Archive for January, 2010

Is your doctor a Medicare provider?

Columnist clears up confusing coverage terms

Corrections & Clarifications

A story on Medicare fraud misstated the attorney general’s estimate of annual losses: $60 billion a year includes private health care systems.

Medicare pay overhaul heats up as health reform moves to back burner

In a newly uncertain political environment, physicians and seniors try to refocus debate on Medicare doctor pay. Without action, cuts will take effect March 1.

Protection from prying eyes: Physician Medicare data stays confidential

A federal appeals court ruled against a company’s request for Medicare claims data, saying that would violate a 31-year-old injunction against revealing individual payment information.

Hackensack on list of best Medicare hospitals

Five New Jersey hospitals, including Hackensack University Medical Center and Clara Maass Medical Center in Essex County, are ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals Nationwide, based on their care of Medicare patients, according to a private rating service.

Been thinking about Medicare Part B?

If you are covered under Medicare Part A, but originally opted not to apply for Medicare Part B, now’s your opportunity to enroll in Part B. The general enrollment period runs from Jan. 1 through March 31.

Medicare cuts will adversely affect seniors and baby boomers

Unless the U.S. Senate acts, on March 1, seniors in Tennessee will wake up facing a new reality where access to health care and choice of physician is severely limited – a Medicare meltdown due to a drastic 21 percent payment cut to physicians caring for Medicare patients.

Bonus pay for doctors reshaping medicare

Jay Mercer’s efforts to get more of his patients to undergo cancer screening are starting to pay off: early detection resulted in one woman having her cervical cancer cured and gave another high hopes…

White House wants to scale up war on Medicare fraud

The White House plans to ask Congress to increase funding for fighting Medicare fraud by 80 percent, in hopes of curbing billions of dollars in abuses, Dow Jones Newswires/NASDAQ reports. Already, “The administration has stepped up enforcement and prevention efforts targeting Medicare claims. Rather than rely on tips, it has begun combining Medicare claims data [...]

Cardiologists battle Medicare over payment cuts

In a striking example of the conflict between controlling healthcare costs and providing quality service, a group of South Miami cardiologists has written a letter to patients complaining that huge cuts in Medicare rates may force many heart specialists out of business or mean reduced services for their patients.

Four Reno-area nursing homes gets low Medicare ratings

Four of nine nursing homes in Reno, Sparks and Carson City received poor ratings in overall quality, according to Medicare data released Thursday.

Medicare Releases New Nursing Home Star Ratings, 1 in 5 Nursing Homes Receive Poor Ratings

USA Today released Medicare‘s latest ratings for nursing homes across the country Thursday — and the paper is reporting that 1 in 5 received poor marks.

Utah House: Medicare cards won’t be valid voter ID

By BROCK VERGAKIS Associated Press Writer SALT LAKE CITY – Older voters in Utah won’t be allowed to use their Medicare cards as a valid form of identification at the ballot box because state lawmakers fear illegal immigrants would use them to vote. The Utah House voted down a measure Thursday 47-27 that would have [...]

California Senate Passes Medicare for All Legislation

by California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee SACRAMENTO – To ecstatic applause from healthcare advocates, the California Senate today breathed new life into national prospects for fundamental health reform by passing on a 22 to 14 vote a major bill to guarantee healthcare in the state through creating a Medicare for all system that would [...]

House shoots down Medicare card as voter ID

A sharply divided Utah House rejected a bill Thursday that would have allowed voters to show a Medicare card as identification at the polls in November.