<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=302779086974399&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1"> Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Physicians Medicare participation on the rise

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

Medicare SupplementsIn recent years, the numbers of doctors who have chosen to participate in Medicare program have risen. According to a Department of Health and Human Services, it rose by one-third from 2007 and 2011. The growth can also be seen in the 2011; about 1.25 million physicians billed Medicare, compared to the 925,000 of those who billed for their services in 2007, as reported by HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

According to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director for the Center of Medicare, the trend "provides a more complete picture of how physicians choose to participate in the Medicare system."

The growth has continued despite the physicians complaints about Medicare payment caps, new paper work requirements, and Congress political delays of the payment of the Medicare beneficiary system, which could lower rates by 30% and is designed to ensure Medicare expenses do not exceed GDP growth.

However, in a Wall Street Journal article, it was reported that there was an increase in physicians opt out rate from the Medicare program, the number had risen from 3,700 doctors in 1997 to 9,500 in 2012, commissioning an investigation to the findings.

In spite of the WSJ article, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Medpac), reported that even though older doctors are opting out of the Medicare system, more new primary care professionals are opting into the system, according to Blum.

The researchers found that office based doctors made up 90% of those accepting new Medicaid patients, and Medicare patient found doctors in a timely manner. They also found 28% of the 7% of Medicare patients searching for new primary care doctors had a challenging time finding one that accepted Medicaid the year before. These are rates similarly aligned to those of private insurers, said Blum.


Please give us your feedback!
Do these findings raise awareness that agents and brokers make health insurance shopping more affordable?

 

Source: USA Today

Additional Updates:
  • Assured Life Association/Woodmen of the World: September 2013 Med Supp rate release for AZ, MS, PA and Med SELECT PA. Learn More
  • 2014 Certification with United Healthcare Learn More
  • 2014 Medicare Advantage / PDP Certifications Now Available Learn More
  • UnitedHealthcare Agents: 2014 Proposed Benefit Maps Now Available / Certification Reminder Learn More
  • Medicare Advantage Certifications 2014 Medicare Advantage and Part D Certifications are now available! Learn More
  • Everence Agent Training Webinar Aug 21 - Learn More

Tags: Insurance advisor, Senior insurance, Health Insurance, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, health insurance industry, insurance companies

Roadmap to excel as an advisor

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

Medicare SupplementsRunning a business can be a daunting task; even more so, if the business has been running on survival mode for the last couple of years. Everything that has been tried to ensure success has returned nothing but disappointment.

What went wrong? Why is the business only hanging by a thin thread? The business has a marketing plan in place and a large budget to focus on traditional and new media techniques; such as, direct mail, radio, emails, and search engine optimization (SEO). Plus, it offers a wide range of products that the public wants. Yet, nothing seems to work!

For many advisors, it is hard to see that the problem comes from poorly designed marketing campaigns. Too often, advisors are too eager to sell their product. They focus on getting one message out to the masses, and expect to see a great influx of leads to be quickly converted into sales.

Instead, focus on the targeted audience and identify what their needs are. Once this has been determined, then the marketing message and campaigns can be tailored accordingly. Do the same to the other product lines, identify, categorize, customize, and so on. Soon, your hard work will pay-off, and you will see leads building up.

Engage them further, once the prospect has made contact; follow up with a call, invite them to a free event, offer a free report or direct them to informative video feeds on your website. These little actions will help keep the dialogue open and help ease their decision into becoming a new customer.

Just remember by building an effective marketing plan that will allow you to identify prospects needs, match them with the proper product line, and build a system to engage them and follow up, you should be well on your way to the road to excel as an advisor.

Question: Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?


Please give us your feedback!
Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • Gerber Insurance: September 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments AZ, IA, MI, OK, SD, TX Learn More
    • September 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments AL, KY, and Med SELECT AL, OK, TX Learn More
    • October 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments CA, NC, ND, OH, PA Learn More
    • October 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments WI Learn More
  • Assured Life Association/Woodmen of the World: October 2013 Med Supp Rate Adjustment for OH, WA, and Med SELECT for OH. Learn More
  • 2014 Cigna PDP Training and Certification - Learn More
  • Everence Agent Training Webinar Aug 14 - Learn More

Tags: Insurance advisor, Senior insurance, Sales Tips, Success Tips, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, Health Insurance, Referrals, Creating Value, insurance companies, Advisor

Medicare - Readmission rates under the scope

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 09, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Supplements Patient readmission back into the hospital within a month of discharge has been a common occurrence and has driven up the cost of care for insurers and patients alike for many years.

Medicare has taken noticed of the practice and, for the second year, has penalized hospitals with excessive patience remittance of 30 days or less. This has been Medicare’s strongest effort to reduce the costly readmission rates.

About two-thirds of the hospitals penalized were eligible for Medicare payments. These hospitals were fined in the form of lower readmission payments. This translates to hospitals losing $227 million to the Medicare program that began in October, according to Kaiser Health News.

To lower cost, Medicare has also undertaken a two-pronged approach, focusing on both the research and payment side. Under the Independence at Home Demonstration, which is made up of 15 independent practices and 3 consortia, Medicare has designed this program to identify new processes and policies with hospitals to reduce the monthly readmission rates. While on the payment side, they are aggressively cutting the reimbursement payments to the penalized hospitals.

The numbers in hospital penalties averaged so slightly between both years. In round one 1,371 fines were given. In round two, 1,074 repeat penalties were re-issued and 283 new penalties that had gone unnoticed last year were added to the roster this year.

Furthermore, hospitals that were less likely to be fined were those treating the fewest numbers of impoverished or lower income patience.


Please give us your feedback!
Do you think Medicare’s penalizing hospitals for readmission rates will help bring down the cost in the long run? Should all healthcare providers, who are not participating, follow suit?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • Combined Insurance: Low rates Med Supp Plan F, with 24% Commision in most states - Learn More

Tags: Health Insurance, Medicare, senior insurance market news, Patient readmission, Readmission rates

Medicare spending at its lowest in 50 years

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 02, 2013 @ 09:32 AM

Medicare Supplements In 2014, Medicare Part D premiums will reach $31, an increase from the past 3 years of $30. By 2014, Part D deductible will fall to $310 from the current $325.

When the Medicare Part D program began, there was a lot of concern the cost of the program would go up. Instead, the program has had the opposite effect and the cost has been kept low. Much of it is due to the strong competition and bidding parocess from the participating private insurers, according to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director for the Center of Medicare.

Medicare has saved more than 6.6 million people, more than $7 billion on prescription drugs, and averaging $1,061 per beneficiary.

This is largely due to the government reaching out to pharmaceutical industry and bargaining for drug discounts. In order to participate in the 2013 Medicare program, the pharmaceutical industry agreed to a 52.5% discount on name brand drugs and 21% on generic ones. This savings has been passed on to the seniors. However, higher spending could be triggered for discounted premium drugs, cautioned the governments Medicare watchdog.

In March, The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission reported that Medicare's reinsurance payments are the fastest-growing component of Part D spending. Hence, the higher-cost and demand for specialty brand drugs for cancer treatment, which are not available on generic brands. These name brand drugs add to the cost of the reinsurance cost of the Part D program. However the gap that begins when a person’s Part D Coverage reaches $2,970 will close by 2020.

Blum also assured that seniors who reach the gap will ultimately benefit from the program because when the patient takes their medication, they will likely be healthier and may not require hospitalization.


Please give us your feedback!
What do you think of Medicare Part D program? Should there be a concern of seniors over spending on brand name drugs?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • UnitedHealthCare: Pre-order 2014 materials - Learn More
  • NEW Cash for Apps Program in Texas - Learn More

Tags: Health Insurance, Medicare, senior insurance market news, Medicare Part D, Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement, UnitedHealthcare

    Join thousands of insurance agents who receive weekly news updates and original articles.

    Like Precision Senior Marketing on Facebook!





    Follow Precision Senior Marketing on Twitter!

    Most Popular Posts

    Posts by Topic

    Click for More