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Nursing Facilities Participating in Advancing Excellence Still Among Worst Performers Many nursing facilities that are identified by the federal government as among the facilities providing the poorest quality of care to residents in the country – the Special Focus Facilities (SFFs) – participate in the nursing home industry's voluntary quality improvement campaign, Advancing Excellence in … Read more

Effective January 1, 2012, Medicare Part D plan enrollees who are unable to obtain a prescription drug at the pharmacy are now, in most instances, entitled to a written notice explaining how they can contact their Part D plan in order to initiate an appeal.  On February 2, 2012, CMS announced that the final model … Read more

On November 29, 2011, CMS announced its decision to include coverage for obesity screening and counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries.[1] This new coverage for Medicare beneficiaries is another tool aimed at emphasizing prevention and wellness by CMS, which has already implemented coverage of certain preventive services and screenings as part of the Affordable Care Act.[2] … Read more

The payroll tax extension that finally became law on December 23, 2011 includes many provisions that will help Medicare beneficiaries and lower income families (Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011, H.R. 3765; no public law number assigned yet). The payroll tax in question is a reduction in Social Security payroll tax paid by … Read more

Each month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identifies nursing facilities that are among the facilities providing the poorest care to their residents, as determined by federal deficiencies cited in the prior three years.   These facilities, called Special Focus Facilities (SFFs), receive special attention from state survey agencies – at least two surveys … Read more

NATIONAL MEDICARE ADVOCATES ALLIANCE CALL Monday, December 12, 2011– 2:00 P.M., Eastern Time Call-in Number: 1(888)206-2266 Pass Code: 1050263# NOTE: We ask people calling from the same location to gather around one telephone.  This frees up lines and holds down costs. _____________________________________________________   Welcome and Housekeeping  (David Lipschutz, CMA, Moderator) Extender Bill  (re: QI, therapy caps, physician … Read more

  Part 1: Today (12/7/2011) is the Last Day of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, With a Limited Extension Today, December 7, 2011, is the last day of the Medicare Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP), also known as the Annual Election Period (AEP), the period during which people can make changes to their Medicare Advantage … Read more

  Connecticut as of 11/15/2011: http://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/Medicare_Supplement_Insurance_Rates.pdf   Find policies in your area at: http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx

Center Attorney Toby Edelman Testifies at Senate Aging Hearing About Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Facilities Medicare Enrollment Period Ends December 7, 2011 January 2012 Brings Round 2 of CMS' Competitive Bidding Program for Suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment Orthotics And Supplies (DMEPOS) Center Attorney Toby Edelman Testifies at Senate Aging Hearing About Overuse … Read more

UNITED STATES SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING OVERPRESCRIBED: THE HUMAN AND TAXPAYERS' COSTS OF ANTIPSYCHOTICS IN NURSING HOMES November 30, 2011 Testimony of Toby S. Edelman Senior Policy Attorney Center for Medicare Advocacy The misuse of antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraints is one of the most common and longstanding, but preventable, practices causing serious harm … Read more