Medicare advisory panel urges co-pay for home health visits

The Medicare Payment Advisory Panel recommended this policy as a means to discourage overuse of home health services, which are estimated to cost taxpayers nearly $20 billion a year and are also a source of health care fraud.  Meanwhile, another story, this one from WBUR, offers tips for Medicare "wellness" visits.

The Associated Press: Seniors May Have To Pay For Medicare Home Health
Medicare recipients could see a sizable new out-of-pocket charge for home health visits if Congress follows through on a recommendation issued Thursday by its own advisory panel. Until now, home health visits from nurses and other providers have been free of charge to patients. But the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission says a copayment is needed to discourage overuse of a service whose cost to taxpayers is nearing $20 billion a year amid concerns that fraudsters are also taking advantage (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/14).

CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Backs A Co-Pay For Home Health
Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Thursday recommended that Congress set a first-ever co-pay for home health care services, despite worries about the financial burden it might place on beneficiaries (Norman, 1/13).

WBUR's "CommonHealth" Blog: Homework: How To Prepare For The New Medicare 'Wellness' Visits
As of Jan. 1, Medicare covers a free — truly free, no co-pay, no deductible — "wellness visit" every year for its 46 million patients. ... The new coverage is part of federal health care reform, and reflects the thinking that medicine needs to focus more on keeping people well rather than just treating them once they're not (Goldberg, 1/13).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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