Why are the nuances of Medicare benefits so complicated? While journalists may never find the answer to this question, they can be more aware of this challenge as they shape their reporting.
Medicare’s arcane and overlapping regulations mean consumers often lose or are penalized for benefits for which they are entitled, according to journalist Philip Moeller, who writes about aging and related issues for PBS NewsHour and Money. Continue reading
The aging population is a key driver of increased health spending, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Total health care spending growth is expected to average 5.8 percent annually from 2015-2025, but population aging is anticipated to contribute to faster overall growth in national health spending from 2020 to 2025. However, projected spending growth remains lower than the average over previous two decades before 2008 (nearly 8 percent). Continue reading
Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, CDCPrevalence of Self-Reported Obesity Among U.S. Adults by State and Territory
Obesity in older adults is a very real and growing challenge. Since 1991, there’s been a steady increase in obesity rates among both men and women in the 55 and older age bracket.
In just one year (from 2013 to 2014), a Gallup poll found that the greatest increase in obesity was among the 65-plus age group (from 26.3 to 27.9 percent). A small annual increase can result in a lot of extra pounds over the years. This likely will put the health system under additional strain as baby boomers age into Medicare and as people live longer with weight-related chronic disease. Continue reading
When I think about the forthcoming physician payment and EHR incentive program, known as MACRA, it brings to mind macramé, the 1970s crafting fad of tying cords to make decorative household items.
When I think about macramé, I naturally think about knots. And when I think about knots, I start thinking about MACRA again, because MACRA is an extremely knotty topic – even for health care.
In a new tip sheet, I attempt to untangle MACRA by laying out the basics. MACRA is important for journalists to understand because it is about to become a big deal for physician practices across the country. It’s arguably the biggest change to physician payments in 20 years. And it will require physicians to continue down the path to EHR adoption and interoperability. Continue reading
It almost seems like a no-brainer that dovetailing care between Medicare and Medicaid will have positive effects on the population of dual-eligible older adults.
In reality, care and payment under these systems is often fragmented and disjointed, a frustrating scenario for primary care providers and detrimental to patients. A new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) on The Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO) program reinforces the need for improved service coordination. Continue reading