Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Update on 2016 Medicare Advantage Market

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released an update on the Medicare Advantage (MA) plan market in 2016. According to the report, enrollment in MA plans continues to increase despite concerns that adjustments in payments to MA plans enacted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would stifle enrollment. These payment adjustments were put in place to reduce overpayments to MA plans and align costs with Traditional Medicare. As of 2016, payment reductions are fully implemented in 78 percent of counties, which accounts for 70 percent of people with Medicare and 68 percent of people with MA plans. Read More...

Kaiser Family Foundation Brief Highlights Decline in Employer Sponsored Retiree Health Plans

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

According to a recent issue brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), from 1988 to 2015 there was a considerable decrease in the number of large employers that offer retiree health coverage. In 1988, 66 percent of large employers with 200 or more employees offered retiree health benefits and just 23 percent of large employers offered these benefits in 2015. Read More...

Medicare Rights Supports Proposal to Close Loophole in Physician Self-Referral Policies

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

Last week, Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden expressing support for a proposal to close a loophole in physician self-referral policies. The Ethics in Patient Referrals Act (the Act) prohibits certain types of referrals, specifically ones where the referring doctor owns or has an interest in the provider who administers the referred service. The Act includes exceptions for certain services, including those that could be provided by a physician while the patient is present for the initial visit to aid in diagnosis and minimize delays. Read More...

Consumers, Providers, and Health Plans Unite in Support for Part B Prescription Drug Payment Model

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

As the comment period closes on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal to test new payment strategies for Medicare Part B prescription drugs, 25 organizations representing people with Medicare, health plans, and health care professionals are voicing their strong support for the model. The proposal presents an opportunity to improve health care quality and value for people with Medicare and also support providers in delivering the right care at the right time. Read More...