Connect to share and comment

Health secretary Sebelius says 7.5 million people have applied for coverage under health law

WASHINGTON - Enrolment for the president's health care law has grown to 7.5 million Americans, the Obama administration announced Thursday, handing President Barack Obama and the Democrats bigger coverage numbers to tout in the face of election-year attacks.

Data trove shows U.S. doctors reap millions from Medicare

By Sharon Begley and M.B. Pell NEW YORK (Reuters) - In 2012, south Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen received $20.8 million in Medicare payments, the highest amount the government health plan for the elderly and disabled paid an individual provider that year, according to a Reuters analysis of federal data released on Wednesday. A California laboratory received $190 million, the most Medicare paid a single entity in 2012.

Factbox: Using the data on Medicare's payments to doctors

By Sharon Begley and M.B. Pell NEW YORK (Reuters) - Medicare billing data released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gives the public an unprecedented look at how the program pays medical providers. [ID:nL2N0N11FJ] But the data can lead to incorrect inferences about how much doctors and others are really making. Below are some of the caveats:

Diabetes expenses have decreased, but are still high

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes treatment have gone down for many U.S. patients over the past decade, according to a new study. But nearly a quarter of people with diabetes still face high expenses. In particular, "(out-of-pocket) expenses declined in the people with public insurance and in people with low income between 2001 and 2011," mostly because prescription drug costs went down, Rui Li told Reuters Health by email.

Database reveals Medicare paid some doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012; one got $20.8M

WASHINGTON - Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

GOP budget cuts: talking the talk without walking the walk

WASHINGTON - When House Republicans pass Rep. Paul Ryan's budget for a fourth year in a row this week, they'll go on record again in favour of big spending cuts across a wide swath of programs, including Medicaid, food and farm aid and eliminating subsidies for Amtrak and airline flights to small cities.

U.S. insurers still expect cuts in 2015 Medicare payments

By Caroline Humer (Reuters) - U.S. health insurers said on Tuesday they still expected cuts in government reimbursements for privately managed Medicare health plans for the elderly next year even after the Obama administration rolled back the steepest reductions. The government agency that oversees Medicare said late on Monday that on average, reimbursements to insurers for private Medicare plans would rise 0.4 percent, reversing what it said was a proposed cut of 1.9 percent.

Obamacare 'accomplishing goal': Gallup poll

By Curtis Skinner NEW YORK (Reuters) - The percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped to its lowest in nearly six years due in part to U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, commonly known as Obamacare, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. Some 15.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in the first three months of 2014, down from a high of 18 percent in late 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey.

House conservatives offer more austere alternative to Ryan budget

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative Republicans who believe that Representative Paul Ryan's budget plan does not cut spending fast or deeply enough will get a chance to support an alternative plan that aims to balance the budget in just four years instead of 10. The Republican Study Committee, the most influential bloc of House of Representatives conservatives, on Monday unveiled its "Back to Basics" budget as an amendment that would replace Ryan's plan in a House floor vote this week.

Government raises Medicare Advantage payment estimate for 2015

The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans, months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 per cent overall. That compares to a drop of nearly 2 per cent that the government forecast in February. Analysts expect actual funding to fall, when many other variables are considered. But the drop shouldn't be as steep as they initially forecast.
Syndicate content