Archive for April, 2010

Medicare.gov updated for ease of use

The Centers for Medicare & medicaid services has posted a new and easier to use version of www.medicare.gov, the Medicare consumer-focused website.

Growing Use of Imaging Diagnostics for Medicare Patients with Cancer Drives Up Costs

April 30, 2010 – From 1999 through 2006 the use of diagnostic imaging for Medicare patients with cancer increased, with the use of positron emission tomography. Imaging costs for these patients also increased, outpacing the rate of increase in total costs among Medicare …

Humana Medicare Products to Be Distributed Nationwide Through eHealth

LOUISVILLE, KY and MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA– Medicare products. In the coming months, eHealth will distribute Humana‘s Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and Part D (prescription drug

Florida Congress members introduce bill to stiffen Medicare fraud laws

Two members of Congress from Florida, emphasizing that “criminal penalties for Medicare fraud must be updated,” have introduced legislation that would “double fines, increase background checks and even study how biometric technology could help ensure the appropriate use of program services.” Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Ron Klein, D-Fla., said the bill “will help crack [...]

Coventry, Via Christi working on Medicare product

Coventry health care is working with Via Christi Health to develop a Medicare Advantage product that will be offered beginning in 2011, Coventry chairman and CEO Allen Wise said today.

Medicare action not seen as fix

Congress has stepped in to prevent Medicare cuts to doctors by passing legislation that apparently no one likes. The action corrects one problem but prolongs another, doctors and federal officials said. It cancels what would have been a 21 percent cut in reimbursements for serving patients on Medicare, but it does so without providing a [...]

Seniors often don’t choose best quality Medicare Advantage plans, study finds

The Associated Press: “Millions of seniors signed up for popular Medicare advantage insurance plans don’t get the best quality, an independent study found. How the private plans score on a quality rating system set up by the government is about to have a direct impact on insurers’ finances — not to mention seniors’ benefits and [...]

HealthSpring 1Q profit jumps on Medicare Advantage

Insurer HealthSpring said Thursday its first-quarter profit climbed 64 percent, topping Wall Street expectations on a boost in Medicare Advantage premiums.

Managed Health, Inc. Fined $1 Million For Violations Relating To the Medicare Advantage Program

New York, April 29, 2010 — Managed Health, Inc. , and the New York State Insurance Department have agreed to a settlement, including a fine of $1 million, for infractions relating to MHI’s failure to properly license its sales agents in regard to its Medicare Advantage business and to timely adjudicate and pay claims related [...]

Medicare reacts to quality study

Washington — A Medicare spokesman says a report on the quality of popular Medicare advantage insurance plans validates the goals of the health care law.

Majority of Those in Medicare Advantage Not Enrolled in Top Ranked Plans

April 29, 2010 – The majority of people in the Medicare advantage program are currently not enrolled in the highest-quality plans, despite the existence of a star rating system that assesses quality for MA plans, says a new analysis released by Avalere Health.

Medicare fraud penalties tougher under proposed bill

The legislation would hike fines and jail time for those who cheat the Medicare system.

Medicare Advantage Quality Study: Seniors Not Signing Up For The Best Plans

What’s Your Reaction? Washington — Millions of seniors signed up for popular Medicare advantage insurance plans don’t get the best quality, an independent study found.

Physicians ask patients to sign Medicare petition

Oklahoma doctors are urging patients to sign an online petition asking Congress to fix the Medicare reimbursement formula.

Imaging costs for Medicare cancer patients on the rise

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data from Medicare cancer patients to determine the change in imaging use for this group.