Medicare

Government & Politics
7:50 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Rep. Doyle: Bill to Restore Military Pensions Pits Veterans Against Seniors

United States Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) said in a statement Wednesday that he is disappointed with the passage of a bill to restore cuts in early military retirees’ cost of living adjustments.

Doyle said he is in favor of restoring the $6 billion in cuts, which were the result of a bipartisan budget deal reached in December, but that it shouldn’t have been achieved by extending the Medicare sequester for an additional two years, beginning in 2024.

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Government & Politics
4:20 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Doyle Supports Bill To Strengthen Social Security

About one in five senior citizens in the U.S. relies on Social Security as the sole source of income and proposed funding cuts could put them in danger.

Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) announced today his support of the Strengthening Social Security Act, which would increase benefits by about $70 a month.

The bill, introduced in September by California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, would increase Cost of Live Adjustments (COLA) and extend the Social Security trust fund by slowly eliminating the payroll tax cap.

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Health
3:30 am
Tue November 19, 2013

High-Cost 'Specialty Tier' Prescription Drugs Under Scrutiny in PA

Tough to swallow: Pennsylvania lawmakers are studying the possibility of capping the price of so-called “specialty tier” prescription drugs for policy holders in the state.
Credit Flickr user Grumpy-Puddin

If you have hemophilia, multiple sclerosis or any number of other hard-to-treat diseases, the cost of your medications alone could reach into six figures, depending on your insurance coverage.

“It’s roughly $15,000 a month, and from that I’m lucky to have good insurance so we have good co-pay structure, co-insurance," said Nick Vizzoca, whose 13-year-old son has hemophilia.

The Pittsburgh resident said he is worried his son’s medication could be placed into a specialty tier and the co-pay could sky rocket.

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Health
4:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Options Aplenty, Lower-Than-Expected Premiums for Pittsburghers in Health Insurance Marketplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that people will have more options in the health insurance marketplace and premiums will not be as high as originally thought. 

Premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected.

“In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable,” Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. 

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Health
4:54 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Federal Initiative Aims to Lower Hospital Re-Admissions from Nursing Homes

Thirteen of the Pittsburgh region’s nursing homes are taking part in a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative to reduce the number of nursing home residents who are re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Four of those 13  are the Kane Regional Centers in McKeesport, Glen Hazel, Ross and Scott Township.  Those centers are receiving an in-house nurse practitioner and employee training designed to help pick out situations that need medical intervention.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Hospitals and Health Care Providers Switch to Electronic Records

Doctors, hospitals and patients are now more connected than ever as the majority of health care providers in the United States are making the switch to electronic health records.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced recently that it already exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor’s offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to use EHRs by the end of 2013.

According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 17 percent of physicians and 9 percent of hospitals were using EHRs in 2008.

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Sequestration
2:59 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

As Sequester Cuts Kick In, Hospitals to See Less Revenue from Medicare Payments

Starting April 1, Medicare payments to hospitals, doctors and other health care providers will be reduced by 2 percent as sequestration cuts kick in.

These cuts come after a slew of other cuts and subsidy reductions for under- and un-compensated care in preparation for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement the cut, reimbursing Medicare claims at 98 cents on the dollar. Medicare already reimburses less than most private health insurance plans.

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