Medicare Patient News

Updates on services and programs covered under Medicare to help senior patients achieve optimal health.

Medicare Releases Draft Proposal For Patient Observation Notice

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The law was a response to complaints from Medicare patients who were surprised to learn that although they had spent a few days in the hospital, they were there for observation and were not admitted.

The law was a response to complaints from Medicare patients who were surprised to learn that although they had spent a few days in the hospital, they were there for observation and were not admitted.

In just two months, a federal law kicks in requiring hospitals to tell their Medicare patients if they have not been formally admitted and why. But some physician, hospital and consumer representatives say a notice drafted by Medicare for hospitals to use may not do the job.

The law was a response to complaints from Medicare patients who were surprised to learn that although they had spent a few days in the hospital, they were there for observation and were not admitted. Observation patients are considered too sick to go home yet not sick enough to be admitted. They may pay higher charges than admitted patients and do not qualify for Medicare’s nursing home coverage. (Jaffe, 6/15)

Read entire article courtesy of Kaiser Health News.

 


Medicare Proposes Expansion of Counseling Program For People At Risk of Diabetes

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Kaiser Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey reports: “As the health law turned six Wednesday, federal officials proposed the expansion of a Medicare diabetes prevention program funded by the landmark measure.

The pilot program, developed and administered by the YMCA, helped Medicare enrollees at high risk of developing the disease improve their diets, increase their exercise and lose about 5 percent of their body weight. Beneficiaries in the program, funded by an $11.8 million grant provided by the health law, attended weekly meetings with a lifestyle coach to develop long-term changes to their diet, discussed ways to get more physical activity and made behavior changes that would help control their weight and decrease their risk of Type 2 diabetes. Participants could also attend monthly follow-up meetings to help keep their new habits in place.” (Carey, 3/23)

Read entire article here.


Baby Boomers Set Another Trend: More Golden Years In Poorer Health

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Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion.

Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion.

After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations, reports Kaiser Health News.

The typical Medicare beneficiary who is 65 or older then will more likely be obese, disabled and suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure than those in 2010, according to a report  by the University for Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics.

Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion. A massive influx of baby boomers into Medicare will be the main driver. With the last baby boomers turning 65 in 2029, Medicare rolls are expected to number 67 million Americans in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.

Read more.