Affordable Care Act Saves Medicare Recipients Billions On Prescription Drugs

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Seniors / Aging
Article Date: 04 Dec 2012 – 10:00 PST

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Affordable Care Act Saves Medicare Recipients Billions On Prescription Drugs

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3 (2 votes)

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As the last week of Medicare Open Enrollment gets closer, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared yesterday that savings on prescription drugs have topped $5 billion thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Terminating Medicare Consults Linked To A Rise In Total Spending

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Health Insurance / Medical Insurance
Article Date: 27 Nov 2012 – 10:00 PST

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Terminating Medicare Consults Linked To A Rise In Total Spending

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2 (1 votes)

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Getting rid of payments for Medicare consultations frequently billed by specialists was seen to be connected with a new increase in spending during visits to specialists as well as primary care doctors, suggests a new study examining medicare data published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Most Medicare Patients Wait Weeks Before Breast Cancer Surgery

Main Category: Breast Cancer
Also Included In: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 21 Nov 2012 – 1:00 PST

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Most Medicare Patients Wait Weeks Before Breast Cancer Surgery

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Although patients may feel anxious waiting weeks from the time of their first doctor visit to evaluate their breast until they have breast cancer surgery, new findings from Fox Chase Cancer Center show that these waits are typical in the United States. Results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Looking at data collected from more than 72,000 Medicare patients diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer, researchers – led by Richard J. Bleicher, M.D., attending surgeon and director of the Breast Fellowship Program at Fox Chase – found that, in 2005, half of the breast cancer patients underwent breast cancer surgery at least 32 days after first consulting their doctor about their breast problem. This is an increase from 1992, when half of the patients waited no more than 21 days.

Medicare Barrier To Hospice Increases Hospitalization

Main Category: Palliative Care / Hospice Care
Also Included In: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP;  Alzheimer’s / Dementia
Article Date: 02 Nov 2012 – 1:00 PDT

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Medicare Barrier To Hospice Increases Hospitalization

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A Medicare rule that blocks thousands of nursing home residents from receiving simultaneous reimbursement for hospice and skilled nursing facility (SNF) care at the end of life may result in those residents receiving more aggressive treatment and hospitalization, according a new analysis.

Medicare Regional Analysis Masks Substantial Local Variation In Health Care Spending

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 02 Nov 2012 – 0:00 PDT

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Medicare Regional Analysis Masks Substantial Local Variation In Health Care Spending

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Reforming Medicare payments based on large geographic regions may be too bluntly targeted to promote the best use of health care resources, a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health suggests. The analysis will be published in the Nov. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Health Costs For Seniors In Canada Rising Slowly: Points Way To Medicare Solvency

Main Category: Seniors / Aging
Also Included In: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP;  Primary Care / General Practice
Article Date: 31 Oct 2012 – 0:00 PDT

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Health Costs For Seniors In Canada Rising Slowly: Points Way To Medicare Solvency

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A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine finds that per capita Medicare spending on the elderly has grown nearly three times faster in the United States than in Canada since 1980. (Canada’s program, which covers all Canadians, not just the elderly, is also called Medicare.) Cost grew more slowly in Canada despite a 1984 law banning co-payments and deductibles.

Costs Significantly Less When Outpatient Urological Surgery Performed In Physician Offices & ACCs

Main Category: Urology / Nephrology
Also Included In: Primary Care / General Practice;  Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 24 Oct 2012 – 1:00 PDT

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Costs Significantly Less When Outpatient Urological Surgery Performed In Physician Offices & ACCs

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More and more outpatient surgical procedures are being done at nonhospital-based facilities such as freestanding ambulatory surgical centers and physician offices, instead of at hospital-based outpatient departments. A new study comparing the cost to Medicare of 22 urological surgical procedures performed in each setting has found that ambulatory surgery centers and physician offices are less costly than hospitals. The results are published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

News From Annals Of Internal Medicine: Oct. 23, 2012

Main Category: Men’s Health
Also Included In: Endocrinology;  Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 24 Oct 2012 – 0:00 PDT

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News From Annals Of Internal Medicine: Oct. 23, 2012

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1. Task Force Recommends Against Hormone Replacement Therapy for Postmenopausal Women

Big Drop in Colon Cancer Attributed to Colonoscopy

By Rita Rubin
WebMD Health News

doctor holding a colonoscope

Oct. 23, 2012 — Wider use of colonoscopy has led to a more dramatic decline in colorectal cancer rates, a new study suggests.

Colorectal cancer cases and deaths have been falling for decades, with the most recent decline likely due to screening tests that enable doctors to detect and, if necessary, remove precancerous growths, researchers write in the journal Gastroenterology.

Still, the disease kills more Americans than any other cancer except lung cancer, and half of all Americans over 50 aren’t getting any screening for it, according to the American Cancer Society.

Improving Outpatient Management Could Reduce The High Rate Of Readmission Of Kidney Transplant Patients

Main Category: Transplants / Organ Donations
Also Included In: Urology / Nephrology;  Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 18 Oct 2012 – 0:00 PDT

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Improving Outpatient Management Could Reduce The High Rate Of Readmission Of Kidney Transplant Patients

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Three in 10 patients receiving a kidney transplant require readmission to the hospital within 30 days of discharge following surgery, according to a Johns Hopkins analysis of six years of national data.