End-of-Life Talks May Finally Overcome Politics

JP ADVANCE 1 thumbStandard End of Life Talks May Finally Overcome PoliticsMedicare may cover advance care planning that was once decried as “death panels,” and some private insurers are not waiting for the political process.

Gin and Tonic, Revised Downward

30up twist thumbStandard Gin and Tonic, Revised DownwardSince the government is spending less on Medicare, it seemed like a good idea to spend less on a much-loved cocktail.

Medicare Will Settle Short-Term Care Bills

Under the proposed settlement, hospital claims involving inpatient stays that are now under appeal would be paid at the rate of 68 cents for every dollar billed.

How to Complain to Medicare

Revealed: the semi-secret phone numbers that beneficiaries are supposed to use to complain to Medicare.

How to Complain to Medicare

Revealed: the semi-secret phone numbers that beneficiaries are supposed to use to complain to Medicare.

Medicare: Not Such a Budget-Buster Anymore

Estimates of future medical spending keep falling. The changes are projected to save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

When Five-Star Care Is Substandard

Medicare’s rating system masks serious and potentially dangerous deficiencies at many nursing homes.

Four-Star Disappointments

Medicare’s rating system for nursing homes is seriously flawed, The Times reports.

Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the System

NURSING 1 thumbStandard Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the SystemMedicare’s five-year-old rating system to help families select nursing homes relies on unverified, incomplete and often misleading data.

Part D Gains May Be Eroding

More Medicare beneficiaries are not taking prescribed medications or forgoing basic needs to pay for them, a new study finds.

Medicare Advantage Is More Expensive, but It May Be Worth It

19up health thumbStandard Medicare Advantage Is More Expensive, but It May Be Worth ItNew research raises complicated questions about the value of an alternative to traditional Medicare.

Medicare to Start Paying Doctors Who Coordinate Needs of Chronically Ill Patients

Starting in January, Medicare will pay monthly fees to doctors who manage care for patients with two or more chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Contractors Faulted as Medicare Fraud Foils Enforcers

16medicare pic thumbStandard Contractors Faulted as Medicare Fraud Foils EnforcersOnly a fraction of an estimated $60 billion in fraud and overcharging was recovered last year, and the system to combat fraud may be largely to blame.

The Obscure Drug With a Growing Medicare Tab

05up medicare thumbStandard The Obscure Drug With a Growing Medicare TabExperts question the effectiveness of H.P. Acthar Gel, a drug made from pigs’ pituitary glands. Yet it cost Medicare more than $141 million in 2012, up from $7 million in 2008.

Top Medicare Prescribers for Acthar Have Links to Its Maker

05up medicareside thumbStandard Top Medicare Prescribers for Acthar Have Links to Its MakerThe top four prescribers of the drug were promotional speakers, researchers or consultants.