Hospitals Tally Likely Costs From New Readmissions Penalties By Jordan Rau. AUGUST 24TH, 2012, 8:32 AM Across the country, hospitals are estimating how much money they are going to forfeit when Medicare’s new penalties for excess readmissions kick in. Hospitals are also issuing divergent verdicts on whether they think the program is a good idea or not. Starting in October, 2,211 hospitals will lose a portion […]

HHS announces next steps to promote use of electronic health records and health information exchange August 23, 2012 Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the next steps in the Obama administration’s work to help doctors and hospitals use electronic health records. “The changes we’re announcing today will lead to more coordination of patient care, reduced medical errors, elimination of duplicate screenings and tests and greater patient […]

CBO Says Medicare Spending Growth Slower Than Expected By Sarah Barr, AUGUST 22ND, 2012, 3:31 PM Amid its grim projections for the economy overall, the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday said that Medicare spending growth is slowing, although the program will take up a larger share of the economy in a decade than it does now. In an update to its January report on the nation’s budget and […]

Medicare Fraud Squads Wield New Weapons

KHN: By Sarah Varney KHN Staff Writer AUG 21, 2012 Fighting health care fraud in the U.S. can seem like an endless game of whack-a-mole. When government fraud squads crack down on one scheme, another pops up close by. But the fraud squads who look for scams in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs have some new weapons: tools […]

People with Medicare save more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs August 20, 2012 18 million with Medicare also receive free preventive services in the first seven months of 2012 Nearly 5.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  Seniors […]

Hospitals React To Readmission Penalties By Diane Webber – AUGUST 17TH, 2012, 8:53 AM. This week, a KHN analysis of Medicare data showed that 2,211 hospitals will face penalties in October for having too many patients readmitted for care within 30 days of discharge. Hospital executives around the country have had something to say about those penalties and the new policy. Here’s a round-up […]

Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans 8/16/12 Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better physical function than did previous generations, although, for some, an increased burden in housing costs and rising obesity may compromise these gains, according to a comprehensive federal look at aging. The report, Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being, tracks trends at regular intervals to see […]

HHS partners with pharmacies to educate Medicare beneficiaries about new health benefits August 15, 2012 Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced partnerships with several pharmacies to help customers learn about new Medicare benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act – the health care law.  These partnerships – with CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Thrifty White, Walmart, and Sam’s Club – will provide Medicare […]

Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions 8/13/12 More than 2,000 hospitals — including some nationally recognized ones — will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show. Together, these hospitals will forfeit about $280 million in Medicare funds over the next year as the government begins a wide-ranging […]

Medicare Seeks To Cut Number Of Seniors Denied Nursing Home Coverage After Hospital Stays 8/10/12 Concerned that a growing number of seniors have been unexpectedly forced to pay thousands of dollars for nursing home care after a stay in a hospital, Medicare has launched a pilot project to test whether relaxing its hospital payment rules could help beneficiaries. The issue revolves around what should be an easy question: Is […]

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