Medicare

It's an administrative task for the ages.

Medicare is getting ready to issue all 60 million of its beneficiaries new cards with new ID numbers as way to combat identity theft and fraud.

The rollout begins next April, but the agency is already beginning its outreach campaign.

The Capitol Hill health care fight sure seemed dead. After Republican proposals to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed to pass a Republican-controlled Congress, lawmakers looked poised to move on to other topics, like a tax overhaul. But this week, proposals from both the left and the right are grabbing headlines.

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Shares of Louisville-based Kindred stock fell sharply in the last week of August. A proposed federal rule may change the way home health companies like Kindred are paid.

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More than 67,000 seniors in Kentucky are receiving letters this month advertising prescription drug and medical care savings programs from the Social Security Administration. And while financial fraud targeting older Americans is growing – it costs around $2.9 billion a year – these letters are the real deal.

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If you’ve got Medicare insurance, you probably already know this. But if you don’t, you need to know this: It won’t be a relief from high health care costs.

That’s according to a new study out from the Commonwealth Fund.

Back in 2014, federal officials settled on what they thought would be a straightforward fix to curb abusive pill pushing: Require doctors and other health providers to register with Medicare in order to prescribe medications for beneficiaries.

A federal judge has accepted Medicare's plans to try once more to correct a commonly held misconception that beneficiaries' are eligible for coverage for physical and occupational therapy and other skilled care only if their health is improving.

Four years after Medicare officials agreed in a landmark court settlement that seniors can't be denied coverage for physical therapy and other skilled care simply because their condition isn't improving, patients are still being turned away.

As a result, federal officials and Medicare advocates have renewed their federal court battle, acknowledging that they cannot agree on a way to fix the problem. Earlier this month, each submitted ideas to the judge, who will decide — possibly within the next few monthswhat measures should be taken.

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On Sounds Good, Purchase Area Development District’s Aging Coordinator Susan Caldwell Black speaks with Tracy Ross on the importance of reviewing your Medicare options before you become eligible at the age of 65.

 

Black coordinates the State Health Insurance Program for the Area Agency for Aging and Independent living which helps people navigate Medicare options. Black is working to raise awareness about the need to review these options before turning 65, emphasizing prescription drug plans in particular.

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More than 74,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as of January 14. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the numbers Wednesday. 

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