Navigating Medicare Policy on Physical Therapy and Other Services

For years, some people on Medicare had difficulty getting insurance coverage approved for physical therapy, occupational therapy and other treatments. The prevailing approach was that if the therapy was not helping to improve a patient’s condition, then it was not eligible for coverage. “They’d get denied because they weren’t improving, or because they had plateaued,” […]

Report shows $6.7 billion in improper Medicare payments

WASHINGTON — Medicare paid out $6.7 billion in 2010 for health care visits that were improperly coded or lacked documentation, a report released Thursday found. That’s 21% of Medicare’s total budget for diagnostic and assessment visits, according to the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general. They found that 42% of diagnostic and assessment […]

Why HealthCare.gov Was Desperate to Switch Hosting Providers

The last three months of 2013 were a roller coaster for Healthcare.gov, as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) struggled with network outages on Terremark, a subsidiary of Verizon, while juggling self-imposed deadlines for policy enrollments and payments. On November 27, 2013, The HHS signed a contract with HP to switch hosts for […]

Medicare, Medicaid Would Keep Running If U.S. Government Shuts Down

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) — Medicare and Medicaid recipients and veterans will continue to receive health-care benefits if the federal government shuts down on Tuesday, U.S. officials said Monday. The shutdown also won’t stop Tuesday’s introduction of the health insurance exchanges that are a foundation of the Affordable Care Act. The law, also known […]

Obama agenda: The final health-care push

Obama’s approval fell to its lowest point since Sept. 2011 (when the debt ceiling debate was last happening and the country’s credit was downgraded) in a Bloomberg poll at 45% and, for the first time, hist fav/unfav is upside down at 47%/49%. A whopping 68% say the country is on the wrong track. “President Barack Obama and […]

More Doctors are Participating in Medicare

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a report on “Access to Physicians’ Services for Medicare Beneficiaries”, which shows that physician participation in Medicare is growing. Among the key points: • The percentage of all office-based physicians who report accepting new Medicare patients has not changed significantly – from 87.9% of physicians in […]

The Affordable Care Act: Speaking to Women’s Unique Health Needs

More than three years ago, the most important women’s health legislation in my lifetime was passed into law— the Affordable Care Act. This law lowers the costs of health care for women, increases access to quality health care, and pays attention to the distinct health needs of women and families.  As women, we often make health […]

Health Care Reform Investing

Health care has always been a costly service in America, costing some $8,608 per capita in 2011, some 17.9% of that year’s GDP, according to the World Health Organization. It is so unaffordable that 49.9 million Americans, or 16.3% of the population, were uninsured in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau showed. This lack of health […]

Obamacare Will Share Personal Health Info With Federal, State Agencies

A new 253-page Obamacare rule issued late Friday requires state, federal and local agencies as well as health insurers to swap the protected personal health information of anybody seeking to join the new health care program that will be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. Personal health information, or PHI, is highly protected under federal law, but […]

Employer Wellness Programs: Final Rules Issued Under The Affordable Care Act

Steven Gillman is a Partner Chicago and Adam Young an Associate in our Chicago office Final regulations for wellness programs have been issued to help employers encourage healthier behaviors among their employees. Background Large employers are much more likely to offer a variety of wellness incentives to their employees. That said, estimates are that half of the […]