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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Watchdog: Abuse and neglect in nursing facilities unreported

Nursing facilities have failed to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors on Medicare even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday that calls for a new focus on protecting frail patients.

Medicare, Social Security face shaky fiscal futures

The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security.

Hikes on Medicare drug premiums could be delayed until after 2020 elections

The moves could alleviate a looming problem for Trump in key states. Individual premiums for Medicare prescription drug insurance could jump 19 percent next year under the president’s plan to purge Medicare of the rebates that drug manufacturers pay to firms that manage pharmacy insurance.

Feds break up $1.2B Medicare orthopedic brace scam

Federal authorities said Tuesday they’ve broken up a $1.2 billion Medicare scam that peddled unneeded orthopedic braces to hundreds of thousands of seniors via foreign call centers.

Outcry over Trump’s cuts to Medicare hospital payments

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Trump later went back on his Medicaid promise, and now he’s being criticized for steep Medicare payment cuts proposed in his new budget.

Spokane-area hospitals post prices online under federal directive criticized as imperfect

The new federal rule requires health care providers to post prices for their procedures in spreadsheet form, part of an effort the Trump administration says is intended to improve transparency and empower consumers. But the posted figures aren’t what a patient is likely to pay out of pocket and the system isn’t user-friendly, say advocates for patients, hospitals and insurance providers.

Medicare expands access to in-home support for seniors

Medicare is experimenting with a new direction in health care. Starting next year, seniors in many states will be able to get additional services such as help with chores and respite for caregivers through private Medicare Advantage insurance plans.

Froma Harrop: Forget about cheaper drugs on Trump’s watch

President Trump’s plan for lowering Medicare drug costs is good, even cutting-edge. As Democrats successfully campaign on health care, Trump has come back with a proposal that could save Medicare patients and taxpayers $17.2 billion over five years. Too bad its chances of happening are close to nil. We’ve seen this talkie before. As Election Day approaches, Trump makes a promise that seems to favor the public over big-money interests. The moment the last vote is counted, it vanishes.

Michael Hiltzik: Mitch McConnell says it out loud: Republicans are gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare next

All Washington seems to be buzzing over a single question: Is Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., deliberately trying to throw the election to the Democrats? At the root of the debate are interviews the Senate majority leader gave to Bloomberg and Reuters last week. McConnell identified “entitlements” – that’s Washington code for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – as “the real drivers of the debt” and called for them to be adjusted “to the demographics of the future.”

Where they stand: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown on health care, Medicare and Medicaid

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted for a narrowly unsuccessful Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system. She says it was in an effort to give states and patients more choice in their health care options. Lisa Brown, her Democratic opponent, says the bill was bad for the district and that a government option for health care is needed to help stabilize the system, while stopping short of a fully public system that dozens of the members of her party have supported.

Medicare upgrades its website ahead of sign-up season

Medicare is modernizing its website to make it more useful for beneficiaries already accustomed to searching online for insurers, hospitals and doctors, officials announced on Monday. But some consumer advocates said the changes reflect a subtle bias toward private plans on the part of the Trump administration.

Shawn Vestal: McMorris Rodgers’ vow against Social Security and Medicare cuts rings hollow

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers protests too much about claims she would vote for Social Security and Medicare cuts. Not only is it utterly credible to believe she might vote for such cuts – which would certainly be, like last year’s failed Trumpcare effort, swaddled in claims that the cuts are not cuts – but she’s already voted to do so. More than once.

Groups say Medicare discounts threatened in opioids bill

Consumer and health care groups are scrambling to block what they say is a move by the pharmaceutical industry to commandeer must-pass opioids epidemic legislation as a vehicle for rolling back drugmaker discounts to Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription costs.