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WOTV 4's Maranda and Forest Hills Central students honored for contributing to community-based causes

The second annual Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence dinner and award presentation took place on April 17, 2014. The event, hosted by Van Andel Institute (VAI), honored individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Institute through volunteer service, philanthropy, special event support, innovation or scientific support. [More]

Medicare pays doctors even after they're sanctioned

A ProPublica report finds that the agency continued paying doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals even after they were charged with bilking the program. Meanwhile, a report recommends that Medicare pay hospitals less for low-risk outpatient surgeries. [More]

First Edition: April 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about emerging political strategies related to the health law and the upcoming congressional elections. [More]

UnitedHealth Group reports strong revenue growth in Q1 2014

UnitedHealth Group today reported first quarter results, highlighted by Optum's strong growth in revenues, operating earnings and revenue backlog and UnitedHealthcare's continued strong, diversified performance despite the negative impacts of newly effective ACA taxes and regulatory provisions and sequestration cuts to Medicare. [More]

Viewpoints: Cooking the Census books; immigrants left off health law; abortion still a 'tripwire'

You can't manage what you don't measure, as the great Peter Drucker used to say, and for the White House that seems to be the goal. Out of the blue, the Census Bureau has changed how it counts health insurance-;at the precise moment when ObamaCare is roiling the insurance markets (4/15). [More]

Highlights: N.Y.'s $8B Medicaid waiver; Conn. Medicaid application delays settlement; managed care overpayment in Washington state

New York and federal officials report final agreement allowing the state to reinvest $8 billion in Medicaid savings to support hospital overhauls and expand primary medical care over the next five years. The goal of the Medicaid waiver is to reduce avoidable hospital use by 25 percent while helping financially struggling hospitals shift to more primary and outpatient care (4/14). [More]

New set of criteria for diagnosing sarcopenia in older adults

Sarcopenia - the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength - may put up to 50 percent of seniors at greater risk for disability, yet there is no consensus within the medical community for how this condition should be measured. [More]

Fallout continues around Medicare Advantage payment rates

The Obama administration's decision to reverse a proposed Medicare Advantage payment cut has been panned by insurance analysts and governors, among others. [More]
Cognitive impairment common among seniors living in nursing homes and community

Cognitive impairment common among seniors living in nursing homes and community

More than 70% of elderly Medicare beneficiaries experience cognitive impairment or severe dementia near the end-of-life and may need surrogate decision makers for healthcare decisions. Advance care planning for older adults with dementia may be particularly important for individuals who do not reside in a nursing home or a long-term care facility, according to an article published in the April issue of Health Affairs. [More]
Taking a close-to-home look at the Medicare billing data

Taking a close-to-home look at the Medicare billing data

Other news outlets offer localized takes on the Medicare data, including the Miami Herald's coverage of a physician who emerged as the federal program's top-paid doctor, the Philadelphia Inquirer's look at an ambulance business' billing patterns and the Seattle Times' examination of ophthalmologists. [More]

CMS releases trove of Medicare physician billing data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making this information available for the first time in 35 years. Meanwhile, in their first run at the data, news outlets report that a small number of doctors account for a large share of Medicare costs. [More]
First Edition: April 9, 2014

First Edition: April 9, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of the release of Medicare billing and utilization data, as well as early insights into who enrolled in health coverage as a result of the health law. [More]

Healthy Aging Brain Center care model improves health outcomes and quality of care in older adults

Studies have shown that a new patient and caregiver centered model of innovative, coordinated brain care for older adults improves health outcomes and quality of care for those with cognitive impairment. [More]

House Democrats' budget plan leaves health law and Medicare intact

GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan, in the meantime, would offer seniors a choice between private or traditional Medicare plans and would repeal the health law. [More]

HHS reverses plan to cut Medicare advantage rates

Administration officials announce that they will slightly boost rates paid to insurers offering the private Medicare plans. In February they had suggested cuts to the funding, but Republican and Democratic lawmakers had opposed the suggestion. [More]

New subscription service helps people send monthly care packages to elderly loved ones

Let your loved ones know you care, even if you are busy or live far away. A new subscription service called Tandem Lane helps people send monthly care packages to their elderly loved ones, curating and personalizing each box. [More]

First Edition: April 8, 2014

Kaiser Health News staff writer Jay Hancock reports: "Under intense, bipartisan political pressure, the Obama administration backed down for the second year in a row on proposed payment cuts for insurance companies that offer private plans to Medicare members. [More]
Study: Seniors living in community with dementia are more likely to be hospitalized

Study: Seniors living in community with dementia are more likely to be hospitalized

Seniors living in the community who have dementia are more likely to be hospitalized and visit the emergency department than those who do not have dementia, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International. [More]

Medicare advantage cuts pose political threat

The cuts to Medicare Advantage, expected to be included in planned 2015 payments to be unveiled Monday, end what proponents call a windfall to insurers. But they have drawn protests not just from insurers but from Democrats who fear the GOP will use them as political fodder in the midterm elections. [More]

First Edition: April 7, 2014

Today's headlines include stories about the next round of health law challenges the Obama administration faces as well as the new Medicare Advantage rates scheduled to be announced today. [More]