Medicare Open Enrollment Brings Lots Of Choices
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal looks at some of the scams aimed at people over 50. And news outlets scrutinize the record number of hospitals penalized by Medicare for readmitting too many patients within 30 days of their discharges.
The New York Times: Beware of Shifting Options Within Medicare Plans
For millions of older Americans, it is time to sift through the mind-boggling array of Medicare plans. There is an average of 29 drug plans to digest, and about 18 options for Medicare Advantage, the plans delivered through private insurers. Then there are the 10 supplemental plans that cover what traditional Medicare does not. The choices can be paralyzing for anyone, and they can be even more challenging as you age. ... Here are some ideas on how to approach the decision-making process (Bernard, 10/3).
Related KHN Story: Medicare Open Enrollment Is Fast Approaching -- Here's What We Know So Far (Andrews, 9/30)
The Wall Street Journal: If You’re Over 50, You’re A Scam Target
Unfortunately, the 50-plus demographic has long been vulnerable to scams. Today, they make even more attractive targets because of their often sizable retirement savings. ... These days, Medicare and health-insurance scams have become a rich area for con artists to mine. Old-fashioned drains on bank accounts, like “free” contests and magazine subscriptions that really cost money, persist. Email and the Internet have added new dimensions to scams that were once perpetrated over the phone. Identity theft is spreading, and the holiday season is prime time for charity-linked email “phishing” scams (Lauricella, 10/4).
The Hill: Medicare Fines Record Number Of Hospitals
Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals because they readmitted too many patients within 30 days for more treatment, according to federal records released this week. During the next year, 2,610 hospitals will see their reimbursement levels reduced and 39 hospitals will be hit with the largest penalty allowed, according to Kaiser Health News (Needham, 10/4).
The Wall Street Journal: Medicare To Reduce Hospital Payments
Medicare will cut payments to a record 2,610 hospitals -- three-quarters of those eligible -- because too many patients were readmitted within 30 days, according to an analysis of federal records by Kaiser Health News. The hospitals, which include top academic medical centers and small regional ones, will see Medicare reimbursements reduced for every beneficiary they treat, from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of next year (Beck, 10/3).
Georgia Health News: Most Hospitals Face New Round of Readmission Fines
Two-thirds of eligible Georgia hospitals will face Medicare fines for having too many patients return within a month for additional care, federal data show (Miller, 10/3).
Related KHN Story: Medicare Fines 2,610 Hospitals In Third Round Of Readmission Penalties (Rau, 10/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.