Topic: Part B

Hearing Care and Audiology

Since its implementation in 1965, Medicare has excluded coverage for hearing aids and related audiology services despite the large numbers of older Americans that have hearing loss. The cost of not treating audiology problems must be measured when considering the value and cost of adding coverage.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Medicare claims for DME (Items that have a medical purpose and repeated use) are suitable for coverage, and appeal if they have been denied, if they meet specific criteria.

Dental/Oral Health

While Medicare coverage of dental services does not include routine services, as discussed below, coverage for medically necessary dental and oral health care is supported by the Medicare statute, its legislative history, and even CMS policy. 

Medicare Part B

A discussion of items and Services covered under Medicare Part B.

Minimal Social Security COLA Increase Will Likely Lead to Dramatic Part B Premium Increases for Some, Large Deductible Increase for All, Unless Congress Intervenes

Although Medicare premiums won’t be announced until later this Fall, as a result of this small increase to COLA, Part B premiums are projected to increase significantly.

Center Comments on Proposed Rules for Dialysis, DME Fee Schedule, ESRD Care Model

Comments on the proposed rule concerning Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies Competitive Bidding Program and Fee Schedule Adjustments, Access to Care Issues for Durable Medical Equipment; and the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model (CMS-1651-P)

CMS Proposes Changes in How It Pays for Part B Drugs

CMS states that its main objective is to ensure that physicians are prescribing the most effective prescription drugs in order to improve patient treatment and to rein in drug spending.

Time for Medicare to Cover Audiology Care

It is increasingly well-documented that untreated hearing loss often leads to a variety of serious health problems and injuries.

House Passes Budget Agreement That Would Reduce Dramatic Rise in Part B Costs for Beneficiaries – Bill Moves to Senate; Advocates Remain Concerned About Underlying Causes

The premium increase, expected to be over 50% for beneficiaries who do not already have premiums taken from their Social Security, will instead be about 15%.

Medicare Limits on Coverage for Home Infusions Should Be Corrected

Providing necessary infusions and injections at home reduces the risk of infection and other health consequences for beneficiaries who are already medically compromised. These important services should be covered for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare.

Solution to Medicare Part B Cost Increases? Look at “Outpatient” Observation Status

A major cause of the Part B increase is likely the parallel increase in so-called "outpatient" Observation Status, the use of which has more than doubled since 1999.

Part B and the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Part B premiums are expected to increase.

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