Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bayer to Pay $97.5 Million to Settle Kickback Claim


A unit of Bayer AG agreed to pay $97.5 million to settle accusations that it paid kickbacks to diabetic-equipment suppliers, the U.S. Justice Department said.Bayer Healthcare LLC was accused of giving $2.5 million to Liberty Medical Supply Inc. to persuade Liberty to provide its patients with Bayer diabetic-testing equipment such as testing strips and glucose monitors, the Justice Department said in a statement.Bayer also was accused of paying $375,000 in kickbacks to 10 other diabetic suppliers and causing them to submit false claims to Medicare, the government said. From 1998 through 2007 the suppliers filed false claims on the sales to get Medicare reimbursements, the statement said.“Paying health care suppliers to place a particular brand of device with Medicare beneficiaries violates the law and will not be tolerated,” said Gregory G. Katsas, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division.Bayer spokeswoman Susan Yarin said the payment puts the matter behind the unit, based in Tarrytown, New York.

For more information, please click here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Medicare Advantage Paid Too Much

Fierce Healthcare reports that studies form the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission suggest that private health care plans for Medicare beneficiaries may be a good place to start cutting. The studies also show that private insurance plans are driving up costs because they are paid on average 13 percent more than allocated for traditional Medicare. Do you think private health care plans should be cut?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Medicare drug benefits cause confusion

In a survey released by MedCo Health Solutions today, we find out that of the 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries selected, that 62% do not understand the doughnut hole when it comes to prescription drugs. More alarming is that 28% of those surveyed stated they weren't aware it existed.

For more information, read here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Private Plans for Medicare that Cover Dental Care

This post on AMPSYS discusses how Medicare does not cover dental care, but there are ways around this. There are many private plans for Medicare that do offer such coverage for dental expenses. Some of these private plans include the basic Medicare coverage, and also offer savings in eyeglasses, hearing devices, and dental care as well. The post gives an example of how Humana pays for about 25 percent of fillings, 75 percent of the cost of examinations, cleanings and X-rays, and 50 percent of extractions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Medicare Co-Pays and Premiums Expected to Rise

FierceHealthcare reports today that a recent study conducted by Avalere Health LLC found that for the largest 10 drug companies, premiums are expected to rise up an average of 31 percent next year. It is also speculated that this in term might cause insurers to increase drug co-payments 75 percent (about $7) for generic drugs and a 60% increase (about $40) for brand drugs.

A spokesperson from Humana, an insurer, mentions:

“Prices reflect the experience we've seen over the past three years, and our expectations around what will most interest our members and potential members going forward."