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Current Medicare News and Events

Current Medicare News and Events, Medicare News Articles.
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Report calls for easing access, improving home health for older adults
Older adults have suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 pandemic, with increased risk of severe illness and death reported across the globe. (2020-10-22)
Study reveals disparities in access to high-quality surgical care
Among U.S. patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer from 2004 to 2016, those who were uninsured or had Medicare or Medicaid were less likely than privately insured patients to receive surgical care at high-volume hospitals. (2020-10-21)
Less invasive ventilation use grows dramatically, without needed data
Analysis of nearly 2.5 million Medicare-funded hospitalizations near the end of a patient's life found the use of non-invasive ventilation has increased substantially, even though there is little data to support its use in certain patient groups, such as those with cancer and dementia near the end of life. (2020-10-19)
Ten or more medications, often prescribed to older heart failure patients, raises concerns
More than half of older patients hospitalized for heart failure are discharged with 10 or more prescriptions, and most are not medications to treat heart failure or other cardiovascular conditions. (2020-10-13)
Clashing medications put older adults at risk but many haven't had a pharmacist check them
Two-thirds of older adults rely on at least two prescription drugs, and many take over-the-counter medicines and supplements as well. (2020-10-07)
Caregiving factors may affect hospitalization risk among disabled older adults
Few studies have investigated the potential impact of caregivers and caregiver factors on older adults' likelihood of being hospitalized. (2020-09-23)
Bundled payment model reduces health disparities for Black patients
A new nationwide model of care for hip and knee joint replacements appears to reduce disparities in health outcomes for Black patients, according to new research led by Oregon Health & Science University. (2020-09-22)
Falling Medicare reimbursement rates for orthopaedic trauma
The amount Medicare reimburses for orthopaedic trauma surgery has fallen by nearly one-third over the past two decades, reports a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. (2020-09-21)
Private health insurers paid hospitals 247% of what medicare would
While recent hospital price transparency initiatives have increased information about procedure-level prices available to patients, employers who pay for most private insurance have little usable information about the prices negotiated on their behalf. (2020-09-18)
Expenditures for primary care may affect how primary care is delivered
This study looks at trends in out-of-pocket and total visit expenditures for visits to primary care physicians. (2020-09-15)
Primary care clinicians drove increasing use of Medicare's chronic care management codes
To address the problem of care fragmentation for Medicare recipients with multiple chronic conditions, Medicare introduced Chronic Care Management (CCM) in 2015 to reimburse clinicians for care management and coordination. (2020-09-15)
Safety-net clinicians' caseloads received reduced merit-based incentive payment scores
A team of researchers led by Kenton Johnston, Ph.D., conducted a study to investigate how outpatient clinicians that treated disproportionately high caseloads of socially at-risk Medicare patients (safety-net clinicians) performed under Medicare's new mandatory Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). (2020-09-10)
COPD program decreases 30-day hospital readmission, may increase mortality
The 30-day readmission rate for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has decreased but the mortality rate has increased. (2020-09-10)
Generic cholesterol drugs save medicare billions of dollars, study finds
The switch from brand name to generic cholesterol medications that occurred between 2014 and 2018 has saved Medicare billions of dollars, even as the number of people on cholesterol-lowering drugs has increased, UT Southwestern scientists have calculated. (2020-09-09)
Health system clinicians perform better under medicare value-based reimbursement
A team of researchers led by Kenton Johnston, Ph.D. of Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice conducted a study investigating the association between health system affiliations of clinicians and their performance scores and payments under Medicare value-based reimbursement. (2020-09-08)
Half of Medicare patients do not receive recommended health care after hospitalization
A study published today by the JAMA Network Open shows that in the period from October 2015 to September 2016 before the Affordable Care Act, a substantial portion of Medicare patients referred to home health care after hospitalization did not receive that care. (2020-09-02)
New database shows more than 20% of nursing homes still report staff, PPE shortages
More than 20% of US nursing homes continue to report severe shortages of staff and PPE, according to one of the first studies based on a new federal database of responses from more than 15,000 facilities. (2020-08-20)
Food-based approach to lowering cholesterol provides significant healthcare cost savings
A new study is the first to show a food-based approach using clinically-proven diet interventions to lower cholesterol levels, such as Step One Foods®, provides significant healthcare cost savings. (2020-08-13)
Quality of care at rural hospitals may not differ as much as reported, study suggests
A Brown University School of Public Health research team found that differences in diagnosis coding practices has resulted in artificially inflated mortality rate comparisons to other hospitals. (2020-08-10)
Initiative to promote a culture of mobility in hospitals yields encouraging results
A paper published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported results of an initiative designed to enhance implementation of hospital mobility programs aimed at improving quality of care and outcomes for older patients. (2020-08-05)
Medicare Part D favors generic prescription drugs over branded counterparts, study finds
Published this week in Health Affairs, the study led by Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research and associate professor of Health Policy, compared Medicare Part D coverage of more than 1,360 pairs of generic and brand-name drugs. (2020-08-05)
Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?
In JAMA Oncology, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Trevor Royce, MD, MS, MPH, and his coauthors address whether the routine use of telehealth for patients with cancer could have long-lasting and unforeseen effects on the provision and quality of care. (2020-07-16)
Machine learning accurately predicts who's who in the health care workforce
Until recently, economists, policy makers and workforce experts have relied on outdated and inaccurate snapshots of the US physician workforce, making it especially difficult to predict the need and availability of health care services across the country. (2020-07-14)
Participants in CPC+ are diverse but not representative of all primary care practices
This study analyzes patterns of participation in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus initiative which is the largest voluntary primary care payment and delivery reform model tested to date. (2020-07-14)
Study finds weight loss surgery cost disparity
A new study from the University of Georgia finds that users of public insurance are paying more for bariatric weight loss surgery compared to private insurance patients. (2020-07-13)
Study finds cancer mortality rate disparity based on hospital ratings
A new paper in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum, published by Oxford University Press, finds that the mortality rates for complex cancer procedures differ greatly between one-star hospitals (10.4%) and five-star hospitals (6.4%). (2020-07-13)
Medicare's race, ethnic data often undercounts minority populations, study finds
The information critical to a nationwide priority of reducing health care disparities among minorities is incomplete and inaccurate, according to a new Rutgers study. (2020-07-07)
JNCCN study explores if insurance is keeping pace with trends in targeted cancer therapy
New research from the University of California, San Francisco (USCF) and City of Hope in the July 2020 issue of JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examines coverage trends for circulating tumor DNA testing, also known as gene sequencing of ctDNA or 'liquid biopsies.' The researchers found coverage rate rose from 0% to 38% in three years. (2020-07-07)
18.2 million at increased risk of severe COVID-19 uninsured or underinsured: Harvard study
Harvard researchers found that 18.2 million Americans who are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to age and underlying health conditions were also either uninsured or underinsured. (2020-06-10)
People with Type 1 diabetes spend $2,500 a year in health care costs
Adults and children with type 1 diabetes will spend an average of $2,500 a year out-of-pocket for health care -- but insulin isn't always the biggest expense -- new research suggests. (2020-06-01)
Report looks to improve quality measures for medical care of homebound older adults
There are an estimated 2 million older adults who are homebound or unable to leave their homes due to multiple chronic conditions and functional impairment. (2020-05-22)
Federal program leads to intensified treatment for high-risk heart patients
A program that offers financial incentives to health care providers to measure and reduce heart attack and stroke risk among Medicare patients resulted in increased preventive medications prescribed to patients in high-risk and medium-risk categories. (2020-05-15)
Answers to these questions can help #Decision2020 build momentum for Americans as we age
With primary and general elections on the horizon across the US, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today released a series of high-priority questions for candidates. (2020-05-14)
Illuminating the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals and health systems
In the third week of March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, large hospitals in the Northeast experienced a 26 percent decline in average per-facility revenues based on estimated in-network amounts as compared to the same period in 2019. (2020-05-12)
Fatty liver disease is underdiagnosed in the US
According to an analysis published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is grossly underdiagnosed in the United States. (2020-05-06)
Rheumatoid arthritis patients on medicare seeing increased costs for specialty medications
After a sharp drop in out-of-pocket costs between 2010 and 2011, Medicare patients who use specialty biologic medications for rheumatoid arthritis have seen higher out-of-pocket spending for those same drugs because of gradual price increases, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open finds. (2020-05-01)
Medicare coverage varies for transgender hormone therapies
A new study has shown substantial variability in access to guideline-recommended hormone therapies for older transgender individuals insured through Medicare. (2020-04-13)
Medicare changes may increase access to TAVR
The number of hospitals providing TAVR could double with changes to Medicare requirements. (2020-04-06)
Adding a measure of patient frailty to Medicare payment model could lead to fairer reimbursement for clinicians
Researchers identified a way to measure frailty using patients' medical claims that more accurately predicts costs-of-care, especially for clinicians with disproportionate shares of frail patients. (2020-04-06)
Half of 65+ adults lack dental insurance; poll finds strong support for Medicare coverage
Nearly all older Americans support adding a dental benefit to the Medicare program that covers most people over age 65, according to a new national poll that also reveals how often costs get in the way of oral health for older adults. (2020-03-24)
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