suit their needs, despite their annual opportunity to do so during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7). That’s unfortunate because Medicare is not a one-size-fits-all program, and a lot can change in a year in terms of people’s health status and budget, as well as the plans that are available. Perhaps even more concerning is the confusion surrounding the new state health insurance marketplaces (also called “exchanges”). The survey found that more than a third of older adults who are aware of the exchanges incorrectly believe that Medicare beneficiaries can shop for and enroll in Medicare coverage through them. Simply put: People cannot enroll in Medicare plans through the exchanges. Decisions about health coverage are important and personal. I encourage the more than 270,200 Medicare beneficiaries in the Las Vegas area as well as their caregivers to take action during open enrollment by evaluating their options and deciding if they should switch to a new plan that would better meet their needs. The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare began on Oct. 15 and continues until Dec. 7. Like in years past, people can shop for and compare plans in their area at www.Medicare.gov. Marc Briggs is the regional vice president of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement in Las Vegas. Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the largest business dedicated to the health and well-being of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries.
Source: lasvegastribune.net

Carriers slam Medicare Advantage moves

“The impact of the MA funding cuts is likely to continue to grow in 2015 and beyond.  The continued phase-in of the ACA reductions, in combination with the end of the Quality Bonus Demonstration Project and the other cuts cited above, means it is imperative that MA plans be provided with the flexibility to implement delivery system reforms that have the potential to promote quality and efficiency and will allow them to continue their efforts to demonstrate improved Star Ratings,” the letter said.  
Source: benefitspro.com

Medicare beneficiaries confused about enrollment

HealthPocket analysts said there are a lot of important insurance decisions left to make in only a month’s time. They said that “plans change from one year to the next and purchasers should use the annual enrollment period to assess their needs and the plans that are most likely to meet them.”
Source: benefitspro.com

Medicare and Affordable Care Act

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Source: bankrate.com

VIDEO: Tips for Medicare Enrollment

The dates and process to enroll in Medicare are different from those enrolling through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to understand that their enrollment and eligibility haven’t changed because of healthcare reform.
Source: express-scripts.com

It’s Open Enrollment Season For Medicare And Medicare Advantage

With original Medicare, you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare patients. But there are gaps in coverage for such things as deductibles and co-pays. You may be responsible for paying 20% of your medical bills, for example. As a result, many people with original Medicare buy supplemental Medigap insurance to cover those costs.
Source: investors.com