RSS

On May 8, 2014, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced a bill to amend the Social Security Act so that all legal marriages are appropriately recognized.  See: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/7ada7247-d7b0-40e5-bece-d684e3c969e2/same-act—one-pager-final.pdf.   The bill, called the SOCIAL SECURITY AND MARRIAGE EQUALITY (SAME) ACT OF 2014, would ensure that all same-sex spouses receive equal treatment under … Read more

The Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General recently reported that nearly one third-of nursing home residents suffered an adverse event or other harm during a stay in a Medicare-participating nursing home in August 2011, and that most of the adverse events or other harm were preventable and the result of problems in staffing.[1] … Read more

The use of Medicare observation status in hospitals has increased dramatically over the past several years.[1] The most notable adverse consequence of Observation Status on beneficiaries is financial liability for any post-hospitalization care at a Skilled Nursing Facility.[2] However, many of the beneficiaries the Center assists also find themselves facing large hospital bills for drugs … Read more

Each year, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health uses the month of April to raise awareness about persistent racial disparities that exist in access to health care and health outcomes. This year's theme, Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity, emphasizes the critical role of prevention in reducing health … Read more

Some croon, "Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die."  As a general rule, Americans not only don't want to die, we also don't want to talk about death and dying.  As a consequence of this reticence, many Americans are dying without the benefits of hospice care.  In an attempt to grapple … Read more

April 17, 2014 A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General found that one third-of nursing home residents in a Medicare-nursing home stay suffered an adverse event or other harm in August 2011 and that most of the events were preventable and caused by problems in staffing.[1]  Yet the nursing … Read more

On March 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum to Part D Plan Sponsors and Medicare Hospice Providers entitled, "Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice – Final 2014 Guidance" (Guidance).   The Guidance identifies a billing problem related to medications after Medicare beneficiaries elect hospice, and … Read more

To inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning  Despite recent gains in public awareness about the need for advance care planning, studies continue to indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. … Read more

On Tuesday, April 1st, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014" (H.R. 4302).[1] This bill is a one year short-term "fix" or "patch" to pending Medicare physician payment cuts under the current physician payment formula called the "sustainable growth rate" or "SGR".  Passed by voice vote in the House … Read more

On March 21, 2014, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., held its first annual national Voices of Medicare Summit and Sen. Jay Rockefeller Lecture. The event brought together advocates, thought leaders, researchers, policy makers and others for a day of reflection and collaboration. The theme of "Voices of Medicare" came to life in the stories … Read more