Turning 65 means a lot for Americans’ wallets, health spending study finds

Lowering the age when older adults can enroll in Medicare might save them a lot of money, even if the age drops only a year or two from the current age of 65, a new study suggests. Such a change could especially affect the small percentage of people in their early 60s who spend a major chunk of their disposable income on health costs.

Aging U.S. Immigrant Population Poses Challenges to State Health Care Systems

A team led by Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of faculty research at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI), has found the United States faces a potential crisis in terms of health care for documented, and undocumented immigrants.

Providing more low-value care doesn’t lead to higher patient experience ratings

Many healthcare providers and policy makers fear that increased pressure to please patients — and ensure high satisfaction ratings as a result — could lead to overuse of low-value care that doesn’t provide any clinical benefit while unnecessarily ratcheting up medical bills. But new research from the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School may alleviate some of those concerns.

Nearly $500 million a year in Medicare costs goes to 7 services with no net health benefits

A UCLA-led study shows that physicians frequently order preventive medical services for adult Medicare beneficiaries that are considered unnecessary and of “low value” by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — at a cost of $478 million per year.

House Reintroduces Bill to Modernize Medicare’s Chiropractic Coverage

The Chiropractic Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654), introduced April 19 in the U.S. House of Representatives, would increase Medicare coverage of services provided by doctors of chiropractic within the full extent of their state licensure, enabling chiropractic patients to conveniently and safely access needed care.

Geriatric Emergency Departments Associated with Lower Medicare Expenditures

As the U.S. population ages, more hospitals are implementing geriatric emergency department (GED) programs with specialized staff focused on transitional care for older adults. A new study finds that providing specialized geriatric emergency care results in lower Medicare expenditures up to $3,200 per beneficiary.

American Society of Anesthesiologists Urges Medicare to Keep Physician-led Anesthesia Care to Protect Older Patients and Patients with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a request for information regarding waivers declared during the COVID-19 pandemic, including one that removed physician anesthesiologists from anesthesia care and replaced them with nurses. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) urges Americans to protect older patients and those with disabilities by posting a comment to the Federal Register asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to rescind the temporary policy that lowers the standard of care and risks patients’ lives.

Congress Must Act To Fortify Health Care System And Protect Access To Care

The final 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule fails to avert the potential impact on seniors of payment cuts to more than a million health care providers already reeling from COVID-19’s financial impact. If Congress does not act now to address these changes, the results may be devastating for patients, communities and providers.

61 Healthcare Groups Urge Congress to Support Implementation of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Today, more than 60 healthcare stakeholders, representing Medicare providers, signed a letter urging congressional leaders to support bipartisan legislation that would implement the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Calendar Year 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule as written.

What’s at stake in the Supreme Court’s ACA case? A quick explainer

Though the election and pandemic have eclipsed it in the news, there’s another event unfolding that could affect nearly all Americans: a Supreme Court case that will decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. A health policy researcher explains what would happen if it’s overturned.

Generic Cholesterol Drugs Save Medicare Billions of Dollars, Study Finds

DALLAS – Sept. 9, 2020 – The switch from brand name to generic cholesterol medications that occurred between 2014 and 2018 has saved Medicare billions of dollars, even as the number of people on cholesterol-lowering drugs has increased, UT Southwestern scientists have calculated. Their data, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology, suggest that policymakers and clinicians could help cut Medicare costs even further by switching more patients to generic drugs.

Proposed Medicare Cuts Threaten Anesthesiology Practices Already Struggling Amid Pandemic

Medicare has proposed drastic cuts to its payment rates for important health care services, threatening the practices of physician anesthesiologists who have been on the front lines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) opposes these detrimental payment reductions, and urges Congress to take action to override the budget neutrality requirements that are the cause for these cuts and thereby ensure physician anesthesiologists can continue to care for their patients while being more fairly compensated for their work.

ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS SUPPORTS SENATE INTRODUCTION OF MEDICAL NUTRITION THERAPY ACT

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics thanks U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Gary Peters (Mich.) for their commitment to America’s health and their introduction of the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation would provide coverage for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain treatment from registered dietitian nutritionists and other qualified nutrition experts for many common and costly chronic diseases.

Middle-Aged Adults Worried About Health Insurance Costs Now, Uncertain for Future

Health insurance costs weigh heavily on the minds of many middle-aged adults, and many are worried for what they’ll face in retirement or if federal health policies change, according to a new study. More than a quarter of people in their 50s and early 60s lack confidence that they’ll be able to afford health insurance in the next year, and the number goes up to nearly half when they look ahead to retirement.

Study Finds Association Between Patient Therapy Time, Length of Stay After Hip Fracture Surgery

Researchers in the George Washington University Advanced Metrics Lab found that a hip fracture patient’s length of stay in a rehabilitation facility has a greater impact on functional independence than therapy time per day

Peritoneal Dialysis Use Has Increased in the United States after Medicare Payment Reform

• After a Medicare payment policy related to dialysis was implemented in 2011, use of home-based peritoneal dialysis increased significantly.
• Increases were seen for both “early” and “late” peritoneal dialysis: more patients initiated dialysis with peritoneal dialysis and more patients switched from hemodialysis to peritoneal dialysis.

Too Good to Be True?

New analysis casts doubt on effectiveness of Medicare payment incentive program as a way to curb hospital readmissions Study suggests drop in readmission rates observed after program launch likely stemmed from a broader decline in admissions rather than as a result of the program
The findings highlight the need for implementing policies in ways that allow their impact to be distinguished from other changes in health care

American Society of Anesthesiologists Offers Trump Administration Medical Expertise to Protect and Improve Medicare

ASA today offered it medical expertise to the Trump Administration as it works to improve Medicare beneficiaries’ access to physician care, implement transparency and market-based reforms, while reducing cost and regulatory burdens as provided in President Trump’s Executive Order.