Archive for February, 2008

Some Callers Reach Sex Line Instead Of Medicare

Western Pennsylvania callers who want “Medicare Information” should not check the 2007 White Pages published by Verizon.

AMA concurs with MedPAC; Medicare should pay physicians based on practice costs

“Once again, Congress‘ own advisory committee on Medicare has called for Congress to update payments to physicians to reflect medical practice cost increases in order to ensure that seniors’ have continued access to physician care.

Costs Under Private Medicare Advantage Plans Higher Than Traditional Medicare For Some Beneficiaries, GAO Report Finds

Private Medicare advantage plans can cost beneficiaries more than traditional Medicare for home health care, nursing homes and certain hospital stays, according to a report released on Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, the New York Times reports.

Medicare Advantage Plans Higher Than Traditional Medicare for Some Seniors

Feb. 29, 2008 – Private Medicare advantage plans can cost beneficiaries more than traditional Medicare for home health care, nursing homes and certain hospital stays, according to a report released on Thursday by the Government Accountability Office , the New York Times reports.

CMS Program Identifies 371.5 Million Dollars In Improper Medicare Payments In Three States

The Centers for Medicare & medicaid services in California, Florida and New York in 2007. Nearly $440 million has been collected since the program began in 2005.

New National Poll: Majority Of American Voters Oppose Bush Administration’s Proposed Cuts To Medicare

As Congress prepares to begin debate on the Bush Administration’s proposed FY 2009 budget containing five-year, $24 billion cuts to Medicare‘s nursing home benefit, a new national survey conducted by Zogby International for the American health care Association finds 63 percent of likely voters oppose the cut while nearly half “strongly oppose” the Administration proposal.

Federal Government Ordered To Pay For Medicare Miscalculation

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to reimburse Massachusetts hospitals up to $200 million because of an improperly calculated Medicare reimbursement rate.

GAO Confirms That Medicare Advantage Yields Savings for Seniors

Washington, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Medicare advantage plans continue to provide high-value health care coverage to millions of seniors according to estimates and projections released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Medicare, Health Care, and Megabucks

A new government report forecasts big growth in health-care spending.

Acting CMS Administrator Weems Outlines Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Program Participation Rates

About 99,000 physicians — or about 16% of those eligible to participate in the Medicare quality reporting program — submitted reports at least once during the 2007 reporting period, acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems wrote in a recent letter to the Senate Finance Committee, CQ HealthBeat reports.

BCBSA Statement On GAO Report On Medicare Advantage

In response to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s report on Medicare Advantage (MA) released today, Scott P. Serota, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), issued the following statement:

San Francisco Chronicle Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Related To Medicare

The San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday published two opinion pieces that discuss issues related to Medicare. Summaries appear below.

Health Insurers to Collect $54 Billion From Medicare, U.S. Says

Feb. 28 — Private health insurers, including UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc.., will collect $54 billion more from Medicare than the government would spend providing care directly over the next four years, a U.S. auditor said.

Congressional Democrats Might Use Budget Reconciliation Process To Pass Medicare Bill

Leaders of the House and Senate Budget committees on Tuesday said that they might use the fiscal year 2009 budget reconciliation process to pass a Medicare bill with a provision to prevent a scheduled 10% reduction in physician reimbursements, CQ Today reports.

Prime Health Services expands Medicare network

US-based Prime Health services, a national preferred provider organization, has added Medicare and Medicare Advantage access to its national network offering.