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Health News Results - 85

As people age, health issues tend to mount, but roughly a quarter of low-income adults over 65 have no medical insurance.

That's the age when most Americans become eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance for seniors. But many of the uninsured seniors are Hispanic Americans who aren't eligible for that coverage, or lower income people who may not be able to afford Medicare prem...

The Biden administration on Tuesday named the first 10 medicines that will be subject to price negotiations between Medicare and participating drug companies.

The list represents the first step in a landmark program aimed at reducing the government's drug spending, and potentially U.S. drug prices in general. However, six major drug companies are already challenging the program in court.<...

U.S. seniors with mental health needs may not have much access to psychiatrists who could help them, new research shows.

Despite an overall heightened demand for mental health services, nearly two-thirds of Medicare Advantage psychiatrist networks included less than 25% of all psychiatrists in a given service area.

“This means that many people who have coverage through Medicare A...

A new study shows that older Americans with health issues are now staying with their Medicare Advantage managed plans, rather than swapping them for traditional plans through a health insurer.

Although Medicare Advantage has been criticized in the past for “cherry-picking” healthy patients, that's no longer the case, according to the research.

"This is not what a lot of people w...

The so-called "Medicaid cliff" is a perennial threat for millions of American seniors whose incomes put them just above the poverty line.

While impoverished seniors often have Medicaid to help cover their health care expenses, seniors who make just a little bit more have to pay the higher out-of-pocket costs of Medicare themselves.

The upshot: They're much less likely to go to the ...

Do all patients get the same amount of face-to-face time when visiting their primary care doctor?

Apparently not, claims a new study that found Black and Hispanic patients -- as well as patients with public health insurance like Medicaid or Medicare -- tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to the length of office visits.

In some cases, shorter visits can potentially ...

Without dental coverage, many American seniors on Medicare stop getting the fillings and crowns they may need, a new study finds.

The result isn't pretty.

“Without dental coverage for adults who are eligible [for] Medicare, we are seeing a rise in loss of teeth after age 65 among nearly 1 in 20 adults, which represents millions of Americans,” said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 9, 2023
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  • Out-of-pocket costs can leave Medicare patients with the most common type of liver cancer in financial distress.

    While Medicare payments in the first year after diagnosis with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) exceeded $65,000, out-of-pocket costs were more than $10,000,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 2, 2023
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  • The U.S. government could save billions every year once Medicare begins negotiating drug prices in 2026, new research suggests.

    The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress last year allows Medicare to bargain with drug companies on the prices of 10 of the highest-priced drugs in 2026 before ...

    The number of Americans who had trouble paying their medical bills dropped precipitously between 2019 and 2021, and funds from the American Rescue Plan and other federal pandemic relief programs may have been a reason why.

    Overall, 10.8% of Americans responding to a federal survey in 2021 said they had had problems covering medical bills that year, down from 14% in 2019, according to rese...

    Medicare Advantage ads that are confusing or misleading could be banned under a new rule that was proposed Wednesday by the Biden administration to protect seniors.

    Nearly half of all seniors or people with disabilities who are enrolled in the Medicare program through the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have Medicare Advantage plans.

    “CMS released a proposed...

    Costs for epilepsy medications in the United States are skyrocketing, outpacing inflation and straining federal insurers Medicare and Medicaid, according to new research.

    Spending on antiseizure medications more than doubled in eight years for the government insurers, largely because of third-generation and brand-name drugs, the study found.

    "While it's very important that Medicare ...

    Your chances of surviving cancer could depend on the type of Medicare plan you have, a new study reports.

    Americans enrolled in a privatized, cost-saving Medicare Advantage plan are more likely to die within a month of undergoing complex cancer surgery, compared to those in traditional Medicare, the researchers found.

    Those covered by Medicare Advantage were 1.5 times more likely to...

    About 88 nursing homes in the United States are on a watch list for worrisome care that puts residents in danger, but now they will face tougher penalties for any future violation.

    Those tougher penalties could include the loss of federal funding if they receive more than one ...

    Dental coverage under Medicare could soon start expanding for seniors under a new proposal from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

    Still, the proposed rules would not provide full coverage for regular dental care, which has been explicitly excluded from Medicare since...

    Millions of seniors who had to pay high increases in Medicare premiums this year will get a break in 2023 when they see a rare drop in monthly premiums for Medicare Part B.

    The

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 28, 2022
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  • President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, making it the most significant health care legislation enacted in more than a decade.

    How will it affect health care?

    Millions of Americans covered by Medicare will see big reductions in costs for both health care and...

    The Inflation Reduction Act is expected to bring out-of-pocket drug costs down for many U.S. seniors, but most of its benefits aren't immediate.

    Under the law, Medicare will now be allowed to negotiate the cost of some drugs. That should eventually bring down out-of-pocket costs for seniors with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, according to John Clark, a clinical associate profess...

    Annual wellness visits covered by Medicare reduce diabetes patients' risk of amputation by more than one-third, a new study finds.

    "Our results confirmed our hypothesis that Annual Wellness Visits are associated with a reduced risk of major lower-extremity amputations, highlighting the importance of con...

    Coverage for eligible, necessary care is denied each year to tens of thousands of seniors with private Medicare Advantage plans, U.S. federal investigators say.

    In a report released Thursday, the team from the inspector general's office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Medicare needs ...

    One in five Medicare recipients use medical marijuana and two-thirds say it should be covered by Medicare, a new survey reveals.

    Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, four territories and the District of Columbia, but it isn't covered by Medicare, the federal health insurance program fo...

    Medicare announced Thursday that it will limit its coverage of the pricey new drug Aduhelm to Alzheimer's patients enrolled in clinical trials of the drug.

    Approved amid controversy last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the latest decision was meant to protect patients while gathering ...

    Medicare announced Monday that seniors can now walk into most drug stores and get a free over-the-counter COVID test.

    "For the first time in its history, Medicare is paying for an over-the-counter test," Deputy Administrator Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the Center for Medicare, said in a

  • By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • April 5, 2022
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  • Medicare will soon provide up to eight free COVID rapid tests a month to seniors enrolled in the government health insurance program, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

    The new policy for the over-the-counter tests will take effect in early spring. The at-home tests will...

    California lawmakers must vote by Monday on whether to keep a bill to create a universal health care system moving forward.

    Monday, Jan. 31, is the last chance for California Democrats in the Assembly to keep the

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • January 31, 2022
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  • Your heart is in an incredibly vulnerable state if you've suffered a heart attack or are fighting heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation could be an important part of your recovery.

    Unfortunately, not enough older folks appear to be taking advantage of this life-saving therapy.

    Fewer than one in 10 eligible Medicare beneficiaries get recommended heart failure rehab treatments, th...

    Home COVID tests are now available at no cost to most Americans, as part of the Biden administration's effort to increase testing around the United States.

    Folks can buy home tests online or in stores and be

  • Dennis Thompson
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  • January 18, 2022
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  • U.S. insurers are paying millions of dollars a year to cover the cost of ivermectin for COVID-19 patients despite a lack of proof the anti-parasitic drug is effective against the virus, a new study finds.

    Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization say ivermectin pills -- typically used to treat parasitic infections like worms -- should not be used for COV...

    It's a move that could severely limit the number of people taking the controversial new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm: Medicare on Tuesday proposed to only cover the cost of the pricey medication for people enrolled in approved clinical trials.

    A final decision on coverage is expected later this year.

    The drug costs $28,200 per year, but that cost will only be covered for participants ...

    Medicare has been told to reassess a significant premium increase it had announced that largely stemmed from the expensive new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm.

    U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra's directive, which was annou...

    Following a months-long and unprecedented review, Medicare officials expect to announce within the next couple of weeks whether the program will cover the controversial Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm. The drug's benefits are in question and its annual price tag tops $28,000.

    The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tend to cover with little fanfare most drugs approved by its si...

    The maker of the pricey new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm (aducanumab) said Monday it will slash the cost of its medication in half, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

    The move follows widespread criticism of the drug's original $56,000-a-year price tag.

    The reduction in the wholesale acquisition cost announced by Biogen means that the annual cost for a patient of average weight will be $28,200, th...

    "Medicare For All" gets tossed around a lot by advocates of universal health coverage, but a new study finds that today's Medicare is far from free for seniors and people with disabilities.

    Instead, a large number of beneficiaries are sliding into medical debt and delaying needed health care due to financial holes in the system, according to findings published online Dec. 10 in

    President Joe Biden promised cheaper prescription drugs for all Americans on Monday as his social agenda legislation winds its way through Congress.

    Biden tried to shift Americans' focus to pocketbook provisions overlooked in his $2 trillion legislation, which deals with everything from climate to family life and taxes. The legislation has passed the House and is pending before the Senate...

    Nearly 13 million U.S. adults a year skip or delay filling needed prescriptions due to high price tags, new research shows.

    This figure includes more than 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries and 3.8 million privately insured working-age adults who didn't get needed medications each year in 2018 and 2019 because of cost, according to a nationally representative survey of U.S. households.

    A new and expensive Alzheimer's drug called Aduhelm is responsible for about half of the $21.60 increase in monthly premiums for Medicare's Part B outpatient program in 2022, Medicare officials report.

    The new premium will be $170.10 a month, and the $21.60 boost is the biggest increase ever in dollar amount, but not in percentage terms. As recently as August, a smaller increase of $10 fr...

    A measure designed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors has been added to President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate change bill that Democratic leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week.

    For the first time, the measure would enable the federal government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare, The New York Times reported.

    Under the proposal, ...

    Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year -- reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

    Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

    On average, beneficiaries saw a 34%...

    American cancer patients spent more than $21 billion on their care in 2019, a new report shows.

    That $21.09 billion included out-of-pocket costs of $16.22 billion and patient time costs of $4.87 billion. Patient time costs are the value of the time patients spend traveling for, waiting for and receiving care.

    "As the costs of cancer treatment continue to rise, greater attention to a...

    Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 could now face thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs, according to a new report.

    In 2020, most health insurance companies waived co-pays, deductibles and other cost-sharing for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but many stopped doing that early this year, the University of Michigan researchers noted.

    "Many insurers claim that it is ju...

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

    The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts University's Thomas Stopka said during a HealthDay Now video interview.

    "We've been seeing increases in o...

    As many as 18 million Americans can't afford their prescribed medications, a new nationwide poll finds.

    That's 7% of the adult population in the United States. But when it comes to households making less than $24,000 per year, the percentage jumps to 19%, the West Health/Gallup poll revealed.

    Here are the key findings:

    • The inability to pay for a prescription is twice as h...

    The cost of providing hospital care for unvaccinated Americans has reached $5.7 billion in just three months, CBS News reported.

    Between June and August, about 287,000 people who were not vaccinated were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, which collaborated to track healt...

    When Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65, they see a significant drop in their out-of-pocket medical costs.

    Lowering the eligibility age would save even more, especially for people with the highest out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study.

    "Me...

    U.S. approval of the Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm is already mired in controversy. Now a new study finds that most Alzheimer's patients could not have taken part in clinical trials that led to the green light.

    In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave accelerated approval to Aduhelm (aducanumab) for treating patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia from Alzheimer's d...

    While the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines is nominal -- and free to consumers in the United States -- the cost of paying for hospitalizations for people who've contracted the virus is dramatically higher.

    The average financial cost of hospitalization for a COVID-19 patient insured by Medicare - at $21,752 -- is about 145 times the reimbursement Medicare pays for vaccinating one pe...

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the economy and jobs, it didn't result in fewer Americans having health insurance.

    The number of 18- to 64-year-olds in the United States without health insurance held steady at 11% between March 2019 and April 2021, according to a survey by the Urban Institute, a social policy research organization.

    "Unlike the last recession, los...

    Could reducing racial disparities in health care be as simple as lowering the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare?

    Yes, claims a new study that suggests lowering eligibility from age 65 to age 60 could go a long way toward addressing inequities in health insurance, access to care and self-reported health decline.

    Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage fall by mo...

    Nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, the U.S. government says.

    That includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits and lab tests, NBC News reported.

    The guidance, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with the Department of Lab...

    The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

    More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

    "T...