Report: Critical Access Hospitals Get Billions In Extra Medicare Funds
In other Medicare news, Medicare Advantage plans, as well as health policies sold in the federally run health exchange, will be required -- starting next year -- to provide up-to-date details about which doctors are in their plans and taking new patients.
The Associated Press:
Report: Rural Hospitals Get Billions In Extra Medicare Funds
A law that allows rural hospitals to bill Medicare for rehabilitation services for seniors at higher rates than nursing homes and other facilities has led to billions of dollars in extra government spending, federal investigators say. Most patients could have been moved to a skilled-nursing facility within 35 miles of the hospital at about one-fourth the cost, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general said in a report being released Monday. Hospitals juggling tough balance sheets have come to view such "swing-bed" patients as lucrative, fueling a steady rise in the number of people getting such care and costing Medicare an additional $4.1 billion over six years, the report said. (Sedensky, 3/9)
Kaiser Health News:
Health Exchange, Medicare Advantage Plans Must Keep Updated Doctor Directories In 2016
Starting next year, the federal government will require health insurers to give millions of Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans or in policies sold in the federally run health exchange up-to-date details about which doctors are in their plans and taking new patients. Medicare Advantage plans and most exchange plans restrict coverage to a network of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that can change during the year. Networks can also vary among plans offered by the same insurer. So it’s not always easy to figure out who’s in and who’s out, and many consumers have complained that their health coverage doesn’t amount to much if they can’t find doctors who accept their insurance. (Jaffe, 3/9)