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Penis Pumps Are Scamming Medicare!

Filed under: Legal MattersMedicineSex

Penis pump scandal

There's a scandal afoot! And it's extra scandalous because it involves penis pumps and wasted government money.

Apparently Medicare payments for the $338 devices have increased by over 500% within the last decade, but erectile dysfunction may not be to blame

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New Medicare Website Compares Quality Of Hospital Care

Filed under: HealthSurgery

Medicaire quality of care

Planning a major surgery at a hospital soon? Click on over to the new Medicare Hospital Compare website to get patient safety ratings for thousands of locations!

The launch of the site is the first step toward paying less to institutions with high rates of surgical complications, infections, mishaps and potentially avoidable deaths.

Instead of paying hospitals a set amount for each procedure, Medicare will use the Hospital Compare and other performance metrics to identify hospitals with the lowest quality of care. Those medical facilities will then be at risk to lose up to 2% of their regular Medicare reimbursements.

The initiative will not only save Medicare money, but it will help make patients more aware, as one advocate explains:

"This is pulling the curtain back on preventable health care harm to older Americans. These are really good things to know. We are really getting into the meat of what can happen to patients in hospitals.”

Others, however, fear this new site may do more harm than good. Nancy Foster, a vice president at the American Hospital Association, says:

“We believe the data is fairly seriously flawed in the way it’s calculated. When inaccurate data is out there, it both misleads the public and generates a lot of activity that is unproductive in the hospital.”

Will U be checking Hospital Compare before you choose a hospital for treatment in future?

[Image via WENN.]

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'Secret Shoppers' Testing Doctor's Offices For Government Study

Filed under: Health

Doctors office

Much like companies employ "secret shoppers" to rate their business practices and catch a glimpse of how their employees REALLY treat customers, the government is employing people to pose as potential patients to investigate how doctor offices in 9 states treat people with different types of insurance.

These fake patients will call the offices of 465 doctors in each state involved in the study to determine how the offices respond to potential patients with private insurance, medicaid, or "self-pay patients".

The process — which will begin in Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia in a few months — is described as follows:

Each office will be called at least twice — by a person who supposedly has private insurance and by someone who supposedly has public insurance. …

Eleven percent of the doctors will be called a third time. The callers will identify themselves as calling "on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services." They will ask whether the doctors accept private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, and whether they take "self-pay patients." The study will note any discrepancies between those answers and the ones given to mystery shoppers.

Many practicing physicians are upset by the Obama administrations move, but the government insists the survey will shed light on the public health problem of primary care doctor shortages.

It doesn't seem like the secret inquiries into the types of insurance doctors accept is to invasive. Plus, if these doctors have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to worry about!

A federal health official has promised results of the survey will be strictly confidential with only collective information being released without any mention of specific offices.

[Image via AP Images.]

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Social Security & Medicare Will Run Out Sooner Than Expected

Filed under: Health

Social Security & Medicare Will Run Out Sooner Than Expected

Time to start saving for retirement… NOW!

Medicare and Social Security are both grounded by trust funds, and according to a new report by the programs’ trustees, the funds will run out earlier than initially expected.

Social Security is expected to have sufficient funds to pay 100% of promised benefits through 2036. Medicare is expected to be in trouble after the year 2024.

The bad economy is to blame for the short expiration date, but there are larger problems at hand that need to be worked out to get these programs back on track.

Said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

"We should not wait for the trust funds to be exhausted to make the reforms necessary to protect our current and future retirees. Larger, more difficult adjustments will be necessary if we delay reform. And making reforms soon that are phased in over time would help reduce uncertainty about future retirement benefits."

If you’re young right now, it’s probably best to assume that you will NOT get social security when you retire!

[Image via AP Images.]

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Same-Sex Couples MAY Be Able To Receive Medicaid Spousal Protection Soon

obama and medicaid working on expanding coverage

This would be SO great!

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Obama administration is getting ready to assist state-run Medicaid programs with providing spousal protection for same-sex domestic partners.

Here's what spokeswoman Mary Kahn had to say about this new Medicaid development:

“We are working on new guidance in this area, which we expect to issue very soon."

More from gay advocacy organization Sage's executive director Michael Adams:

“We are talking about couples who have spent their entire lives together who have to choose between long-term care for a sick partner and everything they have. This is a matter of basic human decency. We now have the opportunity to see those protections extended in every state of this country.”

We cannot emphasize enough HOW MUCH we agree with this!

Both Medicaid and The Obama Administration will def be scoring some serious points in our book if they can make this happen very soon!

Makes us so happy to see more and more steps in the right direction towards EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!

[Image via WENN.]

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Dear President Obama…THIS ROCKS!

new-hospital-visitation-policy-more-lgbt-friendly

Excellent! This is LONG overdue!

A new policy, implemented by President Barack Obama, went into effect yesterday that forces hospitals in Medicare and Medicaid to allow ALL patients to decide visitation rights, as well as who to entrust - regardless of sexuality or gender - with making medical decisions on their behalf!

Brian Bond, the White House Deputy Director of Public Engagement, writes:

"This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families. The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting this and has spoken about it often over the years."

HRC President Joe Solmonese responded to the news with:

"LGBT people experience discrimination in many aspects of their lives, but it is perhaps at its worst during times of crisis. We thank President Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius for recognizing the hardships LGBT people face and taking this important step toward ensuring that no one will be turned away from a partner's hospital bedside again."

This truly is amazing news!

We're thrilled that Obama has taken these steps to ensure that ALL couples and families can legally be with their loved ones, and make the tough decisions if they have to - instead of being denied access to them!

The path to equal rights is still a long and difficult one, but successes like this make it all the more important that we remain adamant and continue to fight for what we deserve as human beings!

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!

[Image via AP Images.]

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