Medicare

Health
12:03 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Fraud Still Plagues Medicare's Prescription Drug Program

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 11:39 am

Fraud and abuse continue to dog Medicare's popular prescription drug program, despite a bevy of initiatives launched to prevent them, according to two new reports by the inspector general of Health and Human Services.

Their release follows the arrests of 44 pharmacy owners, doctors and others, who last week were accused of bilking the program, known as Part D.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Doctors, Nurses Among 243 Charged In Million-Dollar Medicare Schemes

Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks about a federal crackdown on Medicare fraud. With her are HHS Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson (from left), HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, FBI Director James B. Comey and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 2:59 pm

Federal agents have arrested 243 people — including 46 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals — who are accused of running up more than $700 million in false Medicare billings. Charges range from fraud and money-laundering to aggravated identity theft and kickbacks.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls it "the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice."

Read more
Health
5:03 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Documents Reveal Secret Legal Battle Over Medicare Overbilling

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:46 am

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

Read more
Health
8:40 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Highest-Charging U.S. Hospitals Are For-Profit And Concentrated In Florida

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 11:01 am

Talk about sticker shock: Some U.S. hospitals charge patients more than 10 times the rates paid by Medicare.

Of the 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest charges, 49 are for-profit institutions, 20 operate in Florida, and half are owned by a single chain, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs Monday.

Read more
Health
9:14 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Feds Knew About Medicare Advantage Overcharges Years Ago

Carol Berman, of West Palm Beach, Fla., makes the case for policymakers to protect Medicare Advantage benefits during the Coalition for Medicare Choices' Medicare Advantage Food Truck stop in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:41 am

Federal health officials were advised in 2009 that a formula used to pay private Medicare plans triggered widespread billing errors and overcharges that have since wasted billions of tax dollars, newly released government records show.

Read more
Health
4:21 am
Tue March 10, 2015

With Medicare Pay On The Line, Hospitals Push Harder To Please Patients

Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C.
Joanna Serah/Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 7:33 am

Lillie Robinson came to Rowan Medical Center for surgery on her left foot. She expected to be in and out in a day, returning weeks later to the Salisbury, N.C., hospital for her surgeon to operate on the other foot.

But that's not how things turned out. "When I got here I found out he was doing both," she said. "We didn't realize that until they started medicating me for the procedure." Robinson signed a consent form and the operation went fine, but she was in the hospital far longer than she'd expected to be.

"I wasn't prepared for that," she said.

Read more
Health
10:31 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Can I Keep My Marketplace Insurance If I Enroll In Medicare?

Sally Elford Getty Images/Ikon Images

We have received a bunch of questions about enrolling in Medicare lately. Here are answers to two that came up recently.

My wife has been automatically re-enrolled in a silver policy on the Oklahoma health insurance marketplace. She will turn 65 and be enrolled in Medicare on May 1, 2015. Can she keep her silver policy when she is enrolled in Medicare? And, if she does, will she automatically lose her premium subsidy? Do we have to cancel the policy or will the insurer do it automatically?

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:51 am
Fri October 3, 2014

What You Need To Know For Medicare Open Enrollment

iStockphoto

Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage coverage can do so starting Oct. 15. That's when Medicare's annual open enrollment period begins.

This year, there will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from, but in general people can still expect plenty of options.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

A Doctor Takes A Look In The Medicare Mirror

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:13 am

After decades of fighting to keep how much Medicare pays individual doctors a secret, the federal government bowed to pressure from journalists and consumer groups and released the information in April.

The data let reporters — and anyone else — figure out who is getting paid by Medicare for what.

Read more