Touchstone Health

Touchstone Health - Breaking Health and Medicare News

Health Care Industry Weekly News

Here are this week's top health care news stories.

New Health Plans Sold Through Exchanges Not Accepted At Some Prestigious NYC Hospitals
WashingtonTimes.com
By: Associated Press
ew Yorkers buying a health plan on the state’s new insurance exchange should read the fine print if they’re interested in getting care at some of the city’s top hospitals. Not all are participating in the new plans created by the Affordable Care Act. As of this week, not one of the plans for sale on New York’s health benefit exchange would cover treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the world’s largest and most respected cancer hospitals.
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Jobless, Medicare Action Nears
WashingtonTimes.com
By: Jacqueline Klimas
Congress may have punted deadlines for a government shutdown and a debt ceiling deal into 2014, but the clock is ticking on two entitlement programs that will expire in December, stripping away benefits for millions of people in the new year if lawmakers don’t act. One of the programs facing an end-of-year deadline is Medicare’s payment rate for doctors. Under the law, payments are supposed to be cut to try to control costs but Congress, fearful it would mean doctors stop treating Medicare patients, regularly overrides the cuts.
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Governor Declines To Resurrect Canceled Health Insurance Policies In New York
MedCityNews.com
By: Stephen T. Watson
One week after President Obama offered to let people keep their canceled health insurance plans for another year -- if their insurers agreed to renew those plans -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced they won't have the chance in New York. Insurers here had been waiting for instructions on how to proceed since Thursday, when the president responded to heavy criticism by agreeing to let insurance companies offer the plans, deemed substandard under the Affordable Care Act, to members who wanted to keep them in 2014. Insurance companies here got their answer Monday and are happily proceeding with the state's status-quo policy.
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Medicare’s Failure To Track Doctors Wastes Billions On Name-Brand Drugs
ProPublica.org
By: Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber & Jennifer LaFleur
Medicare is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year by failing to rein in doctors who routinely give patients pricey name-brand drugs when cheaper generic alternatives are available. ProPublica analyzed the prescribing habits of 1.6 million practitioners nationwide and found that a tiny fraction of them are having an outsized impact on spending in Medicare’s massive drug program.
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Medicare Penalizes Nearly 1,500 Hospitals For Poor Quality Scores
NPR.org
By: Jordan Rau
The Obama administration is moving ahead with its second year of meting out bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on the quality of their care. This year, there are more losers than winners. Medicare has raised payment rates to 1,231 hospitals based on two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and — for the first time — death rates. Another 1,451 hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.
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Doctors Complain They Will Be Paid Less By Exchange Plans
KaiserHealthNews.org
By: Roni Caryn Rabin
Many doctors are disturbed they will be paid less -- often a lot less -- to care for the millions of patients projected to buy coverage through the health law’s new insurance marketplaces. Some have complained to medical associations, including those in New York, California, Connecticut, Texas and Georgia, saying the discounted rates could lead to a two-tiered system in which fewer doctors participate, potentially making it harder for consumers to get the care they need.
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Y0064_H3327_THPSMK_2060 Approved
Touchstone Health HMO, Inc. is a Medicare-approved Health Maintenance Organization with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug contract with the federal government and a contract with the New York State Medicaid program. The plan is available to anyone enrolled in Part A and Part B through age or disability and who continues to pay their Medicare Part B premium. Copayment, service area, and benefit limitations apply. Members must use contracted providers to receive plan benefits, except in an emergency, urgent care, and for out-of-area dialysis. The Touchstone Health Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans are Total, Prestige, Power, Clear and Freedom. Enrollment in Touchstone Health depends on contract renewal.

Touchstone Health | Touchstone Health Co-Sponsors Event to Keep Bronx Seniors Warm

Touchstone Health

Touchstone Health - Breaking Health and Medicare News

Touchstone Health Co-Sponsors Event to Keep Bronx Seniors Warm

Touchstone Health co-sponsored, "Warm From Some One Who Cares" on Feb. 1, 2011! The event supports senior citizens in need of warm clothing. Gloves, hats and scarves were handed out to more than 100 seniors at the R.A.I.N. Boston Road Senior Center in The Bronx, New York. Seen here is news coverage from the event that appeared in the Feb. 17-23, edition of the Bronx Times Reporter!

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Y0064_H3327_THPSMK_2060 Approved
Touchstone Health HMO, Inc. is a Medicare-approved Health Maintenance Organization with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug contract with the federal government and a contract with the New York State Medicaid program. The plan is available to anyone enrolled in Part A and Part B through age or disability and who continues to pay their Medicare Part B premium. Copayment, service area, and benefit limitations apply. Members must use contracted providers to receive plan benefits, except in an emergency, urgent care, and for out-of-area dialysis. The Touchstone Health Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans are Total, Prestige, Power, Clear and Freedom. Enrollment in Touchstone Health depends on contract renewal.