Changes to insurance have been getting all the headlines, but the Affordable Care Act aims to change the way doctors operate as well.
The federal law offers incentives for health providers to work together to keep Medicare patients healthy in hopes of saving money. Whether this approach can actually create savings is still unclear, and many doctors remain skeptical. But in Kansas City, a few doctors are teaming up.
The annual enrollment period for Medicare's prescription drug coverage and privatized Medicare Advantage plans is now open. It's the one time of year when people can make changes to their coverage without being penalized.
This year, many senior citizens have been confused. The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act started just two weeks ago. Many people are under the mistaken impression that they need to sign up for coverage on the exchange, even though they have Medicare.
Kansas is one of 10 states the Rand Corporation studied in detail. The study predicts that by 2016, only 6.6 percent of Kansans too young for Medicare will be uninsured. Without the new law, that figure would be more than 14 percent.
The Medicare Summary Notice senior citizens receive every month has been redesigned. The changes are meant to make it easier to spot fraudulent claims.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government has devoted new resources to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. The notice beneficiaries receive each month to explain their claims is being upgraded to make it easier to spot claims for services they never received.
A competitive bidding program aimed at helping Medicare avoid overpaying for products like scooters, diabetic testing supplies, and oxygen tanks is being expanded to 91 communities nationwide, including Wichita.
The program began a little more than two years ago as a demonstration project in nine communities, including Kansas City.
KU Hospital started piloting regular "huddles" within departments last year, to try and better coordinate patient care and the discharge process. The hospital is one of several in the area that will soon face fines for high readmissions rates.
Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
The president is coming to Osawatomie, Ks. because of a speech given there more than 100 years ago. Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech in 1910 that called for a "New Nationalism", and defended the government's role in regulating the economy, defending human welfare and property rights. Whitehouse deputy press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama will channel Roosevelt. Frank Morris has more of the story.
People typically have until the end of this month to enroll in or make changes to their Medicare plans. But this year's deadline is in two days.
"Midnight, December 7th," says Carol Behan, director of CLAIM, Missouri's free Medicare counseling program.
Behan says people often don't take advantage of this enrollment period for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. People may not have to change anything, she says, but they might save money if they compare their premiums and deductibles of the different plans.
Kansas City, MO – Major problems exist when it comes to health in the U.S...whether it be fragmented care or preventable diseases. That's according to Dr. Donald Berwick, head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Berwick shared these concerns with area health leaders on a stop in Kansas City yesterday. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, Dr. Berwick said major improvements are also possible right now.
Jefferson City, MO – Elderly Missourians who qualify for $250 rebate checks from Medicare are being warned to watch out for scam artists.
The checks that are being mailed out are legitimate, but seniors who receive them may be targeted by con artists. State Attorney General Chris Koster says recipients should not give out their personal information to anyone calling to ask for it.