Filed under Medicare

Is Forgetting Really Forgetting?

Last summer I went off to part one of my scheduled yearly Medicare Wellness Visit the same morning I had an unscheduled visit to the dentist for an unexpected root canal. At the Primary Care Practice where I go, my physician divides the visit into two parts. The first part was with a physician’s assistant … Continue reading

Prepare Elderly Parents for Their New Medicare Cards

If you are an individual who focuses on personal data security, one of the most surprising things you discover when it’s time to offer support to aging parents is that  Social Security numbers appear right on the front of the Medicare card. Americans are told not to carry their Social Security cards around, but once they … Continue reading

Thoughts on Medicare Changes at the Over 65 Blog

The Over 65 Blog is a part of The Hastings Center, an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit bioethics research institute that focuses on ethical issues in the areas of health, medicine, and the environment. The Center concentrates on and produces research about making decisions at the end of life, public health priorities, and the role of emerging technologies when it comes to … Continue reading

Colonoscopies for Our Elder Parents? Maybe Not

I just finished reading Too Many Colonoscopies for the Elderly, a short article that appeared on the New Old Age blog at the New York Times. The March 12, 2013 post, by New Old Age journalist and editor Paula Span, explains how the United States Preventive Task Force recommends that routine screening colonoscopies not be … Continue reading

More on Rising Medicare Part D Drug Premiums

Take a few minutes to read As Medicare Drug Premiums Soar It’s Time to Shop Around, another informative article about prescription drug plan open season. This October 2, 2012 Reuters article by Mark Miller goes into considerable detail about the rising premiums and explains what steps Medicare beneficiaries can take to shop around. Best Quote from … Continue reading

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans: Basic Info for 2013

It’s that time of year again — the open season when Medicare beneficiaries keep, change, or make modifications to their prescription drug benefit plans (Part D). A September 25th Associated Press (AP) article, Report: Double-Digit Premium Hikes Seen in 7 of 10 Top Medicare Prescription Drug Plans appeared online in The Washington Post. Adult children with elder parents should treat this … Continue reading

Avoiding a Return Trip to the Hospital

One out of five hospitalized Medicare patients needs to return to the hospital a second time within 30 days of their first discharge. A second hospital admission, shortly after the first, is a no-win situation for everyone concerned about an elder parent. Patients are often sicker, they are unnecessarily exposed to other hospital bacteria, and families … Continue reading

Aging Parents and Hospital Admission for Observations

When your parents go to the hospital and need to stay over night or longer, be sure the medical staff admits them as official patients and not for observation (which means that technically they are not admitted at all). People hospitalized for observation do not qualify for Medicare’s skilled nursing care benefit after leaving the hospital, and … Continue reading

Great Radio Show, Dr. Berwick! Emerging Rock Star?

National Public Radio’s On Point program with host Tom Ashbrook comes out of WBUR in Boston. The December 6, 2011 program featured Dr. Donald Berwick sharing his thoughts, ideas, and vast knowledge about improving health care — and Dr. Berwick was only a few days past taking leave as head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). On the talk show … Continue reading

Great KevinMD Post on Medicare Reform

Stop by the KevinMD blog and read Government Austerity with Medicare Reform as a Top Priority.  The blog post, by medical student Nathanael Heckman, addresses the issue of medicare reform and life expectancy. Raising the age for eligibility is inequitable, because the rich live longer and the poorer Americans need the care that Medicare provides. … Continue reading

Who Are These People? Health Overhaul Musings

Three cheers for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, that has dismissed cases brought by Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli and Liberty University in my home state, oops commonwealth, of Virginia. Read and listen to the NPR story at the Shots Blog. Read related articles in the New York Times and Washington Post. Who are these … Continue reading

Medicare Trust Fund Projections: What it All Means to Me

Older Americans and their adult children can be frightened or at least puzzled by the annual reports of the Medicare Trustees. Each year a report makes financial projections for the fund that pays for senior health care expenses (Medicare). Almost every year some politicians spin dire scenarios about the “certain” near bankruptcy of Medicare. The  image at … Continue reading

Redesigned Medicare Caregiver Site: A Graphical Tour

To discover Medicare and caregiving resources, check out the redesigned caregiving website, debuting Tuesday, April 12, 2011. It’s user-friendly and graphically interesting with a focus on easy information access. At the same time updated site promotes learning, sharing, supporting, and collaborating. Adult children, even if they are not providing a huge amount of caregiving support, would … Continue reading

Medicare Projections: Congressional Budget Office

Read CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan in the Kaiser Health News. A graph using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data depicts the costs to a Medicare beneficiary (what a person will pay) in 2022 and 2030. In the article Congressman Ryan says, “Washington has been making empty promises to Americans from a … Continue reading

Pay Attention to Policy Discussions

Check out the many informational links to documents explaining proposed changes in Medicare and Medicaid at this Kaiser Health News article, Resources And Proposals On Curbing Medicare Cost Growth. If this is where we are going, people should educate themselves and understand what is going on. Stay on top of the issues. If  Medicare will cost more … Continue reading

Will Concierge Medical Practices Cause Medicare Decline?

Read High-end Medical Option Prompts Medicare Worries, an article posted by the Associated Press today (April 2, 2011). The article, by health reporter Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar, examines the increasing number of practices that are moving toward concierge medicine (also called retainer-based physician practices). Concerns abound about how this might affect the access to care by Medicare beneficiaries. Although … Continue reading