The past 15 years have seen a drop in deaths and hospitalizations among Medicare patients — people 65 and older. Teasing out why is tricky, but it seems a good trend for the 50-year-old program.
Even when some Medicare patients stay overnight in the hospital, they are are being classified as outpatients under something called observation status. It sounds innocuous but can trigger big bills.
The test aimed to help high-risk Medicare patients navigate the health care maze. But after three years, expected improvements in quality and savings failed to materialize.
As least 55 hospitals across the rural U.S. have closed since 2010. But northern Missouri's Putnam County Memorial finds that adding high-quality specialty services lures patients and revenue.
For the first time, the government is using a star system to rate agencies that care for seniors in their homes. Medicare was stingy with top ratings and also the poorest scores.
Internal audits, never before made public, provide striking evidence of billing mistakes in Medicare Advantage health plans. The Center for Public Integrity filed suit to obtain the records.
More than 1,400 pharmacies billed for questionable prescriptions last year, according to the inspector general at Health and Human Services. That includes prescriptions for commonly abused opioids.
The federal government overpaid for nearly half of the patients of a Medicare Advantage plan, a Medicare audit found. At issue is whether insurers "upcode" diagnoses to reap bigger payments.
When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a memo to insurers saying government audit policies could be relaxed, investors privy to the news pounced, sending shares upward.
Federal officials released prescription histories of hundreds of thousands of doctors and identified the most common and costly drugs. Medicare spent the most on a purple pill for heartburn.