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Medicare, health care getting attention in Senate, congressional races

Medicare, health care getting attention in Senate, congressional races

In Louisiana's Senate race, Medicare is grabbing the spotlight. The powerful issue is also popping up in North Carolina and Iowa. Meanwhile, Michigan's Senate race references to Medicare and the health law are checked for accuracy. And Obamacare is the subject of ads in an increasingly high-profile California House contest. [More]
Long-term care costs weigh heavily on middle-class families

Long-term care costs weigh heavily on middle-class families

CBS News reports that for many seniors and their families, home care needs create a serious financial bind. [More]
Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

But on Wednesday in Charlotte, Kay Hagan stood without hesitation next to Janet Colm, chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, and proudly bashed her opponent, Thom Tillis, for reducing women's rights on abortion and birth control. [More]
IU Bloomington biologists to receive funding from NSF’s Dimensions of Biodiversity Program

IU Bloomington biologists to receive funding from NSF’s Dimensions of Biodiversity Program

Indiana University Bloomington biologists who specialize in the ecology and evolution of microbes have been named one of 12 teams in the nation to receive funding from the National Science Foundation's Dimensions of Biodiversity Program. [More]
Gold Crest Care Center offers key tips on proper nutrition for seniors

Gold Crest Care Center offers key tips on proper nutrition for seniors

Gold Crest Care Center, a trusted NYC nursing home, urges senior citizens and their families to learn the basics of proper nutrition for senior citizens. The nursing facility's staff has created a short list of key tips for families and seniors looking to improve their mental and physical health through dietary changes. [More]
UIC receives $4.3 million grant to study needs of families caring for people with disabilities

UIC receives $4.3 million grant to study needs of families caring for people with disabilities

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $4.3 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Administration for Community Living to establish a new, multi-institutional center to study the needs of families caring for people with disabilities. [More]
Medicare Advantage plans marked by shortcomings

Medicare Advantage plans marked by shortcomings

The New York Times reports that these problem areas include rejection of claims for medical services and limits on prescription drug coverage. News outlets also report on ACOs grades and Medicare Advantage rate shifts. [More]
Medicare premium holds steady in 2015

Medicare premium holds steady in 2015

The premium that most older people pay for outpatient, or "Part B," care will stay the same in 2015 -- $104.90 a month, while cost-sharing for hospital and skilled nursing stays will increase slightly, the government announced. [More]
Sleeping with dentures increases pneumonia risk in elderly

Sleeping with dentures increases pneumonia risk in elderly

Poor oral health and hygiene are increasingly recognized as major risk factors for pneumonia among the elderly. To identify modifiable oral health-related risk factors, lead researcher Toshimitsu Iinuma, Nihon University School of Dentistry, Japan, and a team of researchers prospectively investigated associations between a constellation of oral health behaviors and incidences of pneumonia in the community-living of elders 85 years of age or older. [More]

Connecture launches private health insurance exchange solution, On Ramp

Connecture, Inc. ("Connecture"), a leading provider of web-based information systems used to create health insurance marketplaces, today announced the immediate availability of On Ramp, a full service, private health insurance exchange solution and corresponding benefits portal that provides the functionality needed to dramatically enhance the delivery of employee benefits and empower consumers to make more informed health insurance decisions with ease. [More]
Free online service launched to alert U.S. residents about new potential Ebola cases in nearby area

Free online service launched to alert U.S. residents about new potential Ebola cases in nearby area

EbolaScan.com launched today, bringing the power of local online alerts to U.S. residents concerned about new potential Ebola cases in their area. The free service, available via the web, tablets, and smartphones, alerts people with information about the latest reported cases nearby. [More]
State highlights: Ohio Medicaid and senior annuities; Mich. extends Medicaid dental coverage for kids

State highlights: Ohio Medicaid and senior annuities; Mich. extends Medicaid dental coverage for kids

A war is being waged in Ohio over whether elderly couples with one person in a nursing home can buy an annuity to keep the other from going broke -- and still apply for public assistance. Elder-law attorneys say the state isn't following federal laws regarding Medicaid-compliant annuities, and that's hurting middle-class seniors who worked hard and saved for a rainy day. Several courts seem to agree, with one judge recently putting the state on notice that it could lose millions of dollars in federal funding if it doesn't change its ways (Pyle, 10/6). [More]
Medicare fines 2,610 hospitals for excessive readmissions

Medicare fines 2,610 hospitals for excessive readmissions

Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Wednesday show. Even though the nation's readmission rate is dropping, Medicare's average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation's oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia (Rau, 10/2). [More]
Groups urge Medicare to cover LDCT screening for adults at high risk for lung cancer

Groups urge Medicare to cover LDCT screening for adults at high risk for lung cancer

More than 60 patient advocacy and medical organizations have joined a coalition headed by the Lung Cancer Alliance, the American College of Radiology and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, in urging Medicare to cover low dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for beneficiaries at high risk for lung cancer. [More]
Cancer community joins coalition seeking Medicare coverage for CT lung cancer screening

Cancer community joins coalition seeking Medicare coverage for CT lung cancer screening

More than 60 patient advocacy and medical organizations have joined a coalition headed by the Lung Cancer Alliance, the American College of Radiology and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, in urging Medicare to cover low dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for beneficiaries at high risk for lung cancer. [More]
Viewpoints: 'Feud' over health care compact; humane end-of-life care

Viewpoints: 'Feud' over health care compact; humane end-of-life care

Never has an issue of The Best Times, Johnson County's monthly magazine for seniors, been so eagerly awaited. I know I've been on the edge of my seat. At first the draw was to read the article that had gotten some Kansas legislators so worked up that 11 of them stormed en masse into a meeting to berate the volunteer members of the Johnson County Commission on Aging for writing it. [More]
Texas Rep. Brady ready to brawl for ways & means top spot

Texas Rep. Brady ready to brawl for ways & means top spot

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, announced he will seek the chairmanship of this powerful House panel. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was expected to have a smooth path to that position. [More]
Medicaid expansion concept gains momentum in some initially reluctant states

Medicaid expansion concept gains momentum in some initially reluctant states

Reuters reports that this development has to do with financial pragmatism -- especially in GOP-led states that were at the forefront of opposition to the health law. The Associated Press provides a status check on Indiana's expansion request. [More]
GSA and NAM select reporters for Journalists in Aging Fellows Program

GSA and NAM select reporters for Journalists in Aging Fellows Program

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and New America Media (NAM) have selected 19 reporters for the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now in its fifth year. [More]
West Virginia home health community takes part in Save Home Health rally

West Virginia home health community takes part in Save Home Health rally

Representatives of the West Virginia home health community – including Parkersburg area clinicians, family members and advocates as well as national leaders – today took part in a Save Home Health rally to commend special guest Congressman David McKinley (WV-1) and speak out against unprecedented Medicare cuts of 14 percent to home health services that went into effect on January 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]