Pacific Grove, CA In Home Dialysis Expands Under Medicare

Senior citizens with kidney problems will have an option of in-home dialysis care covered by Medicare.  About 1 in 3 Medicare patients that are struggling with end-stage renal disease will be enrolled in the new program.  In addition to being more convenient, it will reduce the risk of being exposed to people with COVID-19.  Medicare also announced that it will increase the amount it pays provider of home kidney treatments to help gain traction with the program.  About 92,000 Americans are currently on the kidney transplant list.  For more information, talk to one of our local dialysis centers in Monterey County which are listed here:

https://www.dialysisfinder.com/dialysis-centers/monterey/ca/100#.X9Kn79hKjcs

Monterey, CA Join The Alliance On Aging For A Zoom Meeting On Medicare Friday at 4:00

Join the Alliance on Aging this Friday for a zoom meeting on understanding the basics of Medicare.  Experts will discuss Part A, Part B, Part C Advantage Plans, Part D, Supplemental Plans, Penalties, Low Income Assistance Programs and more.  The meeting ID is 824 2926 4235 and the passcode is 739283, please see the link below.  If you don’t have access to a computer you can call in at 1-866-900-6833.  For more information, contact Moncerat Politron at 646-5049.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82429264235?pwd=UTJFdmJDQVBSQWUxWjNNSHpnQmJIdz09#success

California Sues Brookdale Nursing Home Chain

Salinas), claiming that they have manipulated the Medicare ratings system to make their nursing homes look more attractive than they actually are.  The lawsuit is among the first of its kind to accuse nursing homes of submitting false information to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, which uses data on the amount of time spent with residents and pairs it with in-person examinations by state health inspectors.  The facility is then ranked based on stars, allowing consumers to choose which facility they want to put a loved one in.  The lawsuit accuses Brookdale of falsifying its payroll-based journal entries, effectively stating that they have more staff than they do.   Prosecutors also are accusing Brookdale of illegally evicting or transferring residents so the chain could replace them with clients that generate more revenue.  A former Brookdale nursing assistant said in a deposition that her supervisors told her to falsify medical records to make it look like patients received more care than they did.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/15/business/california-lawsuit-brookdale-senior-living-nursing-homes.html?campaign_id=49&emc=edit_ca_20210316&instance_id=28107&nl=california-today&regi_id=52105769&segment_id=53505&te=1&user_id=7052b81671c57203c64c377c7522baa7

https://www.brookdale.com/en/communities/brookdale-salinas.html?cid=yext

Price Increase Is Higher Than Inflation For Many Drugs Covered By Medicare

President Joe Biden made a campaign promise to limit big pharma’s price increases on prescription drugs to no more than inflation—and now is the time to make good on that promise.  A new study found that half of all Part D-covered drugs had list price increases above inflation between 2018 and 2019, and the median list price was rose 6.4%, or 3.5x the rate of inflation.  List prices increased by 10% or more for 14% of all Part D-covered drugs during the same time period.  Another 36% had price increases above the price of inflation but below 10%.  Enough is enough!

https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/price-increases-continue-to-outpace-inflation-for-many-medicare-part-d-drugs/?utm_campaign=KFF-2021-The-Latest&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=109729367&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_AXZh_W4n-D3VWBrKFXA_-0CRmkqxJKKUBlsKb-Niya4Pm8n01_t5IeraBLE3Zpsy3RsZYHP36wk4qheGXbVKI1qPPUQ&utm_content=109729367&utm_source=hs_email

Monterey, CA Social Security Payments Rise Slightly This Year

Social Security participants are likely to get an ever-so-slightly increase this year (+1.3%) according to the numbers looking at the index that cost of living adjustments (COLA) are based on.  Of the 68 million people on Social Security and Disability, the average payment will go up by $19.70 to $1,537.  “It makes people have to take more out of savings,” Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizen League, said.  That’s due to the fact that many people believe the index doesn’t adequately account for inflation.  “Other people who don’t have savings will go into debt.  Many people may go into poverty,” she said.  Still, the cost of living in Monterey is so high this is not going to make much of a dent for local seniors.

Pebble Beach, CA Seniors Turning To Telehealth Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

More and more seniors are turning to Telehealth programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  “When you’re not feeling well, having to get up, get dressed and drive all the way to the hospital and then get in line and then possibly get sick from someone else is not all that appealing,” Marla Jo Fisher, a writer, told AARP Bulletin (November 2020, page 44).  Medicare is expanding coverage of telehealth visits during the pandemic, changes which hopefully will remain in place.  The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that less than 1% of primary care visits in February were via Telehealth, a number which jumped to 43.5% in April.  California has a bill going into effect on January 1 requiring all insurers to pay for Telehealth visits.  If your doctor isn’t using Telehealth, talk to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CHOMP, on suggestions.

https://www.chomp.org/find-a-doctor/doctor-search-results/?termId=a826e4db-730c-e611-9cf8-005056a462a1#.X9fgodhKjcs

Monterey, CA In Home Dialysis Expands Under Medicare

Senior citizens with kidney problems will have an option of in-home dialysis care covered by Medicare.  About 1 in 3 Medicare patients that are struggling with end-stage renal disease will be enrolled in the new program.  In addition to being more convenient, it will reduce the risk of being exposed to people with COVID-19.  Medicare also announced that it will increase the amount it pays provider of home kidney treatments to help gain traction with the program.  About 92,000 Americans are currently on the kidney transplant list.  For more information, talk to one of our local dialysis centers which are listed here:

https://www.dialysisfinder.com/dialysis-centers/monterey/ca/100#.X9Kn79hKjcs

Medicare Advantage Premiums To Drop 11% In 2020

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Advantage plans are expected to decline by 11% in 2020 to $21 (from $23.63 in 2020).  About 42% of Medicare participants are expected to enroll in the plans, as many of those have added new services.  There are also a wide array of plans available, 47 in 2020 compared to just 39 in 2020.

Monterey, CA Many Seniors Overwhelmed By Medicare Renewal Choices

It’s open enrollment time until December 7, a time of year when seniors can swap out Medicare Advantage plans.  However, according to the New York Times, many seniors are overwhelmed by the number of choices and do nothing.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, seniors will be able to choose from 57 different prescription or Advantage plans that include drug coverage.  A new survey found that 57% of seniors didn’t review or compare their coverage, with 46% saying they never or rarely visited their plans.  Two thirds of beneficiaries 85 or older don’t review their coverage annually.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/13/business/medicare-advantage-retirement.html

Carmel, CA Elder Abuse Alert : Medicare Scam

Senior citizens are complaining to AARP that they are getting calls from Medicare claiming that because of the coronavirus, they were issuing plastic cards now and asking people to verify their Social Security number.  These are not representatives of Medicare, these are scammers trying to get your personal information so that they can commit identity theft.  Beware!