The Wall Street Journal reported on a story involving a 44-year old uninsured diabetic, Mark Baumann, and his mother Mary Baumann. According to the report Humana plans to reduce Mary’s Medicare Advantage plan to compensate for smaller government payments under the PP & AC Act, which stipulates that 15% of the new health care law will be funded by Medicare payment cuts beginning in 2012. The report cites the Congressional Budget Office in stating that Medicare Advantage enrollees will get $68 less a month in benefits by 2019.
The reduced Medicare Advantage plans for Mary and other seniors will result in either higher costs or less benefits. The report also states that dozens of private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans are now preparing to reduce dental, vision, and certain prescription-drug coverage beginning next year. Interestingly, the report states that by 2035, if both Medicare and Social Security see no changes, they will comprise 50% of all federal spending. The report goes on to discuss the larger issue of how this represents a shift of how the government applies our social safety net to cover younger people. What do you think of this? Let the PSM community know in the comments below (view the full article here).
Seniors Know Very Little About New Health Care Law
Several news outlets are reporting on a new poll that shows just how little seniors know about the new health law. Politicians, especially Democrats, are concerned since seniors represent a large voting bloc, especially in mid-term elections. The poll, conducted by the National Council on Aging, showed that only 17% of seniors knew the correct answers to more than half of the questions, and only 9% correctly answered two-thirds of the questions.
CMS Issues Final Rule Tying Renal Services to Performance
MordernHealthcare.com reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule to tie Medicare payment for end-stage renal disease services with performance on quality measures. Two of these measures include anemia management and hemodialysis adequacy. Providers who don’t meet these standards will have their payments reduced up to 2% beginning January 2012. CMS also issued a final rule regarding a new ESRD payment system that includes adjustments for home dialysis training when clinically appropriate.
Happy Anniversary Medicare!
Yesterday marked 45 years of Medicare.