Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare News

Donald Trump, dollar signs, red arrow pointing down

Trump to give speech on lowering drug prices this month

BY PETER SULLIVAN: President Trump is scheduled to give a speech on prescription drug prices on April 26, the White House said Monday, as he calls for making the drugs more affordable.

However, the White House indicated that no new policy proposals will be unveiled at the speech, other than a request for information on “various drug pricing ideas,” according to deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley.

Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech last month that the administration would soon be rolling out new drug pricing proposals. (read more)

61.3% Of Medicare Physical Therapy Claims Failed To Meet Reimbursement Requirements

BY OPEN MINDS: Approximately 61.3% of outpatient physical therapy services claims did not comply with Medicare reimbursement requirements. Reasons found for noncompliance include providing services that were not medically necessary, inaccurate coding to meet Medicare requirements, and documentation that did not meet Medicare requirements. This resulted in an estimated $367 million in Medicare reimbursements for all non-compliant claims.

These findings were reported in “Many Medicare Claims For Outpatient Physical Therapy Services Did Not Comply With Medicare Requirements” by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). (read more)

How dementia can drain a family’s life savings

BY LISA M. KRIEGER: … ”Medicare is a lifeline for seniors and the disabled, paying for “medically necessary” costs such as hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, transplants, medications, pacemakers and other interventions.

A dementia diagnosis demands none of that. What it does require, however, is around-the-clock “custodial care,” such as help with eating and dressing, and constant supervision. That’s not covered by Medicare. And it’s extraordinarily expensive, according to a report released last month by the Alzheimer’s Association. (read more)

8 Frequently Asked Medicare Questions

BY SELENA MARANJIAN: More than half of Americans worry a great deal about the availability and affordability of healthcare, and 23% of them worry a “fair amount” about it, per a recent Gallup survey. That’s not surprising, given the steep cost of care and the rate at which it has been increasing over the years.

The same survey found about half of respondents agreeing that it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure healthcare coverage. We might not yet have a country where the government ensures coverage for all, but at least we have Medicare, which does a good job for tens of millions of Americans aged 65 and older. (read more)

SOCIAL SECURITY: Facts about enrolling in Medicare Parts A, B

BY SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: Understanding Medicare isn’t as difficult as you might think. It’s a benefit most working Americans can count on. Here are some facts you might not know about the program.

Can I still get Medicare at 65?

Yes, you’re still eligible for Medicare starting at 65, no matter what year you were born.

 If you or your spouse worked and paid enough Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you’re eligible for Part A (hospital insurance) at age 65 for free. Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay. It also pays for some home health care and hospice care. You’re also eligible for Part B (medical insurance) if you choose to get it and pay a monthly premium. Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventative services(read more)

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