Archive November 2008

First online drug alerts go to U.S. doctors

Nov30

First online drug alerts go to U.S. doctors The newly launched Health Care Notification Network (HCNN) has delivered the first online drug alerts to U.S. physicians. The alert focused on a widely manufactured and commonly used class of antibiotics and was sent immediately via the HCNN to health care providers, who are no longer forced […]

CMS takes steps to fight fraud

Nov30

CMS takes steps to fight fraud The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is consolidating its fraud detection efforts, strengthening its oversight of medical equipment suppliers and home health agencies, and launching the national recovery audit contractor (RAC) program. “Because Medicare pays for medical services and items without looking behind every claim, the potential […]

Patient access using new Medicare noncoverage form

Nov30

Patient access using new Medicare noncoverage form Patients are given more options Patient access staff will have to get used to a change for Medicare patients, with the new Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) form now used for all situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied. The form, implemented by the Centers […]

More contact with families stops the loss of benefits

Nov30

More contact with families stops the loss of benefits Michelle Mickey Rork, program director for PeachCare for Kids, Georgia’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), says that one of the state’s most successful initiatives for increasing enrollment and retention of eligible children has been through the work of its Right from the Start Medicaid Outreach […]

Eligibility cuts will be ‘last resort’ for states during economic downturn

Nov30

Eligibility cuts will be ‘last resort’ for states during economic downturn It’s not surprising that Medicaid spending and enrollment is increasing, right at the time that states can least afford it. But this economic downturn is expected to be worse than previous downturns, and states will be forced to make some hard decisions. “The Medicaid […]

States could save billions in Medicaid spending

Nov30

States could save billions in Medicaid spending State governments could save billions in Medicaid spending without harming enrollees or cutting health benefits, if Congress passes the Drug Rebate Equalization Act of 2007, according to a September 2008 study from the Association for Community-Affiliated Plans (ACAP). This would extend the federal drug rebate program, currently restricted […]

Many states in survival mode; cuts are likely

Nov30

Many states in survival mode; cuts are likely New York state expects to feel the effect of the current economic downturn most directly, as 20% of its revenues come directly from Wall Street activity, according to Claudia Hutton, director of the New York State Department of Health’s public affairs group. During the early part of […]

Midyear rate cuts may be harbinger of what’s coming

Nov30

Midyear rate cuts may be harbinger of what’s coming Several states already have made midyear payment rate cuts for FY 2009. Also, although 32 states indicated that they had initiatives for 2009 to reduce the number of uninsured, officials in 10 states said those plans were already scaled back due to budget concerns. These are […]

Looking At Who Buys What Where

Nov30

Teenagers largely bought their books at the national bookstore chains in 2007, while their grandparents shopped for books from a variety of outlets. That was one of the findings drawn from PubTrack Consumer, the R.R. Bowker service that uses a national online survey to track various aspects of consumer book-buying behavior and patterns. According to […]

Economy likely to move up Medicare’s insolvency

Nov30

WASHINGTON-Federal health officials estimate that the struggling economy will speed up by one to three years the exhaustion of the Medicare trust fund covering hospital and nursing home care. Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs warned last March that the trust fund for Medicare Part A would become insolvent in 2019. But the […]