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View Diary: Projected Medicare spending falls dramatically (49 comments)

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  •  Hospitals not admitting Medicare patients (17+ / 0-)

      Hospitals are keeping people on medicare for ovservation as outpatients, sometimes for days with new strokes and other procedures where they need rehab.  Because they are never admitted with their medicare A and an inpatient for the required 72 hours, these people go to skilled nursing for rehab and get stuck with the entire bill for skilled nursing care.  This saves medicare a lot of money.  One of my neighbors didn't know this happened to her until she got a bill for $18,000 from the facility the hospital sent her to.  A similar thing just happened to a friend's mother.  It's going on all over the USA to elderly people on medicare. Don't expect co-insurance to pick up the tab either.  It's a racket.

    Shine like the humblest star.

    by ljm on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:48:29 PM PST

    •  This is terrible. Is that how they're 'containing' (5+ / 0-)


      "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

      by nzanne on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:52:52 PM PST

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    •  Yeah, my question is why? (3+ / 0-)

      Why are the costs projected to come down?

      I've always been suspicious of these projections, though.  People connect a pair of dots and presume a trend will continue.

      by chloris creator on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:23:46 PM PST

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    •  saves Medicare (7+ / 0-)

      a lot of money, but it's bleeding the hospitals dry.

      They're already looking for ways to properly admit patients who are unfairly characterized as "observational" under the new guidelines.  

      The hit to non-profit hospitals has been massive.

      There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

      by puzzled on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:34:58 PM PST

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    •  It's collateral damage (5+ / 0-)

      From what I understand, the hospitals are not trying to limit Medicare costs. But the new rules to measure and try to prevent "readmissions" give the hospital every incentive to avoid "admitting" the patient in the first place, because then that patient doesn't count in the "readmit" statistics.

      I believe the hospital also may get paid more for observation than for an officially admitted in-patient.

      This problem has gotten enough press that I expect Sec. Sibelius to address it by tweaking the regulations on what's an "admission," and what patients have to be told, to clear this up.

      •  Regardless of the "intentions," it bears (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tofumagoo, vigilant meerkat

        rethinking.  Very many occasions costing seniors this much money, could cause bankruptcies to skyrocket amongst this cohort.  (And could cause considerable "blowback," during the midterm elections.)

        I sure hope that a "tweak" will fix this problem, and soon.  :-)

        Otherwise, glad to see that Medicare spending is coming down.


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

        "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

        by musiccitymollie on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:43:59 PM PST

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