Medicare

News and updates about Medicare.

Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons

A government shutdown would have far-reaching effects for public health, including the nation’s response to the current, difficult flu season. It could also disrupt some federally supported health services, experts said Friday.

The Big Health Care Changes Nestled Within The Republican Tax Bill

Dec 1, 2017
Andrea Chiu / Flickr

Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care.

Cost Of Long-Term Care For Older Adults Is Rising, But What Can Be Done?

Sep 6, 2017

Americans are spending billions of dollars each year on long-term care for older adultsand many are struggling to figure out how to pay for care for a loved one, or how to fund future care for themselves.

Courtesy of Seema Verma

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Seema Verma, a healthcare consultant who has helped shape health policy in Indiana, for a key role in the federal government. Verma will head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that includes Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  

Jake Harper/Side Effects

This piece first aired on NPR's Latino USA

Margarita came to Indianapolis 13 years ago to help her sister, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. After her sister died, Margarita stayed, but then a few years ago, she began having health problems of her own. When she went to the hospital, she was told that her kidneys didn’t work anymore.

SOS: Puerto Rico Is Losing Doctors, Leaving Patients Stranded

Mar 14, 2016

Puerto Rico is losing people. Due to a decade-long recession, more than 50,000 residents leave the U.S. territory each year--most for jobs and new lives on the mainland. This issue is especially affecting healthcare, where it's estimated that at least one doctor leaves Puerto Rico every day.

Medicare is going to test new ways to reimburse doctors for medications, in hopes they'll choose less expensive drugs.

The plan would alter Medicare Part B, which pays for medicines administered in doctors offices or outpatient hospital clinics — to eliminate incentives for doctors to use the most expensive drugs.

Figure in sillouette at the end of a dark tunnel
MK1_FIESTA via Pixabay

This year, for the first time, Medicare is reimbursing physicians for the time spent discussing patients’ preferences for care at the end of life. For Dr. Larry D. Cripe, a hematologist with expertise in palliative care at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, caring well for people who die is an important part of his commitment to his patients and their families. So we asked him for his thoughts on what the new rule can- and cannot accomplish. Here’s Dr. Cripe’s reflection:

Results are in from the first year of a bold change to the way hospitals get paid in Maryland, and so far the experiment seems to be working.

We recently reported on the unique system the state is trying to rein in health care costs. Maryland phased out fee-for-service payments to hospitals in favor of a fixed pot of money each year.

Medicare Spending for Hepatitis C Cures Surges

Oct 21, 2015

Medicare's prescription drug program spent nearly $4.6 billion in the first half of this year on expensive new cures for the liver disease hepatitis C  - almost as much as it spent for all of 2014.

Rebates from pharmaceutical companies 2014 the amounts of which are confidential 2014 will reduce Medicare's final tab for the drugs, by up to half. Even so, the program's spending will likely continue to rise, in part because of strong demand.

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