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Viewpoints: Check out those nursing home stars; Rove a 'bleeding heart liberal' on Medicare?

Viewpoints: Check out those nursing home stars; Rove a 'bleeding heart liberal' on Medicare?

Medicare has devised a rating system for nursing homes that portrays many of them as much better than they really are. [More]
Poor oral health can have negative impact on seniors' overall health

Poor oral health can have negative impact on seniors' overall health

Research has shown that poor oral health can have a negative impact on seniors' overall health and well-being, but for many, there are significant barriers to visiting a dentist, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Behavior. [More]
State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Oregon, California, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey. [More]
Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

In its first few years, Medicare's Part D prescription drug program helped seniors pay for their medications, but that trend appears to be reversing, researchers found. Meanwhile, drugmakers fight over the rules for naming cheaper versions of biologic drugs. [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
Some states angered about lack of authority over Medicare advantage plans

Some states angered about lack of authority over Medicare advantage plans

Elsewhere, Medicare officials consider offering HIV tests for all Medicare beneficiaries. Swanson turned to CMS because state regulators lack the legal authority to impose sanctions on Medicare Advantage carriers. [More]
Brookdale offers tips to seniors to keep themselves safe and independent

Brookdale offers tips to seniors to keep themselves safe and independent

Brookdale understands the importance for seniors to maintain and maximize their independence as they age. There comes a time when seniors look to others, including their adult children, for guidance and support, and Brookdale is here to help find solutions to the needs in their lives. [More]
Researchers identify area of brain involved in multitasking and ways to train

Researchers identify area of brain involved in multitasking and ways to train

The area of the brain involved in multitasking and ways to train it have been identified by a research team at the IUGM Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and the University of Montreal. [More]
Genesis HealthCare signs definitive agreement to merge with Skilled Healthcare Group

Genesis HealthCare signs definitive agreement to merge with Skilled Healthcare Group

Genesis HealthCare, one of the nation's largest providers of post-acute care services, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to combine with Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., based in Foothill Ranch, California. [More]
61% of U.S. adults unaware of the importance of high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for older adults

61% of U.S. adults unaware of the importance of high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for older adults

A new survey from CVS/pharmacy released today found that three in five U.S. adults (61 percent) are unaware of the importance of the high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for adults 65 years and older. [More]
Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the Department of Health and Human Services has taken steps to prevent its contractors from conducting certain duplicative postpayment claims reviews-;reviews of the same claims that are not permitted by the agency-;but CMS neither has reliable data nor provides sufficient oversight and guidance to measure and fully prevent duplication. [More]

Texas lawmakers explore market-based alternatives to Medicaid

A legislative committee is examining market-based alternatives to providing low-income Texans with health care since the state has rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Members of the state Senate Health and Human Services committee plan Thursday to discuss alternatives to the law critics call "Obamacare" (Weissert, 8/14). [More]
High-dose influenza vaccine 24% more effective in older adults

High-dose influenza vaccine 24% more effective in older adults

High-dose influenza vaccine is 24 percent more effective than the standard-dose vaccine in protecting persons ages 65 and over against influenza illness and its complications, according to a Vanderbilt-led study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. [More]
HCN to acquire HealthLease REIT and 17 of Mainstreet's Next Generation properties

HCN to acquire HealthLease REIT and 17 of Mainstreet's Next Generation properties

The nation's largest post-acute health care developer and one of the world's largest health care real estate companies have agreed to join forces to lead the evolution of post-acute care, an emerging solution in the changing health care landscape. [More]
Researchers examine why older adults are at risk for malnutrition

Researchers examine why older adults are at risk for malnutrition

More than half of older adults who visit emergency departments are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, but not because of lack of access to health care, critical illness or dementia. [More]
Frequent marijuana use can have negative effect on brains of teenagers

Frequent marijuana use can have negative effect on brains of teenagers

Frequent marijuana use can have a significant negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing public health implications of marijuana legalization at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention. [More]
Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare commends efforts to combat Medicare fraud, waste and abuse

Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare commends efforts to combat Medicare fraud, waste and abuse

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a leading coalition of home health providers dedicated to improving the integrity, quality, and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation's seniors – today commended House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Kevin Brady (TX- 8) for drafting legislation to support greater fraud prevention programs within the Medicare program. [More]
Medicare benefits from immigrants, study says

Medicare benefits from immigrants, study says

A study by the Partnership for a New American Economy concluded that immigrants make a substantial contribution to the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund -- putting more into the system than they take out. [More]

Almost Family records net service revenues of $125 million for Q2 2014

Almost Family, Inc., a leading regional provider of home health nursing and personal care services, announced today its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014. [More]
Home based medical care for frail elders reduces Medicare costs by 17%

Home based medical care for frail elders reduces Medicare costs by 17%

MedStar Washington Hospital Center geriatricians found that when medical care for frail elders with advanced illness shifts to the home, total Medicare costs were reduced by 17 percent during a two-year period. [More]