Archive for March, 2007

Stark introduces universal health care bill

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, introduced a bill Thursday to provide universal health care based on Medicare and employment-based coverage. Read the rest: Read more here…

CMS Publishes Rule On Transplant Center Medicare Eligibility

CMS on Friday in the Federal Register published the final version of a rule that transplant centers must follow to participate in Medicare, CQ HealthBeat reports. [click link for full article] Read the rest: Read more here…

Senior Citizens May Gain More Access to Temporary Mechanical Hearts

March 30, 2007 – Senior citizens may have greater access to temporary mechanical hearts due to action by the Centers for Medicare & medicaid services (CMS) today that should help additional hospitals become Medicare approved for ventricular assist device (VAD) implantations. Read the rest: Read more here…

Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda went right to the source Friday to get feedback on the health care system.

Boyda held a town hall meeting with workers at Saint Francis health care Center. She says she wanted to hear what doctors, nurses and other staff had to say about issues like Medicare payments and helping people access care. Read the rest: Read more here…

Medicare updates heart device rules

Medicare will approve additional hospitals for ventricular assist device implantations, the U.S. agency said Friday. Read the rest: Read more here…

Mental health system computer problems hinder billing

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Many state mental health facilities for months have not been paid for care of patients covered by Medicare and medicaid because of computer problems at Missouri's Mental Health Department. Read the rest: Read more here…

Stark introduces health care bill

On Thursday Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, introduced a bill to provide universal health care based on Medicare and employment-based coverage. Read the rest: Read more here…

Stark presents universal health bill

On Thursday Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, introduced a bill to provide universal health care based on Medicare and employment-based coverage. Read the rest: Read more here…

Obscure Medicare offers may be painful for seniors

A little-known Medicare open enrollment period starting Sunday could create headaches for seniors considering switching health plans, experts warn. Called the "limited open enrollment period," it allows people in traditional Medicare to sign up for Medicare advantage plans that don't include drug coverage. Open enrollment runs from April 1 through December. Read the rest: Read [...]

Medicare ’45 Percent Rule’ Attacked by Families USA Before Annual Trustees Report

March 29, 2007 – Anticipating drastic actions that will impact people on Medicare resulting from the Medicare Trustee's annual report due to be released by Monday, the Families USA organization has released a report detailing why the "45 percent threshold" has no "real significance." Read the rest: Read more here…

First Phase of Historic Medicare Chiropractic Demonstration Project Comes to a Close

The first phase of the historic Medicare Chiropractic Demonstration Project will come to a close this weekend, ending a two-year program to collect cost and other data related to an expansion of chiropractic services offered in Medicare. Read the rest: Read more here…

Alternative Policies to Medicare Probed: Fraud Unit Cites Aggressive Marketing

By Thomas Goldsmith, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C. Mar. 29–Aggressive insurance salesmen offering alternative Medicare policies have persuaded hundreds of older people across the state to replace their traditional coverage with private insurance that may cost more and do less. Read the rest: Read more here…

Rep. Stark Introduces Legislation That Would Create Mental Health Parity Under Medicare

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair Pete Stark (D-Calif.) last week introduced legislation (HR 1663) that would require parity in mental health services for Medicare beneficiaries, CongressDaily reports. The bill would reduce the copayment for outpatient mental health benefits from 50% to 20%, which is the rate charged for most physical health services. [click [...]

CQ’s Carey Discusses SCHIP, Possible Medicare Advantage Cuts, Genetic Anti-Discrimination Bill

Mary Agnes Carey, associate editor of CQ HealthBeat, examines Senate approval of a cigarette tax increase to expand SCHIP; discussions about possible Medicare Advantage plan cuts to help fund SCHIP and other health programs; and House action on genetic anti-discrimination legislation in this week's "Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ. [click link for [...]

AARP Launches Ad Campaign Urging Lawmakers To Allow Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiations

AARP is launching a newspaper and radio advertisement campaign in 10 states and Washington, D.C., urging the Senate to approve legislation (S 250) that would allow the federal government to negotiate Medicare prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, USA Today reports. [click link for full article] Read the rest: Read more here…