Physical therapy helps Leon Beers get out of bed in the morning and maneuver around his home using his walker. Occupational therapy strengthens the 73-year-old man's throat muscles so that he can communicate and swallow food, says his sister, Karen Morse. But in mid-January, his home health care agency told Morse it could no longer provide these services because he had used all his therapy benefits allowed under Medicare for the year.

Colin Campbell needs help dressing, bathing and moving between his bed and his wheelchair. He has a feeding tube because his partially paralyzed tongue makes swallowing "almost impossible," he says.

Campbell, 58, spends $4,000 a month on home health care services so he can continue to live in his home just outside Los Angeles. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which relentlessly attacks the nerve cells in his brain and spinal cord and has no cure.

As the federal government penalizes 751 hospitals for having too many infections and patient injuries, some states are feeling the cuts in Medicare payments more than others.


  The Purchase Area Development District is providing free reviews in November at Senior Centers in the region for Medicare Part D enrollees. via Twitter

In April 2018, Medicare officials will begin sending out new health insurance cards that no longer include enrollees’ social security numbers.

The Trump administration says many of the organizations that help people enroll in health plans on the federal insurance marketplaces don't provide enough bang for the buck, sometimes costing thousands of dollars to sign up each customer. So it is cutting their funding, some by as much as 90 percent, the government told the groups last week.

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.


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.

Attila Barabas, 123rf stock photo

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.