Friday, February 6, 2009

Final Announcement: MAC is now part of Health Care – From Policy to Practice

The MAC blog is now part of Health Care – From Policy to Practice blog. We have more content, news and networking available to share with you on this new blog. Thanks for your continued readership and make sure to subscribe to the new feed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays from Medicare Advantage Congress

We're going to be taking some much needed time away from the world of Medicare/Medicaid to enjoy the holiday season with our loved ones.

Our sincerest thanks for your continued readership of the blog and we look forward to your participation, thoughts and ideas moving forward in 2009.

Stay tuned we're getting ready to launch a new blog that looks at the broader issues of Healthcare, update your RSS feed now as we get it ready for our official launch:

We wish to you a joyous holiday season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Healthcare Insights To Launch in 2009!

We're getting ready to launch a new blog that looks at the broader issues of Healthcare, providing breaking news, insights and strategies into Health Plan business and operations., update your RSS feed now as we get it ready for our official launch:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Medicare to Docs: Go Electronic in 2012

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, will offer financial bonuses to doctors who prescribe drugs electronically rather than on paper. Doctors who do not will face penalties from Medicare starting in 2012. From Reuters.

Medicare states that this is to improve efficiency between doctors and pharmacies and to avoid problems with handwriting, patients who lost prescription notes, etc. However, how much is this going to cost doctors--especially those who are serving low income areas or who are in private practice? I understand that Medicare is now offering monetary incentives to doctors who welcome this program but why bribe doctors into doing something that they will already ahave to do in a few years.

Medicare should, if they are mandating that doctors adhere to this new policy, spend money to educate docs and their staff on the new inititative.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just the Essentials: Deciding on Medicare Coverage Plans

We stumbed across this very informative piece this morning by Allsup on MarketWatch that details the 10 most important things that indivudals/caretakers must ask themselves when figuring out appropriate Medicare coverage.

The article stresses that knowing one's healthcare needs is the key to understanding what plans are solid for their needs.

We highly recommend that you print out this list, available here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

U.S. Nursing Homes Get "Zagat" Rated by Feds

For a listing of the ratings by state, please click here.

By offering ratings to each nursing home, it gives a clear rating of the quality of the home. Though a visit is always encouraged, soon people would be able to choose a nursing home much like choosing a place for vacation.

What is particularly interesting about this report is that non-profit oranizations take better care of their clients than for profit organzations. This is probably because non-profits are so tied into keeping their non-profit status that a system of checks and balances in high order.

An analysis of nearly 16,000 nursing homes reveals for-profit homes are more likely to provide inferior care than their non-profit rivals, according to a USA TODAY examination of the federal government's first ratings of the homes' performance.

The new Zagat-like rating system, released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, assigns homes one to five stars for quality, staffing and health inspections, plus an overall score.

What do you think of the rating system? How will it affect U.S. nursing homes?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Texas Medicaid Fraud

Oops! More kickbacks for health officials have landed Texan health officials in some serious hot water. What is important about this case, as with all fraud cases, is that it affects the individuals who trusted in others to do their job and to do it well. People don't want to be seen as dollar signs, it grows contempt in the consumer which is just bad business.

This case, with phony advocacy groups and false marketing materials is predatorial and wrong and these individuals deserve to be prosecuted by the full extent of the law.

J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutica funneled kickbacks to Texas health officials, distributed false marketing materials and deployed phony advocacy groups to get its Risperdal antipsychotic prescribed to low-income Texans, the state alleges in a new filing in an ongoing fraud lawsuit filed in 2006, according to The Dallas Morning News