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Caution Advocates are seeing an increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries who have delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B, thinking, erroneously, that because they are paying for and receiving continued health coverage under COBRA, they do not have to enroll in Medicare Part B.[1]  COBRA-qualified beneficiaries who have delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B … Read more

This week, the Obama Administration launched a National Alzheimer's Plan to help the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease and their 15 million caregivers. Consisting of funding for clinical research, provider education and outreach, data collection, a public awareness campaign, and proposed funding for caregiver support, the plan provides needed investment and vision … Read more

On May 9, 2012, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center) testified before the Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U. S. Congress.  The Subcommittee hearing was called by its Chair, Wally Herger (R-CA), to explore the implementation of the Congressionally-mandated Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program. Alfred … Read more

When research conducted a decade ago documented that mortality rates actually increased when employment rates increased, health economists sought to identify the cause.  Focusing on employed workers did not explain the increased mortality rates.  A new analysis by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College – focused on who was actually dying when employment … Read more

New data released this week shows that families and individuals who rely on Medicare continue to see direct benefits from the Affordable Care Act by saving billions of dollars on prescription drug costs.[1] So far in 2012, older and disabled Americans have saved an average of $837 on their drug purchases after reaching the donut-hole … Read more

Reducing hospital readmissions is generating lots of confusion.  The rules are complicated.  In addition, some hospitals, facilities, and health care networks have adopted protocols, and have in place some level of procedures for reduction in hospital readmissions in advance of the requirements set forth in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In general, the Centers for Medicare … Read more

On April 23, 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that concludes, among other things, that a Medicare demonstration program providing bonus payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans mainly benefits plans whose performance is no more than average.  While the program is supposed to reward quality, in practice it largely rewards plans receiving … Read more

Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status on April 23, 2012.  According to this year's report, the Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to pay out the full amount of Medicare Part A benefits until 2024 – the same projection made in last year's report.  Should nothing else change, … Read more

April 18, 2012 Contact: Toby S. Edelman at (202) 293-5760 tedelman@medicareadvocacy.org The Center for Medicare Advocacy knows that huge savings in nursing facility costs, and advances in resident care, could be achieved if facilities eliminated the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs and provided sufficient staff to meet resident needs.  The Center commends the Senate Special … Read more

The Future of Long-Term Care: Saving Money by Serving Seniors Senate Special Committee on Aging April 18, 2012 2:00 p.m. Statement for the Record Toby S. Edelman Senior Policy Attorney Center for Medicare Advocacy 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 709 Washington, DC  20036 The Center for Medicare Advocacy suggests that huge savings in the cost … Read more