Millions of seniors enrolled in some of the most popular Medicare prescription drug plans face double-digit premium hikes

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By Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar on September 25, 2012. WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of seniors enrolled in some of the most popular Medicare prescription drug plans face double-digit premium hikes next year if they don’t shop for a better deal, says a private firm that analyzes the highly competitive market. Seven of the top 10 prescription […]

Through the Affordable Care Act, Americans with Medicare will save $5,000 through 2022

HHS.gov: September 21, 2012 5.5 million seniors saved money on prescription drugs and 19 million got free preventive care in 2012 Because of the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – the average person with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022, according to a report today from the U.S. Department of […]

Medicare Bills Rise as Records Turn Electronic

Nytimes.com: By REED ABELSON, JULIE CRESWELL and GRIFF PALMER. Published: September 21, 2012 When the federal government began providing billions of dollars in incentives to push hospitals and physicians to use electronic medical and billing records, the goal was not only to improve efficiency and patient safety, but also to reduce health care costs. But, in reality, the move to electronic […]

New Year to Bring New Medicare Taxes, Raise Money for the Program

Medicarenewsgroup.com: September 20, 2012. Medicare finances are already complex, but 2013 will bring a new and confusing tax burden on wealthier Americans. This is because of a change in the payroll tax rate and a new surtax on investments. The combined new payroll tax and surtax is expected to raise $210 billion over a 10-year period. […]

Medicare Advantage remains strong

Hhs.gov: September 19, 2012 Enrollment in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is projected to increase by 11 percent in the next year and premiums will remain steady, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 10 percent and enrollment has […]

How doctors and hospitals have collected billions in questionable Medicare fees

Publicintegrity.org: September 15, 2012 Center investigation suggests costs from upcoding and other abuses likely top $11 billion Thousands of doctors and other medical professionals have steadily billed higher rates for treating elderly patients on Medicare over the last decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees and signaling a possible rise in medical billing […]

Hospital Readmission Rates Dropping Slightly, New Study Finds

Capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org: By Jordan Rau SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2012, 11:44 AM A new government analysis has found that hospital readmission rates of Medicare patients have fallen more than previously reported, bolstering hope that hospitals are having some success at tackling this stubborn and expensive problem. Hospital readmissions have been getting extensive attention as a new penalty program kicks in […]

Spending Differences Associated With the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration

American Medical Association.: September 12, 2012 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently launched accountable care organization (ACO) programs designed to improve quality and slow cost growth. The ACOs resemble an earlier pilot, the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration (PGPD), in which participating physician groups received bonus payments if they achieved lower cost growth […]

Consumer Inertia and Firm Pricing in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Insurance Exchange

National Bureau of Economic Research: 9/6/12 I use the Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance market to examine the dynamics of firm interaction with consumers on an insurance exchange. Enrollment data show that consumers face switching frictions leading to inertia in plan choice, and a regression discontinuity design indicates initial defaults have persistent effects. In the […]

Recessions, Older Workers, and Longevity: How Long Are Recessions Good For Your Health?

National Bureau of Economic Research: 9/6/12 This paper examines the impact of exposure to higher unemployment rates in the pre-retirement years on subsequent mortality. Although past research has found that recessions reduce contemporaneous mortality, these short-term effects may reverse over time, particularly for older workers. If workers experience an economic downturn in their late 50s, they […]

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