USA Today: $1.5 Billion In Medicare Prescription Drug Savings
USA Today notes that the government is expected to announce today that the health law's Medicare doughnut hole provision triggered this savings. In other Medicare news, the federal government announced Monday that Medicare will allow its claims database to be used by employers, insurance companies and consumer groups.
USA Today: Health Care Law Changing Behavior
More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable, the government plans to announce today. That's because of the provision of the health care law that put a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the "doughnut hole," the gap between traditional and catastrophic coverage in the drug benefit, also known as Part D (Kennedy, 12/6).
The Associated Press: Feds To Allow Use Of Medicare Data To Rate Doctors
The government announced Monday that Medicare will finally allow its extensive claims database to be used by employers, insurance companies and consumer groups to produce report cards on local doctors — and improve current ratings of hospitals. By analyzing masses of billing records, experts can glean such critical information as how often a doctor has performed a particular procedure and get a general sense of problems such as preventable complications (Alonso-Zaldivar, 12/5).
Also in the news, Bloomberg offered this report about the hospice market -
Bloomberg: U.S. Hospice Care Revealed As $14 Billion Market
Janet Stubbs was grateful when the nursing home recommended hospice care for her aunt Midge. ... Stubbs didn't know that her aunt, Doris Midge Appling, was admitted to Hospice Care of Kansas during the company's "Summer Sizzle" promotion drive, which paid employees as much as $100 a head for referrals, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. ... Hospice care, once chiefly a charitable cause, has become a growth industry, with $14 billion in revenues, 1,800 for-profit providers and a base of Medicare-covered patients that doubled to 1.1 million from 2000 to 2009 (Waldman, 12/6).