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Month: July 2010

Your number one resource for Medicare information and healthy lifestyle tips.

3 Million More Americans Uninsured in 2009

As the health care debate raged onwards in 2009, the number of uninsured American adults rose by 3 million from 2008. Overall, approximately 46.3 million people in this country do not have health insurance covered. In Texas, over one out of every four people was uninsured in 2009, compared to the 15.4 percent nationally.

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Response to The Hill’s Healthwatch Blog

According to Mike Lillis from THE HILL’S Healthwatch blog, a recent study by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) discovered that few seniors knew about and understood the ins and outs of health care reform. The NCOA distributed a 12 question survey to 636 seniors. No senior got all the survey questions right, indicating the widespread lack of knowledge about reform.

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We’re Running Out of Primary Care Physicians: What Are We Going to Do About It?

The country’s current health care reforms have underscored the country’s primary care physician deficit. By the time the reforms kick into effect in 2014, the majority of Americans will be insured. In Massachusetts, where all citizens must be enrolled in some health insurance plan, universal insurance has exposed the Commonwealth’s primary care shortage. The dearth of Massachusetts primary care physicians has often made it more difficult for residents to get the care they need. This same fate seems on the horizon for all on a national level.

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Public Option Not Dead On the Hill

A coalition of House Democrats is gearing up to propose legislation which revives the public option President Obama had originally hoped to carry through this year’s healthcare overhaul. The legislation House Democrats plan to introduce today would establish a government-administered insurance option available to consumers as part of The Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), has 125 co-sponsors and is similar to the public option originally passed by the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this year but adjusted to fit within the framework of insurance exchanges which eventually made it into the reform debate’s final product.

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Feds Tackle Fraud: 36 Arrested in Medicare Scams Worth $251M

This past Friday July 16 at a press conference in Miami Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that over 360 federal agents had raided the homes and offices of Medicare fraudsters accused of stealing over $251 million. Authorities say most of the thirty-six individuals arrested Friday were based in Miami, though other operations shut down in the bust were located in places like New York City, Detroit, Houston, and Baton Rouge. Ninety-four people were indicted in total as a result of the sting. Authorities claim the suspects – which include several doctors and nurses – billed Medicare for unnecessary equipment, HIV treatments, and physical therapy that their patients never received. Hidden surveillance equipment caught clinic owners and doctor’s offices paying patients (and undercover agents) under the table in exchange for use of their Medicare numbers and offering bonus rewards to patients who would recruit others to the scam.

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Men, Quit Skipping Your Check-Ups!

“Men are 24% less likely than women to go for their routine check-ups.” Men skipping doctor’s visits hinder preventative healthcare efforts. This in turn could lead to higher healthcare costs for the Baby Boomer generation. Preventative efforts for your health can treat a medical condition before it becomes a problem. Going to your routine doctor’s visits will boost your chance of detecting a medical condition when it first arises. If you are able to detect the condition early on, you will increase the likelihood that the condition will be treatable.

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Fighting Medicare Fraud

Every year, both seniors and the government lose quality health care and billions of dollars to corrupt providers. Medicare fraud isn’t new, but as the new health care reforms have passed, fraud has been in the spotlight. Medicare fraud affects everyone, from the government to seniors to taxpayers.

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What About Entitlement Reform?

On May 13, 2009 the trustees of Medicare and Social Security released a report detailing the impending insolvency of our nation’s two biggest entitlement programs: Medicare in 2017 and Social Security in 2037. Projections have pushed these bankruptcy dates up from the previous report’s estimates of 2019 for Medicare and 2041 for Social Security. What can we do about this?

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Electronic Medical Record Use On the Rise

By 2014, each and every American will have an electronic medical record of their own. Electronic medical records (EMR) are “paperless paperwork,” or computerized copies of patient records, and the federal government hopes to make wide use of them to cut down health costs. The Obama administration’s health information technology program plans on offering incentives and subsidies to medical providers who make use of electronic records. By 2014, all doctors will be required to have Health IT or will face a penalty.

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CT Investigates CVS Rx Plan Termination Threat

In a company statement released Wednesday June 23 CVS disagreed and threatened to end the program in Connecticut if it were required to give this discount to Medicaid recipients because doing so would make the program “economically unfeasible to continue.” Blumenthal has subpoenaed CVS in hopes his office will be able to force CVS to comply with the law and its practices in other states, as extending this program to Medicaid enrollees would save thousands of pharmaceutical cost dollars, helping to rein in out of control health care costs.

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