May 29, 2014 The agency that runs Medicare said it doesn't plan to review the billings of doctors who almost always charge for the most expensive visits because it isn't cost-effective to do so.
May 21, 2014 Medicare told doctors to admit patients expected to stay in the hospital through two midnights or longer. Then Medicare said it wouldn't enforce the rules, adding to the controversy.
Medicare has new power to police doctors whose prescribing patterns are out of whack.
May 20, 2014 Medicare gives itself the power to ban doctors if they prescribe medications in abusive ways. The action follows a ProPublica series that found inappropriate prescribing, waste and fraud.
Doctors who bill the federal government for a lot of services may be gaming the system, but there also may be a reasonable explanation.
Aslan Alphan/Getty Images
May 17, 2014 The government recently released a trove of information on how much doctors are charging Medicare. It does seem like some doctors are overcharging, but the explanation of high fees can be complicated.
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Walter Bianco's liver is severely damaged by hepatitis C, but insurers had refused to pay for the medications that could cure him.
Alexandra Olgin for NPR
May 16, 2014 This policy change would pay for treatment with a combination of new, expensive drugs for patients who haven't responded to older treatment regimens and are approaching or have cirrhosis of the liver.
May 15, 2014 Two new drugs for hepatitis C can save lives. They are also wildly expensive, costing $66,000 to $84,000 per person. Insurers face paying billions for treatment, or explicitly rationing vital care.
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May 15, 2014 Recently released Medicare data show that 1,800 doctors and other health providers nearly always charge Medicare the highest rate for patient care. Experts challenge the legitimacy of the charges.
May 12, 2014 A treatment that is appropriate for one patient can be unnecessary or even counterproductive for another. But Harvard researchers found a way to estimate truly wasteful Medicare spending.
New data show how much individual physicians received in 2012 from Medicare.
April 9, 2014 Physicians and health data specialists caution that the information can be easily misconstrued. Some cancer doctors receive payments that cover the cost of expensive drugs for patients.
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Data released Wednesday about Medicare payments to doctors in 2012 have raised questions, but some experts warn against drawing "sweeping conclusions" from the numbers.
April 9, 2014 Fresh figures show that a relatively small number of doctors received a significant share of Medicare payments in 2012. But analysts warn against jumping to conclusions about what that means.
Dr. Cheryl Focht checks a patient's eyes at Mary's Center, a federally funded health clinic in Washington, D.C.
April 1, 2014 Federally funded health clinics serve all comers, and people pay fees based on a sliding scale. That's one option for people who didn't sign up for health insurance on the exchanges.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after House Republicans passed a measure Friday that would overhaul the system Medicare uses to pay doctors.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
March 14, 2014 House Republicans passed a bill that would change Medicare's pay formula for doctors. To fund it, the measure would delay penalties for people who don't buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
A snippet of the data ProPublica obtained from the federal government about Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit for seniors.
January 23, 2014 After successful legal challenges, Medicare will soon begin to release data about how much it pays doctors. The details remain unknown, but three recent projects offer clues. Don't expect an app or website that will be easy for consumers to use.
How about back surgery, a cardiac catheterization and an MRI scan?
January 9, 2014 Supplemental insurance plans shield millions of people from Medicare's deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Some health economists have criticized these so-called Medigap plans for inflating health care spending by encouraging people to seek care they don't really need.
January 6, 2014 Health care costs grew at 3.7 percent in 2012, the fourth year of a trend of smaller annual increases. The Obama administration says that the Affordable Care Act is a factor. But the actuaries who wrote the report beg to differ, saying the recession is a more likely cause.
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