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

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

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 Watch0 Comments

Barry Salmons/Shutterstock.com

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...

Training and Advancement Opportunities for Nursing Assistants Would Improve Quality of Care

Matthew OzgaGuest Posts0 Comments

Central to any good job is the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop one’s skill set. Unfortunately, in America’s nursing homes, too many jobs aren’t good jobs; they offer poverty-level wages, inadequate benefits, and little opportunity for advancement. Attracting and retaining quality workers to nursing homes requires improving entry-level positions, but also providing meaningful opportunities to graduate to advanced roles, with enhanced responsibility and higher wages. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of nursing homes, those opportunities simply aren’t there. Read More...

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

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

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...