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Posts from the ‘National News’ Category


MedPAC Releases March 2011 Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105–33) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. Two reports—issued in March and June each year—are the primary outlets for Commission recommendations. In addition to annual reports and occasional reports on…
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Hearst Website chronicles medical errors, urges consumer action

Every year approximately 200,000 American patients die preventable deaths as tools to make them safer go unused. Patients are in the dark about facilities’ safety records, yet only fragments of the government’s wealth of information is shared.

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Employer Health Benefits 2010 Annual Survey

The average employee contribution toward premiums for family coverage rose 14% in 2010 to nearly $4,000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust in a report released September 2. Contributions for single coverage grew 15%. However, the total premium cost – that split by employer and employee – rose…
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US Senators Back Market Basket CMS Reform

More than 20 percent of US Senators signed a letter to CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, asking his help in implementing the market basket index in the Medicare ASC payment system. Click here to read the letter.


At least one governor is optimistic about a US Senate vote on additional Medicaid dollars

Gov. Chris Gregoire is optimistic she won’t have to make deep cuts to  state programs following a key Senate vote on additional federal  Medicaid dollars.

The Senate voted 61-38 Wednesday morning to advance the bill, and is  expected to vote on it later Wednesday or Thursday. It would extend  programs enacted in last year’s…
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Americans Cut Back on Visits to Doctor

WSJ says insured Americans are using fewer medical services, raising questions about whether patients are consuming less health care as they pick up a greater share of the costs. Read more here.


Doctors’ lobby losing clout on Hill

Months after delivering its crucial endorsement of the health care overhaul, the American Medical Association has found itself with fewer friends on Capitol Hill and more critics questioning its lobbying savvy.

Its troubles couldn’t come at a worse time: It is more dependent than ever on having allies in Congress, thanks to the growing…
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Obama Chooses Health Policy Scholar, AHA Trustee, as the Director for Medicare and Medicaid

WASHINGTON — President Obama will soon name Dr. Donald M. Berwick, an iconoclastic scholar of health policy, to run Medicare and Medicaid, the programs that serve nearly one-third of all Americans, administration officials said Saturday.

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Medical expenses have ‘very steep rate of growth’

Spending on health care consumed an estimated 17 cents of every dollar spent last year in the United States, representing the largest one-year increase since the federal government started tracking the number in 1960.

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Medical Tourism

Deloitte Center for Health Solutions estimates that 1.6 million Americans by 2012 will combine foreign vacations with outpatient surgery. Driving the trend: more coverage of overseas medical care by major U.S. insurers, an increase in individual insurance policies that carry a high deductible, and a marketing push by companies that combine travel and medical services…
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