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.

Throwing Money at the Past

sub05Chen thumbStandard Throwing Money at the PastAs medical groups debate a report finding shortcomings in doctor training programs, what’s missing is talk of lack of oversight in such programs, which receive generous public funding.

Newly Insured by Health Law, Millions Face a Learning Curve

JP INSURE 1 thumbStandard Newly Insured by Health Law, Millions Face a Learning CurveThe Affordable Care Act is reaching many people who have not had health insurance in years, if at all, and they are struggling to understand their policies.

Good News and Gloom for Medicare, Wrapped in a Mystery

29up medicare1 1406578781682 thumbStandard Good News and Gloom for Medicare, Wrapped in a MysteryHealth care experts can’t explain the encouraging spending slowdown, but the long-term outlook remains bleak.

Outlook for Medicare Trust Fund Improves, Though Shortfall Looms, Report Finds

Spending on hospital care was lower than expected, but trustees say Medicare and Social Security funds need shoring up.

Paul Ryan and the Party of Ideas

Notes on the House Budget Chairman’s latest proposals.