KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Medicare Weighs Opening Website To Include Consumers’ Comments On Doctors

Medical groups oppose the move because it could unfairly damage a doctor's reputation. In other Medicare news, beneficiaries are warned about protecting the new cards coming out next year, and federal officials relax some rules for people in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Bloomberg/BNA: Medicare: The New Angie's List?
Should an official Medicare Website let beneficiaries air their opinions of doctors and other health care professionals? The Medicare agency says there’s clamor for this. Patient and caregivers “regularly ask for more information from patients like them in their own words,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) said in a proposed rule. They regularly request that the Medicare agency include narrative reviews of clinicians and groups on the Website, the agency said. The Website in question is called Physician Compare. ... The CMS said it’s considering adding results from five open-ended questions about beneficiaries’ experiences with medical professionals. (Yochelson, 9/5)

Detroit Free Press: Seniors Warned About Medicare Scams Before New Cards Arrive In 2018
New Medicare cards — the ones that won't make it easy for ID thieves to steal your Social Security number — will find their way into wallets next year. But we're already hearing warnings about scams that are bubbling up before the big changeover. The design for the new Medicare card is expected to be revealed in September. And TV ads have already begun talking about the new cards and featuring the tagline "Guard Your Card." (Tompor, 9/7)

Dallas Morning News: Medicare Making It Easier For Harvey Victims To Get Access To Medical Supplies
Texans enrolled in Medicare that had medical supplies that were lost or damaged due to Hurricane Harvey will have access to an altered set of rules for a short time. Medicare will pay to replace products like home oxygen equipment, breathing devices, diabetes testing supplies, artificial limbs, canes and wheelchairs, the federal agency that oversees the program said in an announcement Thursday. Rules that require patients to see a physician face-to-face and obtain documents showing new medical necessity are also being waived. (Rice, 9/7)

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