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Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare News

White House slams ‘Medicare for All’ as bad for Americans’ health and wallets

BY TAMI LUHBY: The Trump administration slammed “Medicare for All” in its annual economic reviewTuesday, claiming that creating a new government-run health care program would be expensive, damage the economy and hurt Americans’ health.

President Donald Trump and his top health officials have repeatedly blasted Medicare for All, which several Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers are backing. (read more)

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There's never been an easy way for Medicare beneficiaries to save on services and products not covered by Medicare alone, until now.

Health Plans For State Employees Use Medicare’s Hammer On Hospital Bills

BY JULIE APPLEBY: States. They’re just as perplexed as the rest of us over the ever-rising cost of health care premiums.

Now some states –including Montana, North Carolina and Oregon — are moving to control costs of state employee health plans. Their strategy: Use Medicare reimbursement rates to recalibrate how they pay hospitals. If the gamble pays off, more private-sector employers could start doing the same thing.  (read more)

OPINION: Don’t be fooled by tax, Medicare scams

BY HEATHER YAKIN: Let’s start with this: Neither the IRS nor the state tax department will call you, demand that you pay money and then ask you to rendezvous somewhere to collect the payment.

That would be a scam.

We’re in the heat of tax season, spring arrives Wednesday, and some scams are just perennial. Since the start of March, the Federal Trade Commission has sent out alerts warning against phishing, fake calls from the Social Security Administration and Medicare, and tech support scams. (read more)

Prescribing healthy food in Medicare/Medicaid is cost effective, could improve health

BY TUFTS UNIVERSITY: “We found that encouraging people to eat healthy foods in Medicare and Medicaid — healthy food prescriptions — could be as or more cost effective as other common interventions, such as preventative drug treatments for hypertension or high cholesterol,” said co-first author Yujin Lee, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

“Healthy food prescriptions are increasingly being considered in private health insurance programs, and the new 2018 Farm Bill includes a $25 million Produce Prescription Program to further evaluate this approach,” she continued. (read more)

PDPM’s Effects Could Stretch Far Beyond Medicare for Skilled Nursing Facilities

BY ALEX SPANKO: On paper, the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) will only affect one pillar of the payment equation for skilled nursing facilities. But as players start to unpack the coming rule changes, PDPM’s reach begins to extend far beyond Medicare.

Medicare Advantage and Medicaid frequently base rate calculations on the existing Medicare structure, a pair of experts noted at the American College of Health Care Administrators’ (ACHCA) annual convocation in Louisville, Ky. — and those other payers will increasingly take cues from the PDPM system once the current model goes away.  (read more)

The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare

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.

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