Content about United States National Health Care Act

March 20, 2014

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week.

PRINCETON, N.J. — Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week. While health insurance status was a major determinant of this satisfaction, even one-third of those who didn't have health insurance still reported they were satisfied.

March 11, 2014

Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

February 12, 2014

A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday. The change, which limits standalone PDP sponsors to one basic and one enhanced plan per region, was proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a January proposed regulation. 

January 31, 2014

Interim financial results for 114 ACOs that began work in 2012 show that they generated $128 million in savings for the Medicare trust fund in the first year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in a blog posted Thursday.

WASHINGTON — Interim financial results for 114 ACOs that began work in 2012 show that they generated $128 million in savings for the Medicare trust fund in the first year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in a blog posted Thursday. Additionally, initial results from an independent evaluation of 23 Pioneer ACOs, which are those that have more experience with coordinated care, show that they saved the Medicare program $147 million in their first year of operation.

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

October 14, 2013

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday. 

October 1, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

NEW YORK — The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

In announcing a contingency staffing plan for the shutdown, which started Tuesday when Congress failed to pass a budget in time, HHS said 52% of its employees would be on furlough, totaling 40,512 members of its staff. The remaining 48%, or 37,686 employees, would remain. The scheduled introduction of the health insurance exchanges mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also continue.

September 17, 2013

Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

ST. LOUIS — Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The survey, conducted in August by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and titled 50 States of Confusion, comes as the OCT. 1, launch of the exchanges draws near. It included 1,101 seniors currently enrolled in a Medicare plan or who would be eligible for one within 12 months.

September 13, 2013

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

Starting Sunday, one month before Medicare's annual open-enrollment period, UnitedHealthcare's National Medicare Education Week is designed to help baby boomers, existing beneficiaries, their families and caregivers learn more about Medicare. The open-enrollment period lasts from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

September 3, 2013

With the window for Medicare enrollment opening on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 7, Cardinal Health on Tuesday launched a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit to help its retail pharmacy customers educate the rapidly growing Medicare-eligible population about coverage options.

DUBLIN, Ohio — With the window for Medicare enrollment opening on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 7, Cardinal Health on Tuesday launched a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit to help its retail pharmacy customers educate the rapidly growing Medicare-eligible population about coverage options. 

July 19, 2013

With major parts of the Affordable Care Act going into effect in 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new animated video to help people understand the healthcare system changes on the horizon.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — With major parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act going into effect in 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new animated video to help people understand the healthcare system changes on the horizon.

June 11, 2013

The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study comparing generic utilization of common diabetes medications across two government programs — Medicare Part D and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PHILADELPHIA — The Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday published a study comparing generic utilization of common diabetes medications across two government programs — Medicare Part D and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Medicare's use of brand-name medicines was two to three times greater than the VA.

According to the study, the disparity comes out of Medicare's reliance on private plans with distinct formularies, whereas the VA administers its own benefit using a national formulary.

June 7, 2013

Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced. 

June 4, 2013

The healthcare reform law will add 6 million Americans to Medicaid and 21 million to affordable insurance exchanges, according to a new study.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The healthcare reform law will add 6 million Americans to Medicaid and 21 million to affordable insurance exchanges, according to a new study.

May 21, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



April 9, 2013

A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

April 2, 2013

Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

WASHINGTON — Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

March 22, 2013

Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

WASHINGTON — Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

The bipartisan Fostering Independence Through Technology Act, S. 596, would create a pilot program to provide budget neutral incentives for home health agencies across the country to use remote patient monitoring to better monitor Medicare beneficiaries, improve health outcomes and reduce Medicare expenditures.

March 8, 2013

A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support.

WASHINGTON — A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support. 

Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50% of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually. 

February 28, 2013

Medicare and Medicaid are working with the private sector to create a roadmap for the future of healthcare delivery, and a congressional hearing was convened Thursday to ensure it does that.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Medicare and Medicaid are working with the private sector to create a roadmap for the future of healthcare delivery, and a congressional hearing was convened Thursday to ensure it does that.

The Senate Finance Committee hearing, titled "Delivery System Reform: Progress Report from CMS," included Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

February 22, 2013

Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that per-capita drug costs for Medicare Part D will drop from this year's $325 to $310 next year, and insurance premiums might go down as well.

February 11, 2013

Organizations representing more than 60 accountable care organizations from more than 15 states have come together to form the National Association of ACOs, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that allows ACOs to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs and improve the health of their communities.

WASHINGTON — Organizations representing more than 60 accountable care organizations from more than 15 states have come together to form the National Association of ACOs, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that allows ACOs to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs and improve the health of their communities. Membership is expected to exceed 100 ACOs by April, representing more than 2 million Medicare assigned beneficiaries.

January 10, 2013

Advocare Walgreens Well Network, Diagnostic Clinic Walgreens Well Network and Scott & White Walgreens Well Network have been selected as three of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Advocare Walgreens Well Network, Diagnostic Clinic Walgreens Well Network and Scott & White Walgreens Well Network have been selected as three of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday.

January 2, 2013

While the "fiscal cliff" bill heads off the most severe tax implications for most Americans, the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes may find this bill a bitter pill to swallow, suggested the National Community Pharmacists Association in a press release.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — While the "fiscal cliff" bill heads off the most severe tax implications for most Americans, the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes may find this bill a bitter pill to swallow, suggested the National Community Pharmacists Association in a press release issued Wednesday. 

November 30, 2012

Increasing the prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries by 1% would reduce the program's spending on medical services by about 0.2% by reducing costs in such areas as hospitalizations, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.

WASHINGTON — Increasing the prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries by 1% would reduce the program's spending on medical services by about 0.2% by reducing costs in such areas as hospitalizations, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.