Best Ways To Save May 2014
The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a bold new model to save money and improve healthcare quality by changing the way the government pays doctors. The Administration is taking steps to ensure that, by 2018, up to half of all payments to doctors won't be for visits and procedures, but rather for providing "high quality" care. The plan is to pay doctors on how they perform. .How many members does TSCL have? .On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing focusing on a number of Medicare provider payment provisions that are set to expire at the end of this year. The Subcommittee heard from an expert panel of witnesses, which included Richard Umbdenstock, President of the American Hospital Association, and Robert Wah, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the American Medical Association. … Continued
Social Security Medicare Questions September 2012
While no one should try to be one's own physician, it is vital to establish good communication with your doctor. If you feel awkward asking these questions, consider bringing someone with you to appointments who can ask on your behalf. Sources: "The Patient As A Consumer," Marvin Moser, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine Heart Book. "Physicians Wade Into Efforts To Curb Unnecessary Treatments," Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, April 4, 2012. .To be eligible for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, individuals must have earned income from a job, be within income limits that apply to the credit, and have a valid Social Security number. Although the money was advanced in higher pay (and pension checks), taxpayers must figure the credit on Schedule M and attach it to a Form 1040 or 1040A in order to claim it. Taxpayers filing a 1040 EZ may figure the credit on the worksheet attached to the return. .Unlike most of the top 10 causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, which are covered in large part by Medicare, Alzheimer's care comes with extraordinary costs that are not covered. Medicare covers medically necessary inpatient hospital care, doctor's fees, outpatient services such as blood tests, and Part D covers many prescription drugs. However, a dementia diagnosis most often requires custodial care, like help bathing, eating, dressing, and supervision. Medicare does not cover custodial care. … Continued
TSCL's research has consistently found that Medicare Part B premiums rank as one of the fastest growing senior costs. Yet Medicare premium costs are not included in the measure currently used to determine the annual COLA — one major reason why COLAs do such a poor job of keeping up with rising healthcare costs. TSCL continues to lobby for a more fair and accurate COLA and supports legislation that would use a seniors' index — like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) — to determine the annual boost. .The additional cost from adopting private accounts poses a much greater threat to the Social Security Trust Fund's solvency than it currently faces. Consequently, I have always adamantly opposed "private" accounts, or "individual" accounts, or "personal accounts" – regardless of what they're called. They're a big gamble and a risky deal for workers, retirees, and taxpayers alike. ."Congressional Pay Grows 15 Times Faster Than Social Security Checks" .The new cosponsors of the Social Security Fairness Act are as follows: Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7), Congressman Luke Messer (IN-6), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Congressman Danny Davis (IL-7), Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3), Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-5), Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1), and Congressman Tim O'Halleran (AZ-1). ."'We trace this mortality effect to cutbacks in life-saving medicines like statins and antihypertensives, for which clinical trials show large mortality benefits,' the researchers wrote. .Before a vaccine was approved for distribution, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission posted a warning about fake stock offers pitching a nonexistent biotech company allegedly developing a vaccine. .Trump's administration "has decided to pursue a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he has labeled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future," Stephen Ubl, the head of PhRMA, said in a statement. .Notes from Jessie Gibbons, TSCL Legislative Analyst .These overpayments occur because payments to plans are adjusted to pay more for older and sicker enrollees, and less for enrollees who are young and healthy. As well documented by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Medicare Advantage plans use a variety of strategies to "document" enrollee medical conditions, including repeated, calls to homes in attempts to "update" health histories, and to schedule home visits from nurses to conduct health risk assessments even when patients have emphatically declined the visit.