The non - partisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that, if 500,000 of the roughly 6 million Americans with Alzheimer's are prescribed Aduhelm, total Medicare spending on this one drug, for one year, would be nearly billion. This would far exceed the spending on any other drug covered by Medicare Part B, or Part D, in 201Medicare spending for all Part B drugs was billion in 201What's more the estimated billion does not include the cost of any associated care. The drug can cause some people temporary brain swelling or small bleeding spots on the brain and requires pricey magnetic resonance imaging scans to monitor treatment..This week, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees released their highly anticipated annual reports on the financial status of the two programs. In addition, lawmakers remained in their home states and districts to continue the two-week spring recess..So it could be significant this week that a Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission, Christine Wilson, stated that she believes Medicare should have more power to negotiate drug prices. She acknowledged that her position would be controversial among her fellow Republicans because they argue that allowing Medicare to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies would essentially allow Medicare to set drug prices and stifle development of innovative new drugs. As the year progresses, we shall see if her views make any difference..If Trump does, in fact, veto the bill it is likely Congress will attempt to override it this week although the timing of the override attempt may hinge on whether an agreement of government funding can be reached this week..Unfortunately, many Subcommittee Members seemed to agree with Rep. Burgess, who plans to introduce legislation that would provide a one-year pay patch for Medicare physicians. TSCL hopes that Congress will continue to work toward a permanent solution, and we will continue to monitor the SGR discussion in the coming months..Tuesday Senators Grassley and Wyden announced legislation, The Prescription Drug Pricing and Reduction Act of 201The bill if adopted would save taxpayers more than 0 Billion, lower Medicare Beneficiaries out-of-pocket costs by Billion and premiums by Billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A hearing on Thursday of a key panel of legislators advanced the legislation out of the Senate Finance Committee despite close-call votes on controversial provisions, priming the legislation to be considered by the full Senate in the fall..In 2010, to generate support from wary seniors, proponents of healthcare reform widely touted new Medicare benefits under healthcare reform with mailings and even an ad campaign featuring Andy Griffith of Mayberry R.F.D. But virtually nothing about the controversial changes - like determining Part D premiums based on income - ever made it into the media, let alone Andy's scripts..This policy catches the vast majority of the public unawares. Understandably most people, like you, react with surprise, disgust, and upset when they learn the final payment must be returned..This, of course, keeps the costs of those drugs much higher than if a generic version were available.

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Women also tend to take their benefits sooner than men - before reaching the age for full un-reduced retirement benefits. When retiring before full retirement age, benefits are permanently reduced by up to 25% to 30%, depending on age..Next week on January 24th the Senate Finance Committee will be holding a formal confirmation hearing to question Congressman Price. TSCL will be monitoring discussions about the ACA and the future of the Medicare program, and we will post a summary of the hearing here in the Legislation News section of our website..This creates problems especially in emergency room visits when the patient may require pricey services such as those from an air ambulance, doctor or other provider that does not have a contract with the patient's Medicare Advantage plan. When health plans get such bills, they can reject the claim and patients wind up on the hook for the "balance bill." While the average emergency room visit is just above 0, some patients have received surprise bills greater than 0,000 from out-of-network providers. … Continued

Twin Cities Hospitals Face Critical Shortage Of Pain Medications

This new data strengthens the argument that focusing on negotiating prices for the relatively small number of drugs that make up a disproportionately large amount of Medicare spending could help reduce the costs of prescription drugs to Medicare and the patients who use them..TSCL is working with Members of Congress for the "Guaranteed 3% COLA for Seniors Act, introduced by Representative Eliot Engel. The bill directs the Bureau of Labor Statistics to prepare and publish a monthly CPI-E and uses it to calculate the annual Social Security COLA. And in the case when inflation is low, the bill would provide an annual COLA of at least 3%..including your home), a long-term care policy won't be an affordable option. If … Continued

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