Thursday, December 08, 2011
December 8, 2011 KHNEfforts to cut federal spending are targeting a program that gives higher Medicare reimbursements to small hospitals in rural areas. Some observers say the program has gotten so big, it's propping up hospitals that are neither critical to a community nor isolated.
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011
December 7, 2011 KHNA three-day extension is available to seniors who seek official help with their decision today. To qualify, people need to call a Medicare hotline or an official Medicare partner for help.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
November 30, 2011 KHNMedicare will now cover screening and counseling for obesity as a free preventive service. Advocates hope the decision will encourage private insurers and Medicaid to do the same.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
November 8, 2011 KHNPatients in those places gave some of the lowest evaluations of their hospital stays, Medicare data show. The surveys asked patients how well their doctors and nurses communicated, whether their pain was always handled welland whether their rooms were clean and quiet.
Monday, October 24, 2011
October 24, 2011 The annual "open enrollment" period for joining or changing prescription drug or private health plans is already under way. But the new dates are only one of several changes Medicare enrollees need to be aware of this year.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
October 19, 2011 A decline in the admission of Medicare patients to hospitals for treatment of heart failure saves at least $4.1 billion a year, a new study finds. Better treatment of coronary artery disease and high blood pressure may help explain the decline.
Friday, October 14, 2011
October 14, 2011 The administration has pulled the plug on the CLASS Act, a part of health overhaul that is supposed to provide a modest cash benefit to the elderly for the purchase of long-term care services at home. The actuaries couldn't get the finances to work.
October 14, 2011 KHNThe annual enrollment period for privately run Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug benefits starts Saturday, rather than in mid-November as in past years. The deadline for enrollment has also been pushed up — to Dec. 7 from Dec. 31.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
October 5, 2011 KHNAs Medicare moves to link hospital payments to the costs and quality of care, hospitals that serve large minority populations could get hurt. That's one implication of an analysis that looks at the cost and quality of care given at individual hospitals across the nation.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
September 15, 2011 KHNThe plans offered by health insurance companies are an alternative to traditional, government fee-for-service Medicare. Nearly 12 million seniors are in the plans, about one-quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Friday, September 09, 2011
September 9, 2011 KHNMedicare Administration Dr. Donald Berwick will now eat his own health insurance cooking. He started signing up for coverage earlier this week and hopes to have his Medicare card within a few weeks. He said he's getting no special treatment in the application process.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
August 23, 2011 The new bundling proposal would turn Medicare's payment system on its head. Rather than paying hospitals, doctors, and post-hospital caregivers separately, Medicare would provide a single payment for, say, heart attack care.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
July 27, 2011 A study finds the Medicare drug benefit is trimming around $12 billion in yearly spending on medical care. The savings are not enough to offset the total costs of the program.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
July 26, 2011 HCA Holdings, the biggest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S., reported lower earnings than expected in the latest quarter due mainly to a decline in surgical cases.
Monday, July 25, 2011
July 25, 2011 Most trims to Medicare's budget have not directly affected care for beneficiaries. Instead cuts in Medicare spending have been directed at hospitals, doctors and nursing homes.
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