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Wednesday, February 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: medicare


Editorial: Sacred Heart’s financial woes point to deeper health care challenges

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, the region’s most important provider, is operating in the red. The real challenge, however, is much bigger than one hospital.


Andrew Taylor: I’m on Medicare, but I still got stuck with a $25,000 hospital bill

The solution is for Congress to pass a law stating that any person with Medicare Part A coverage is considered admitted if hospitalized overnight, or at the very least, any …


UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 21, 2019

Medicare drug plan finder can steer seniors to higher costs

A glitch in Medicare’s revamped prescription plan finder can steer unwitting seniors to coverage that costs much more than they need to pay, according to people who help with sign-ups …


Christine Opiela: Protect home health in Washington for Medicare seniors

As Washington state’s senior population continues to grow, providing patient-preferred home health care will only become more important. Passing the Home Health Payment Innovation Act would go a long way.


Overhaul is proposed for decades-old Medicare fraud rules

The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed overhauling decades-old Medicare rules originally meant to deter fraud and abuse but now seen as a roadblock to coordinating better care for patients.


Guest Opinion: Catherine Field: Understanding your Medicare coverage options

If you’re one of 56 million Americans eligible for Medicare, it’s important to understand coverage options when selecting your health plan for 2020.


Feds crack Medicare gene test fraud that peddled cheek swabs

Federal agents took down an alleged Medicare scam Friday that exploited seniors’ curiosity about genetic medicine by enticing them to get their cheeks swabbed for unneeded DNA tests. Medicare was …


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, …


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 …


Froma Harrop: Change is coming to health care. Vote wisely.

It’s a solid bet that our health care future won’t look quite like the present; its future will depend a great deal on who is president after the 2020 election.


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.


UPDATED: Tue., March 12, 2019

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 …


Congress mulls cap on what Medicare enrollees pay for drugs

With health care a top issue for American voters, Congress may actually be moving toward doing something this year to address the high cost of prescription drugs.


UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 29, 2019

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 …


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 …


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 …


How to pick the right Medicare plan

For those approaching Medicare or already covered by it, now is a critical time of year to review health benefits.


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 23, 2018

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers faces smaller, friendlier town hall crowd in downtown Spokane

A year removed from one of the most raucous town halls in her recent congressional career, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers faced a relatively calm – and sparse – gathering Thursday …


Patti Harter: How to keep Medicare and Medicaid from going bankrupt

Bernie Sanders and other politicians have been complaining about the risk of Medicare and Medicaid going bankrupt. Concern for insolvency is certainly real. According to forbes.com, it’s expected that by …


Robert J. Samuelson: The cowardice of the political class

The trustees for Social Security and Medicare issued their annual reports recently. This is cause for discouragement because it reminds us how much we’ve mortgaged the country’s future to spending …


Trustees report warns Medicare finances worsening

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to …


UPDATED: Mon., June 4, 2018

Feds: Skimping can’t save seniors from rising med cost

Medicare recipients filled fewer prescriptions for pricey brand-name drugs – but spent more on such meds anyway, says a government report released Monday. It blames rising manufacturer prices for squeezing …


Shawn Vestal: ACA “navigator” took personal data to Spokane insurance company to target sales pitches

They signed up for health insurance on the state exchange. But about 3,200 Washingtonians, all of whom were nearing age 65, also got something they didn’t ask for. Their contact …


UPDATED: Fri., May 11, 2018

Trump’s prescription to reduce drug prices takes small steps

President Donald Trump’s long-awaited plan to bring down drug prices, unveiled Friday, will mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of “getting away with murder” and instead focus on …


UPDATED: Fri., March 30, 2018

Walmart reportedly eyes deal with insurer Humana

Walmart may be looking to dive deeper into the rapidly evolving health care market by acquiring the insurer Humana, according to the Wall Street Journal.