BY FRED SCHULTE AND CHRISTINA JEWETT: Medicare paid at least $1.5 billion over a decade to replace seven types of defective heart devices, a government watchdog says. The devices apparently failed for thousands of patients.
A report released on Monday by the inspector general’s office for Health and Human Services said officials needed to do a better job tracking these costly product failures to protect patients from harm. More detailed reporting could lead to earlier recognition of serious problems with medical devices and faster recalls of all types of “poorly performing” ones, the inspector general’s office said. (read more)
BY STEVE TWEDT: Medicare Advantage members should make a smooth transition into 2018 as major local health insurance plans for seniors are making few changes from this year’s offerings. In some cases, those changes will mean slightly reduced premiums or expanded coverage.
On Sunday, insurers released details of their offerings for next year so seniors can start comparing plans in preparation for the annual open enrollment period that runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. (read more)
HealthMine survey: Just 9% of Medicare plan members say their plan integrates data from health tools
BY HEALTHMINE: Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Medicare health plan members use digital health tools including blood pressure monitors, fitness trackers, medication/pill trackers and more. However, only 9% of Medicare plan members say their plan integrates data from health tools according to a HealthMine survey of 500 Medicare plan members. The HealthMine data also revealed that 70% of Medicare plan members have one or more chronic conditions, while just 8% of those with chronic conditions connect digital tools to their health plans. (read more)
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.(Read More...)