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Popular Medicare News and Current Events, Medicare News Articles.
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Surgical outcomes equivalent whether physician anesthesiologist assisted by nurse anesthetist or AA
Patients who undergo inpatient surgery experience no difference in death rates, hospital length of stay or costs between admission or discharge whether their physician anesthesiologist is assisted by a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist assistant, according to a new study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. (2018-05-29)
Veterans health administration hospitals outperform non-VHA hospitals in most markets
In a new study, researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, used the most current publicly available data to compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals within 121 local healthcare markets that included both a VA medical center and a non-VA hospital. (2018-12-10)
Medicare bundled-payments model cut joint replacement costs by more than 20 percent
Bundled payment models can push Medicare and health system costs down considerably without sacrificing quality of care, according to new research. (2017-01-03)
Death rate 70 percent lower at top-rated hospitals: HealthGrades annual hospital quality study
Patients have on average a 70 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's top-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals across 17 procedures and conditions analyzed in the eleventh annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, issued today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. (2008-10-14)
Older Americans are rarely evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea, yet many are at risk
In a study of community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older who were asked about sleep disturbances, 56 percent were estimated to be at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea, but only 8 percent of the high-risk individuals had been tested for it. (2018-05-11)
Simulation shows the high cost of dementia, especially for families
A new simulation of the dementia epidemic estimates the economic impact the disease has on households and public insurance programs and provides a tool for projecting the impact that different interventions could have. (2017-08-17)
Fair and adequate reimbursement is vital to developing life-saving medical treatments
Reimbursement of molecular imaging and therapies -- leading to the early detection and diagnosis of many life-threatening diseases -- remains an urgent and critical need as consumers face ever-increasing healthcare costs. (2008-06-17)
Time for physicians to prepare for impending appropriate use mandate
Within a year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a provision in the Protecting Access to Medicare Act that requires physicians to consult appropriate use criteria using CMS-approved computer-based clinical decision support mechanisms when ordering advanced imaging procedures. (2017-02-27)
Many epilepsy patients take drug combinations that interact
In an Epilepsia analysis of 2008-2010 Medicare claims data, one in four older Americans with new-onset epilepsy and more than one-third with prevalent epilepsy received a combination of antiepileptic drugs and non-epilepsy drugs that could interact to alter the effectiveness of the non-epilepsy drugs. (2018-02-07)
Change in use of ICDs after Department of Justice announces investigation into potential overuse
A US Department of Justice investigation into the placement of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in Medicare patients who didn't qualify for them based upon Medicare coverage criteria was associated with significant decreases in the use of the devices that shock the heart to restore normal rhythm and in the proportion of devices not meeting these established criteria. (2018-07-03)
Federal policy to reduce re-hospitalizations is linked to increased mortality rates
Federal policymakers five years ago introduced the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program to spur hospitals to reduce Medicare readmission rates by penalizing them if they didn't. (2017-11-12)
Follow-up imaging is less when radiologists read ED ultrasounds
According to a study presented at the American College of Radiology annual meeting, the use of follow-up imaging is significantly less when initial emergency department (ED) ultrasound examinations are interpreted by a radiologist than a nonradiologist. (2017-05-23)
Health insurer policies may discourage use of non-opioid alternatives for lower back pain
Public and private health insurance policies in the US are missing important opportunities to encourage the use of physical therapy, psychological counseling and other non-drug alternatives to opioid medication for treating lower back pain, a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found. (2018-10-05)
Short-term exposure to air pollution at levels below current standards and risk of death
Short-term exposure to air pollution at levels below current air quality standards were associated with a higher risk of death in older adults. (2017-12-26)
Is less more? Rehabilitation for elderly people following hip fracture
Following surgery for hip fracture, elderly people undergoing rehabilitation experienced more favorable outcomes when providers were remunerated per patient rather than by the amount of care received, according to the findings of a research article by Vincent Mor of Brown University School of Public Health, United States, and colleagues published in PLOS Medicine. (2018-06-26)
Roux-en-Y surgery linked with more non-vertebral fractures than adjustable gastric banding
Patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery may be at greater risk for non-vertebral fracture than those having adjustable gastric banding (AGB), a new population-based study reports. (2018-03-17)
Study examines how hospital payments for heart attack care may affect patient outcomes
A new, large-scale study -- led by researchers at the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and published online today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes -- examined the relationship between 30-day episode spending for inpatient and post-discharge care and patient mortality following a hospital admission for heart attack. (2018-03-14)
Access to anesthesia care is not improved when states eliminate physician supervision
Patient access to anesthesia care for seven common surgical procedures is not increased when states 'opt-out' of the Medicare rule that requires anesthesia to be administered with physician supervision, reports a study published in the online first edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. (2017-01-19)
Preparing for the 'silver tsunami'
Case Western Reserve University law professor suggests how to address nation's looming health-care and economic crisis caused by surging baby-boom population. (2018-05-14)
Penn Medicine GI bleeding research points to need for updated Medicare policies
Penn Medicine researchers are calling for greater precision in Medicare performance reporting for patients with GI bleeding following an evaluation of patients with the condition. (2018-06-05)
FAIR Health releases state-by-state visualizations of opioid abuse and dependence
FAIR Health has released an online interactive heat map showing new findings on opioid abuse and dependence diagnoses and procedures for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. (2018-09-30)
Four reasons that could explain ACOs' sluggish savings
Dartmouth Institute researchers paired data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Survey of ACOs to compare performance in the first three years of ACO contracts for three types of ACOs: integrated delivery systems, out-patient-physician-practice ACOs and coalitions of independent hospitals and practices. (2017-11-08)
Cutting health care costs
Health care spending among the Medicare population age 65 and older has slowed dramatically since 2005, and as much as half of that reduction can be attributed to reduced spending on cardiovascular disease, a new Harvard study has found. (2019-02-04)
Highest out-of-pocket cancer spending for Medicare patients without supplement
Which Medicare beneficiaries shoulder the highest out-of-pocket costs after a cancer diagnosis? (2016-11-23)
Medicare's bundled payment experiment for joint replacements shows moderate savings
Medicare's randomized trial of a new bundled payment model for hip and knee replacement surgeries led to $812 in savings per procedure, or a 3.1 percent reduction in costs, when compared with traditional means of paying for care, according to new research from Harvard T.H. (2019-01-02)
Testosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone
A new large-scale population-based study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston showed for the first time that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy. (2016-04-13)
High burden, high cost and low awareness of kidney disease in the United States
The United States Renal Data System 2017 report highlights current trends in kidney disease in the nation. (2017-10-30)
Confusion, different priorities may cause EMTALA violations
Legislation requires Medicare-participating emergency departments to give emergency care to everyone even if they don't have insurance, but violations of the law may be underreported, according to researchers. (2017-11-14)
Elderly survivors of three common cancers face persistent risk of brain metastasis
Elderly survivors of breast cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma face risk of brain metastasis later in life, and may require extra surveillance in the years following initial cancer treatment. (2019-05-03)
Are dialysis patients being over-screened for colon cancer?
Colonoscopies are being performed more often on healthier dialysis patients than on those with more limited life expectancies; however, overall, dialysis patients are being screened at a much higher rate relative to their life expectancy than their counterparts without kidney failure. (2017-03-23)
UCLA study finds inflated charges, significant variation in Medicare payment patterns
UCLA researchers found inflated charges and significant variation in patterns of payments for surgical care by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2016-03-02)
Medicare's new way of paying hospitals could cause a bundle of problems for some
Hospitals that take care of the oldest, sickest and most complicated patients could suffer financially under the Medicare system's new approach to paying for some types of care, a new study finds. (2016-09-07)
Portable ultrasound; post-prison follow up could improve care of patients with kidney disease
How using portable ultrasound can help better detect fluid in the lungs of people with end-stage renal disease and a proposed better way to help inmates with ESRD navigate the free world. (2018-02-22)
Breast cancer care in US territories lags behind care in states
Older women residing in the US territories are less likely to receive recommended or timely care for breast cancer compared with similar women residing in the continental United States, according to Yale researchers. (2018-03-05)
Better educated nurses linked to better outcomes in surgical patients with dementia
A new study found that surgical patients with coexisting Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are more likely to die within 30 days of admission and to die following a complication compared with patients without ADRD. (2018-03-21)
How are chronic opioid use, 2016 presidential voting patterns associated?
An analysis of Medicare claims data suggests chronic opioid use in US counties corresponded with support for Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, with much of the correlation explained by socioeconomic factors. (2018-06-22)
Physicians are more likely to use hospice and intensive care at end of life
New research suggests that US physicians are more likely to use hospice and intensive or critical care units in the last months of life than non-physicians. (2016-05-16)
Impact of Medicare annual wellness visit on detection of cognitive impairment is minimal
In the first nationwide study to measure the effect of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit on early identification of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease, researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute and IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science found the visit has only minimal impact on detection of cognitive impairment as well as on subsequent cognitive testing and care. (2018-04-10)
ACR Urges lawmakers to address rising costs & access barriers in Arthritis care
Rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals convened on Capitol Hill this week to urge legislative action on pressing policy issues affecting rheumatology care during the American College of Rheumatology's Advocacy Leadership Conference, held May 16-17, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (2018-05-18)
Palliative care may mean fewer difficult transitions for older adults nearing end of life
A team of researchers decided to examine whether palliative care could make life easier for older adults with serious illnesses who live in nursing homes, especially as they neared the end of their lives. (2016-11-18)
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