KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicare News: When Nursing Home Benefits Run Out; Reforming Doc Pay Fix More Costly Than Repeal

News outlets examine what options nursing home patients have when their Medicare benefits run out and the latest challenge to reforming how doctors are paid by the program -- the price tag.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: When Medicare Runs Out For Nursing-Home Patients
Mary-Carol Feeney's Medicare coverage was running out, and in mid-February, her nursing home in Montgomery County told her she would have to leave. … Medicare -- public insurance for the elderly and disabled -- covers most of the costs of skilled nursing for up to 100 days after a hospital stay. But many patients do not realize that, when Medicare coverage stops, they have other options -- because, advocates say, the facilities fail to inform them (Skinner, 9/1).

Medpage Today: Paying For SGR Fix Proving A Challenge
The price tag for a bill to repeal and replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula could cost significantly more than just repealing it, congressional staffers said. Lawmakers have worked with greater tenacity this year to repeal the SGR, in part because of a lower price to repeal the formula, which has drawn broad disdain. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said earlier this year it would cost $138 billion -- more than $100 billion less than it had estimated in years prior -- to do away with the system (Pittman, 8/30).

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