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November 2014 Archives

Miscounting with Obamacare

The Obama administration's overcounting of the number of people enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans reveals how all the glitches in the government's computer system have yet to be worked out.

Brooklyn Hospital Is Told to Keep Girl, 2, on Life Support Amid Organ Donation Fight

A judge on Monday ordered a Brooklyn hospital to keep a 2-year-old girl on life support for at least another day, as her parents argue over whether her organs should be donated.

Yet whether the child's organs will ultimately go to other children, as her mother wants, or be buried with her, as her father wants, poses a classic ethical issue: how to resolve conflict among the people who loved her and knew her best.

For now, everything is in a holding pattern. The hospital issued a brief statement on Monday, indicating it was providing “medical care, support and comfort to the family at this time of tremendous grief.”

Think Twice Before Choosing Knee Replacement

There’s no doubt that knee replacements are increasingly popular. More than 600,000 such surgeries were performed in 2012, compared with about 250,000 just 15 years ago. But some new studies suggest that people may be electing to have the procedure prematurely and, perhaps worse, gaining limited benefit from it. According to figures from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the number of knee replacements in people between 45 and 64 soared by 205 percent between 2000 and 2012; among people 65 and older, the increase was only 95 percent.

The message is not that people should wait until their knees break down completely before replacing them. But they should question the need for surgery. “Ask your doctor how advanced your arthritis really is,” Dr. Riddle advises. If you do not have bone-on-bone arthritis, in which all of the cushioning cartilage in the knee is gone, think about consulting a physical therapist about exercise programs that could strengthen the joint, reducing pain and disability, Riddle says. Losing weight helps, too.

Read about this in the New York Times at http://nyti.ms/1v9ziW in a story written by Gretchen Reynolds.

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   http://www.wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Medicare Defers Request To Pay Doctors For End-Of-Life Counseling

Medicare has signaled a willingness to consider paying doctors who counsel patients on end-of-life decisions, though it's putting the issue on hold for now. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a request from the American Medical Association to adopt new billing codes for such advance care planning in a 2015 physician payment rule the agency released last week. Counseling people about what choices they would face for care when terminally ill was portrayed as a government effort to establish "death panels" during the bitter debate over the health care overhaul. (Young, 11/4

Employer Health Care Plans will need to provide hospital coverage

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not qualify under the Affordable Care Act’s toughest standard. It also offered relief to workers who may be enrolled in those plans next year. The administration will rule that plans without “substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services” do not meet the law’s “minimum value” threshold, the Treasury Department said in a notice Tuesday morning. It will issue final regulations saying so next year, it said. “It’s good news for employees,” said Sabrina Corlette, project director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “They shouldn’t be stuck with subpar coverage.”Read about this at http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/ in an article written by Jay Hancock at Kaiser Health News

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   http://www.wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.