Medicare

7:50am

Wed May 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain On Hospital Bills

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:28 am

Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
HHS

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare.

So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

In a first, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made those figures from more than 3,000 hospitals public Wednesday.

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8:06am

Thu April 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Why Obama's Budget Could Make Health Waves

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:16 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (center), flanked by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (left) and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, speaks during a budget briefing in Washington on Wednesday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

OK, the conventional wisdom about the budget President Obama sent to Congress yesterday is that's irrelevant.

It's two months late, after all, and the House and Senate have already approved their own spending blueprints for fiscal 2014.

But here's why it matters when it comes to health.

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12:58am

Tue April 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

The 'Hard To Change' Legacy Of Medicare Payments

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 may include a proposal for Medicare patients to pay more of their own medical bills.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

5:16am

Fri April 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Reports: Obama To Propose Cuts In Social Programs

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:58 am

President Obama in Denver on Wednesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

There's breaking budget news from several places this morning:

-- "President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say." (The New York Times)

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2:25pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Shots - Health News

Doubts Raised About Cutting Medicare Pay In High-Spending Areas

Whose wallet would get pinched if Medicare payments were cut in areas where service levels run high?
iStockphoto.com

Doctors and hospital administrators in parts of the country that are heavy Medicare spenders can relax their grips on their prescription pads and billing computers.

An influential panel on Friday panned the idea raised in Congress to pay them less for Medicare services if their regions are heavy users of medical services.

The idea is an outgrowth of decades of research into why Medicare spends more per beneficiary in some places such as New York City, Florida and McAllen, Texas, and significantly less in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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