Medicare

Eighty percent of hospitals in New York state face penalties based on the number of Medicare patients that are readmitted into their care.

The federal government wants to reduce the number of avoidable hospital readmissions. This is the third year Medicare will cut reimbursements to hospitals based on the number of patients who have to check back in with complications from lung ailments, heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, or after a hip or knee replacement.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO/file photo

Sen. Charles Schumer wants to increase the number of primary care physicians in the United States, particularly in rural areas like upstate New York.

Schumer says he is proposing a revised version of the "Resident Physician Shortage Act," which would increase the number of Medicare-supported physician residency slots by 15,000 over the next five years.

Ambulance services throughout New York state are at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal reimbursements as a plan is set to expire without congressional action.

Ambulances get paid by Medicaid and Medicare less than it costs to respond to emergencies from patients on those insurance plans, but one-year programs by Congress have boosted those rates. The Senate Finance Committee has approved a longer-term extension on reimbursements. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he wants a five-year guarantee.

There’s less than a month until the Dec. 7 deadline, when Medicare’s open enrollment period ends.

Blaine Longnecker, a sales consultant out of Syracuse’s Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield office, said seniors eligible for the federal health insurance program who are looking to change their plan shouldn't bide their time.

Three upstate NY regions have low Medicare costs

Jul 31, 2013

Parts of upstate New York are spending less on Medicare than other regions of the U.S., according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine.

The study analyzed health care spending, utilization and quality in more than 300 cities nationwide. Three upstate New York cities ranked among the lowest 20 spenders. Syracuse ranked 19th, while Buffalo ranked fourth. Rochester was found to have the lowest Medicare spending in the country. Its costs per beneficiary was $174 a month lower than the study's median.

The Civil Service Employees Association, or CSEA, is currently involved in several law suits across New York state with counties, including Onondaga County, that are trying to get out of the business of running nursing homes. Now Ontario County may now face legal action from the union over its decision to put its county-run nursing home on the market.

Medicare will look different a year from now, as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.  But, Medicare advocates are worried about some potential changes to the program that pays for health care for the elderly.

Oneida County Democrats endorse Dan Lamb

Oct 29, 2012

Democrat candidate for Congress Dan Lamb was in Utica Friday to accept the endorsement of several Oneida County politicians. The first-time candidate is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Richard Hanna in the redrawn 22nd district, which covers an area including the eastern half of Oswego County south through Binghamton.