Archive for June, 2007

30,000 In Health Plan Taken Out, Out, Out

TAMPA – Federal officials quietly canceled enrollments of about 30,000 Medicare beneficiaries from the troubled Any, Any, Any health insurance plan soon after its launch Jan. 1 and are withholding money from the company’s payments as reimbursement for premiums covering months they were enrolled, government and company officials confirmed this week. Read more here…

Patient Advocates, Physicians, Lawmakers Call For Changes To Medicare Dialysis Drug Reimbursements

The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee on Tuesday held a hearing to consider proposals to revise the Medicare reimbursement system for anemia medications administered to kidney dialysis patients, Dow Jones reports. Several studies in recent years have found that the system provides an incentive for dialysis centers to overprescribe anemia medications, according to CMS. [...]

Payment Cuts for All Medicare Advantage Plans Would Save $54 Billion

June 29, 2007 – Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag on Thursday at a House Budget Committee hearing said that a reduction of reimbursements to private fee-for-service plans in Medicare Advantage would not result in large savings, CQ HealthBeat reports. Read more here…

Fla. firm owner guilty of Medicare fraud

A Florida-based medical equipment company owner has been convicted of defrauding Medicare, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Read more here…

MAKE Technologies and IBM Canada Announce a $3.2 Million Medicare Legacy System Modernization Project for the …

Vancouver, BC, June 29, 2007–(T-Net)–MAKE Technologies, an industry leader in application modernization, announced a formal contract has been signed with the Government of New Brunswick to provide a Medicare Legacy Modernization Solution, in partnership with IBM Canada Limited and Barrington Technology Partners Inc. The modernization portion of the contract to replace the existing Medicare … [...]

AAKP Asks Representative Berman To Sign Legislation Extending Medicare Part B Coverage Of Immunosuppressive Medications

On Thursday, June 28, 2007, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) joined several members of the kidney community in requesting U.S. House of Representative Howard L. Berman to join more than two-dozen members of Congress in becoming an original cosponsor of legislation that would extend Medicare Part B coverage of immunosuppressive medications. [click link [...]

Newspapers Address Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans

Several newspapers recently published articles addressing Medicare. Summaries appear below. [click link for full article] Read more here…

Medical Imaging Companies Lobby Lawmakers To Reverse Medicare Physician Payment Cuts For Imaging Services

Companies in the medical imaging equipment industry are lobbying Congress to overturn Medicare cuts that took effect in January, the AP/Arizona Daily Star reports. The cuts reduced Medicare reimbursements to doctors for performing X-rays, MRIs and other tests. For example, reimbursements to doctors for MRI scans have decreased an average of 38% Nationwide. The cuts [...]

Caregiving: Hospital heart data useful?

The Centers for Medicare and medicaid services released its first comparison of death rates from heart attack and heart failure, which some characterize as a baby step in addressing hospital care. Read more here…

RedPath Integrated Pathology Awarded Medicare Reimbursement Coverage for PathFinderTG

RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc. (“RedPath”) announced today that its genomic-based cancer diagnostic test, PathFinderTG®, has been approved by Highmark Medicare services for reimbursement coverage. Read more here…

AMA doctors tackle Medicare payment reform at meeting

CHICAGO â€? AMA doctors spoke with one voice at the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago today, calling on Congress to stop Medicare physician payment cuts and instead update payments in line with practice cost increases. Read more here…

UConn Health Center Settles Case Of Alleged Medicare Overcharging

The University of Connecticut Health Center has agreed to pay more than $475,000 to settle allegations that it overcharged Medicare for cancer treatments. Read more here…

Medicare Payments Favor HMOs Over Providers – Healthcare Association Of New York State

A report released by the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) shows that federal Medicare reimbursement to hospitals and health systems is failing to keep up with the rising costs of delivering care. [click link for full article] Read more here…

AHIP, Private Mediare Plan Providers Institute Moratorium On Sales In Response To Recent Aging Committee Hearing – USA

Seven insurance companies, which together account for 90 percent of the private fee-for-service (pffs) Medicare Advantage market, have voluntarily agreed to temporarily terminate the marketing and sales of their Medicare private fee-for-service plans to individuals in response to a May 16 hearing held by the U.S. [click link for full article] Read more here…

Rep. Dingell Blasts Medicare Advantage Plans’ Sales Tactics at Hearing

June 26, 2007 – A House subcommittee hearing today opened with a blistering statement of charges and penetrating questions from Democratic Congressman John D. Dingell, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read more here…