Medicare Patient News

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

Follow These 8 Steps for Better Health Care Coverage

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New resource educates consumers on getting the most out of their health care coverage.

New resource educates consumers on getting the most out of their health care coverage.

If you have new health care coverage and want to make the most of your benefits, be sure to check out this resource from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It’s an 8-step roadmap designed to help consumers and health care providers be informed about their benefits and how best to access primary care and preventive services.

Among other things, the roadmap contains information on health care coverage terms, the differences between primary care and emergency care, and the cost differences of decisions to seek care in- and out-of-network, where applicable to the consumer’s health plan.

 


Report Ranks Healthiest States for Seniors by Home Health Availability

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Availability of home health care factored in healthiest states for seniors.

Availability of home health care factored in healthiest states for seniors.

Ready availability of home health workers vaulted Minnesota to the top state for seniors for the second year in a row, according to a new report that ranks the healthiest states for older adults, as reported by Home Health Care News.

Hawaii ranks second, followed by New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts in the second edition of America’s Health Rankings’ senior report, released by the United Health Foundation.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mississippi, ranked the least healthy state for seniors in the 2014 Senior Report and preceded by Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas, respectively.

Within the report’s clinical care category—which includes home health care, among other attributes—Delaware ranks first, while Mississippi ranks 50th.

State rankings were determined by data including a rate of annual dental visits, percentage of volunteerism, percentage of quality nursing home beds, percentage of marginal food insecurity and percentage of prescription drug coverage.

“We commissioned this report to understand and identify ways to improve seniors’ health because Americans are living longer,” Reed Tuckson, M.D., senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation, says in a news release.

In the next 25 years, America’s senior population is expected to double, increasing the demand for home health workers. Read more


Compare Medicare Part B Physician Services Here

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Datasets allow for the comparisons of health care services by specialty, location, types of medical service and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges.

Datasets allow for the comparisons of health care services by specialty, location, types of medical service and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges.

CMS has recently released new, privacy-protected data on services and procedures provided to Medicare beneficiaries by physicians and other health care professionals. The new data also show payment and submitted charges, or bills, for those services and procedures by provider.

The new dataset has information for over 880,000 distinct health care providers who collectively received $77 billion in Medicare payments in 2012, under the Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service program.

The information allows comparisons by physician, specialty, location, the types of medical service and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges. Physicians and other health care professionals determine what they will charge for services and procedures provided to patients and these “charges” are the amount the physician or health care professional generally bills for the service or procedure.

Review physician dataset here.