Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

Online pharmacy:fesmag.com/tem

Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic

 
 
 
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A St. Charles County doctor has pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Medicare for office visits when he was actually traveling outside the country.
 
Federal prosecutors say Dr. Khaled Hassan told Medicare he treated patients face-to-face on three occasions between March 2009 and December 2011 when he was actually overseas.  The office visits involved prescription drug refills, with Hassan's nurses instead seeing the patients and providing previously signed prescription forms.
 
That led to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. Hassan faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each of the three felony counts. Sentencing is scheduled for April.
Published in Local News

MIAMI (AP) - Dear seniors, your Medicare benefits aren't changing under the Affordable Care Act. That's the message federal health officials are trying to get out to some older consumers confused by overlapping enrollment periods for Medicare and so-called "Obamacare."

 

   Medicare beneficiaries don't have to do anything differently and will continue to go to Medicare.gov to sign up for plans. But advocates say many have been confused by a massive media blitz directing consumers to new online insurance exchanges set up as part of the federal health law. Many of the same insurance companies are offering coverage for Medicare and the exchanges.

 

   Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7, while enrollment for the new state exchanges for people 65 and under launches Oct. 1 and runs through March.

 

   "Most seniors are not at all informed. Most seniors worry they're going to lose their health coverage because of the law," said Dr. Chris Lillis, a primary care physician in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "I try to speak truth from the exam room but I think sometimes fear dominates."

 

   Next month, roughly 50 million Medicare beneficiaries will get a handbook in the mail with a prominent Q&A that stresses Medicare benefits aren't changing. Federal health officials have also updated their training for Medicare counselors, and are prepping their Medicare call center and website.

 

   "We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits aren't changing, and the marketplace doesn't require them to do anything different," said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

   But she said call centers for the state exchanges are already fielding questions from Medicare recipients and rerouting them to the Medicare line.

 

   Bob Roza attended several meetings trying to figure out exactly what the Affordable Care Act means for him and his 69-year-old wife Gail, who has diabetes.

 

   "At that time, I didn't know if Medicare would be secondary to some Affordable Care Act option. It was just a myriad of concerns and not knowing," said the 72-year-old Roza, a retiree who lives in Oakdale, Calif., and is recovering from hip replacement surgery earlier this year.

 

   He now knows that his Medicare coverage won't change, but says he's now worried about the impact on the $614 a month he pays for Medicare supplemental insurance. Federal health officials said seniors will not be able to purchase Medicare supplemental insurance or Part D drug plans through the state exchanges.

 

   Jodi Reid, executive director of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, worries there hasn't been enough outreach to seniors and that advocacy groups are spending the bulk of their advertising funds targeting those impacted by the exchange. Her organization, which represents nearly 1 million seniors in California, is putting together a one-page fact sheet to help dispel myths.

 

   "Nothing has been done that I have seen to deal with the 4.4 million people in California who are on Medicare who are not going to be impacted the same way as the rest of us so it's causing a lot of confusion," she said.

 

   AARP officials said they anticipate a spike in calls after the October launch date for the new state exchanges. To help clarify everything for seniors, the organization is holding various events around the country, such as a senior day next month at the state fair in Columbia, S.C. Next month, the group is also hosting 21 telephone town halls, which will include hundreds of thousands of phone calls to seniors.

 

   "Usually the marketing is just targeted to the Medicare beneficiary, this time it's going to be spread out a little bit more. If they call the wrong places, we're doing our very best to make sure they're guided back to the correct place," said Nicole Duritz, vice president of health education.

 

   In Illinois, it's not only seniors who are confused, but also the social workers who help them, said Erin Weir of AgeOptions, suburban Cook County's lead agency on aging. The agency coordinates a statewide training program for groups that work with older adults.

 

   During these trainings, Weir said, she's repeatedly heard questions from social workers who think seniors will be able to sign up for Medicare programs on the new marketplace websites, even though they cannot.

 

   "We've been focusing on people who are already on Medicare, calming them down and saying, `You don't have to do anything, you're fine,"' Weir said.

 

   Advocates are also warning of scams that may pop up alongside legitimate door-to-door outreach about the Affordable Care Act ramps up and advising seniors not to give out personal information.

 

   Senior groups are also devoting resources to educating the 50- to 65-year-old group who are next in line for Medicare, a segment that could be greatly affected by the health reform. Under the new law, insurers will have to offer more benefits in some cases and are restricted in how much they can charge older, sicker people. They're also banned from turning away those with pre-existing conditions.

 

   Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said many people nearing retirement age stand to benefit the most by the health care reform.

 

   "They're the ones most likely to have pre-existing conditions, most likely to be charged more because of their age and medical condition and very likely to be an early retiree," he said.

Published in National News

   Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states, including one in the St. Louis area, have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.  

   The Justice Department announced the settlement Tuesday over kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.  

   Des Peres Hospital in west St. Louis County has agreed to pay $900,000 to satisfy its part of the settlement. 

Published in Local News
Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:04

Medicare premiums to rise for more seniors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Feeling pretty comfortable in retirement?

Here's something to think about: President Barack Obama's budget would raise Medicare premiums for individual retirees making more than $85,000 and couples making more than $170,000.

It would also freeze the indexing for inflation of those income thresholds, so eventually 1 in 4 retirees will have to pay more. Right now only about 1 in 20 pays the higher rate.

The higher premiums surprised a retired city worker from Albuquerque, Sheila Pugach.

She says she's paying about $500 a year more in premiums for Medicare outpatient and drug coverage, all because required withdrawals from her retirement savings bumped her into a higher income bracket.

Republicans like Obama's idea, so Pugach could soon have more company.

Published in National News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security as an attempt to compromise with Republicans on the budget.

   A senior administration official says the budget Obama will offer to Congress next Wednesday would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years. It includes a revised inflation adjustment called "chained CPI" that would curb cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs.

   The senior administration official stressed it is not the president's preferred approach but a compromise proposal to try to reach a long-term budget deal. Obama first made the offer to House Speaker John Boehner last year.

   The official spoke on a condition of anonymity since the budget has yet to be released. Technically, the administration actually would be limiting the growth of Social Security.

 
Published in National News

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
America stands with Kansas City mourners

America stands with Kansas City mourners

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder says all Americans are standing with the mourners of three people killed at Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas Cit...

Missouri Senate confirms Social Services director

Missouri Senate confirms Social Services director

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has confirmed a longtime employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services to be the agency's new director.   Br...

Boone County Hires Lawyers In Ryan Ferguson Civil Right…

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri county has hired four attorneys to help defend itself and three employees named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a man whose murder convic...

Jumping Jacks May Become Official State Exercise

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are considering official designation for the jumping jack.    A bill is proposing to make the jumping jack ...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved