Nov 15, 2013 — Medicare has tied incentive payments and penalties to two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and death rates. More than 1,200 hospitals are receiving bonuses. But more hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.
Oct 31, 2013 — Political bickering defines Washington these day. Yet leaders from both parties on two key committees have come up with a plan to fix a longstanding problem with the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients. But the politicians haven't figured out how to pay for it.
Oct 25, 2013 — The annual Medicare bill is expected to hit $1.1 trillion in 2023. As Medicare spending grows, contributing to the federal deficit, some policymakers have suggested that raising the age of eligibility to 67 could help the budget should be an option.
Oct 23, 2013 — The idea was that Medicaid would expand to include people not covered under the Affordable Care Act. But many states have chosen not to expand coverage, despite financial incentives from the federal government. That may leave millions of people without any health coverage at all.
Oct 15, 2013 — The government shutdown means some information on its website "may not be up to date," Medicare warns. Open enrollment for Medicare programs began Tuesday and will run into December.
Sep 18, 2013 — Many of the cost factors that people think are the most important pale in comparison to those that actually are. Mismanagement and fraud top the list. New technologies and treatments are low. Most people think beneficiaries pay their own way or have prepaid for care, neither of which is the the case.
Sep 6, 2013 — Federal lawmakers have been unable to solve a widely acknowledged problem with the formula used to set the pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients. Now, after a series of temporary patches, a bipartisan solution may be at hand.
Sep 4, 2013 — When is an inpatient in the hospital not an inpatient in the hospital? When that patient is on observation status. Patients who are termed on observation can have trouble getting Medicare to pay if they need to go to a nursing home. The practice has sparked lawsuits and legislation.
Aug 23, 2013 — An analysis allays concerns that Medicare beneficiaries may have trouble getting in to see doctors. Access has been stable and is on par, or a little better, than for people with private health insurance.
Jul 12, 2013 — The history of the Medicare drug law, and Medicare itself, suggests that rough launches of health expansions don't necessarily signal a lasting failure. So, proponents say, even a misfire of the health exchanges wouldn't doom the federal overhaul.