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Medicare

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

3 ways insurers can torpedo a weight-loss counseling service

Although Medicare began paying for weight loss counseling three years ago and about 30 percent of Medicare members were eligible for the services, less than 1 percent of members have actually used the benefit. Here are  three ways a weight loss counseling program can fail. 

Study shows wide gap between hospital charges for public, private insurers

It's a matter of faith that most hospitals earn the biggest margins on patients that have private insurance. But a new study indicates that acute care facilities routinely clean up on such patients.  

CMS Compare sites lack relevant cost and quality information, GAO report says

The Medicare enrollment process is daunting enough as it is. Now a pair of new reports highlight ways the government is making it even harder for seniors to get information about their benefits--and the consequences to beneficiaries. 

SEC investigates insider trading on Medicare

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether insider trading took place during a 2013 incident in which financial institutions were tipped off that Medicare was about to raise reimbursement rates.

OIG: Medicare took a haircut on cardiac device replacements

Hospitals that received manufacturer credits for replacing cardiac medical devices didn't to pass the savings along to Medicare through required claims adjustments, an Office of Inspector General audit found. 

Physician assistants at center of billing schemes

Physician assistants, who frequently provide primary care services to patients under the direct supervision of a doctor, are often the focal point for fraud.

Study: Hospice care saves money, reduces hospitalizations

When patients receive hospice care, their hospitalization rate decreases and they incur fewer health costs, according to a new study from the Journal of American Medical Association.

Is high-tech drug testing Medicare's new fatted calf?

Medicare payments have shot up for high-tech tests that detect frequently-abused drugs: In 2012, program spending for 22 of these urine tests was $445 million, which represents a 1,423 percent increase over five years, according to the  Wall Street Journal.     

CMS approves Medicare coverage of LDCT lung cancer screening

Despite a negative recommendation from its own review panel, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday issued a proposed decision memo approving low-dose CT screening for Medicare patients.

MedPAC proposes DRGs for short-stay hospital admissions

Admitting that payment policies regarding short-term hospital stays are "ambiguous and open to interpretation" and could be placing a large financial burden on patients, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has suggested creating specific diagnosis related groups (DRGs) that would focus on one-day admissions to inpatient care facilities.