Wyden Wants Kitzhaber’s Reforms Applied to Medicare

The Lund Report
Oregon’s senior U.S. senator explained at a Sunday townhall that legislation released last week would offer global payments to primary care homes that pledge to care for the chronic illnesses of Medicare clients.

Teams of doctors, physician assistants, nurses and community health workers would be encouraged to work more closely to treat chronically sick Medicare patients under a bipartisan proposal being pushed in Congress by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Nine Oregon Hospitals Rewarded for Quality Care

The Lund Report
Medicare’s bonuses top out at 0.39%, while most hospitals receive penalties instead
Oregon’s hospital leaders often complain that Medicare doesn’t pay enough to cover their costs. But nine hospitals in the state are about to start receiving more money for treating Medicare patients, as a reward for providing high-quality care and reducing hospital readmissions.

Lobbying Congress for Medicare Reimbursement

The Lund Report
Bipartisan consensus that funding formula is broke – question is how to fix it


July 29, 2013 -- Just removed from a whirlwind trip to the nation’s capital, Bend-based physical therapist and consultant Tannus Quatre reported encouraging news in the struggle to reform Medicare reimbursement practices in the U.S.

Uninsured Charged Much More Depending on the Clinic

The Lund Report
The prices for cataract surgery for an uninsured patient vary from $2,500 to more than $8,000 depending on whether the clinic is located in Bend, Portland or Salem

February 25, 2013 -- At 63 and self-employed, I'm too young for Medicare, I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but I don't make nearly enough to afford an individual insurance policy.

Don Berwick: Medicare Payments Favor Hospitals

The Lund Report
The former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services speaks at a conference in Portland next week

December 6, 2012 – Dr. Don Berwick believes the Triple Aim is critical to the success of healthcare reform over the next few years. That means better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower healthcare costs.

“The fundamental flaw in American healthcare is fragmentation,” said the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who appears in Portland next Thursday to keynote the 2012 State of Reform Conference.

Private insurers have cost Medicare $282.6 billion in excess payments since 1985

The Lund Report
Researchers say privately run Medicare Advantage plans have undermined traditional Medicare’s fiscal health and taken a heavy toll on taxpayers, seniors and the U.S. economy

October 15, 2012 -- In the first study of its kind, a group of health policy experts has determined the amount of money that Medicare has overpaid private insurance companies under the Medicare Advantage program and its predecessors over the past 27 years and come up with a startling figure: $282.6 billion in excess payments, most of them over the past eight years.

That’s wasted money that should have been spent on improving patient care, shoring up Medicare’s trust fund or reducing the federal deficit, the researchers say.

Medicare annual enrollment starts Oct. 15

The Lund Report
State program offers one-on-one counseling

Oct. 11, 2012 — Oregon Medicare beneficiaries need to remember that annual enrollment this year is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Any Medicare Advantage (MA) or prescription drug plan (Part D) changes must be made between these dates so that coverage begins without interruption on Jan. 1, 2013.

Changes to Medicare Could Jeopardize Health Care Access for Vulnerable Latinos

The Lund Report

January 26, 2012 -- With more discussion of budget cuts, lawmakers have begun floating policy proposals that would substantially reshape or cut back on health programs critical to vulnerable Latinos, such as Medicare and Medicaid.  According to a statistical brief released today by NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Medicare program provides health coverage for not only Latino seniors, but also more than one million disabled and seriously ill Hispanic children and working-age adults. 

Curry Health Network Reduces its Work Force

The Lund Report
CEO Bill McMillan is confident the hospital can meet the community’s healthcare needs

January 23, 2012 -- Even as Curry County’s unemployment rate inches downward, the CEO of the Curry Health Network, Bill McMillan, announced a work force reduction in the network’s three operating facilities. He said the 23 positions eliminated could save the network big money in a bad economy.

“This should save over $1 million annually,” McMillan wrote on the network’s website. “We honor those who lost their jobs and hope and pray for their welfare.”

Healthcare Advocates Urge Supercommittee to Oppose Medicare Cuts

The Lund Report
They’ve sent a letter to Congressman Greg Walden urging him to protect Medicare spending

November 17, 2011 – Nine healthcare organizations – most of which advocate for people with chronic illnesses – are speaking up about proposed cuts to Medicare.

A federal deficit “supercommittee” has one week left to cut $1.2 trillion within the next decade. While that committee may or may not meet its November 23 deadline, Medicare cuts are on the table.


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