KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

As Medicare Stifles PSA Testing Penalties, It Signals Interest In Reviving The Issue Later

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services says in its statement that it will continue to solicit input "to determine whether a restructured, appropriate-use PSA measure should be developed." Also, a look at new efforts by the agency to make sure beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans can keep their doctors.

Medscape: Medicare Suspends Penalty-For-PSA-Testing Proposal
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has "temporarily suspended development" of a proposal that would have penalized physicians for performing "nonrecommended" prostate cancer screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, the agency said last week. However, the idea of Medicare establishing parameters for PSA testing has not been completely abandoned. In an online statement, CMS said it will continue to solicit input "to determine whether a restructured, appropriate-use PSA measure should be developed." (Mulcahy, 3/28)

Kaiser Health News: When Medicare Advantage Drops Doctors, Some Members Can Switch Plans
After insurers dropped hundreds of providers in 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued rules giving people a "special enrollment period" to change [Medicare Advantage] plans or join regular Medicare if there was a "significant" change in their provider network. ... In the past eight months, Medicare officials have quietly granted the special enrollment periods to more than 15,000 Medicare Advantage members in seven states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico based on provider cuts. (Jaffe, 3/29)

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