Medicare / Hospital Ratings, CMS

A majority of Florida’s hospitals received low marks under the federal government’s new ratings system. The data was released earlier this week. But  some hospitals are starting to make peace with the new system.

A retiree advocate group held a birthday party for Social Security and Medicare in Tallahassee today (Friday, 8/14/15).  The occasion at the Westminster Oaks Retirement Community attracted plenty of partiers.

The party at the Westminster Oaks Maguire Center kicked off with some presentations.  David Jacobson with the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans said Social Security, now marking its 80th birthday, has fulfilled its promise for millions of retirees.

Democrats and Republicans are trading potshots over perennial third rail of politics: Medicare.
Judy van der Velden via Flickr

Democrats are up in arms over Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s recent comments about Medicare.  The former Florida Governor suggests Medicare be phased out.

Capital Regional Medical Center is being docked by the federal government for having high patient readmission rates. As a result of having too many patients coming back to the hospital after they’re discharged, Capital Regional will have to forfeit a percentage of the dollars it gets to treat people, mostly seniors, on Medicare.

Firm Started By Sen. President Gaetz Accused Of Medicare Fraud

May 10, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the hospice company founded by Senate President Don Gaetz, accusing it of Medicare fraud, going back to when Gaetz was still with the firm.

The lawsuit, filed May 2 in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City and reported Thursday by The Miami Herald, alleges Vitas Hospice Services and Vitas Healthcare Corp. have misspent millions in taxpayer money collected from Medicare.

Thomas Andrew Gustafson / WFSU-FM

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) was in Tallahassee on Tuesday for a fact-finding mission about aging. This week, Nelson is meeting with Florida doctors and policy-makers to discuss things like Medicare and assisted living facilities.

Nelson is the new chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. He was in Gainesville on Monday, and on Tuesday, he was at Florida State University, discussing issues that affect the elderly. Nelson and the panelists talked about problems like primary care doctor and nurse shortages and how to extend long-term insurance benefits.

Republicans are cheering the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as Presumptive GOP Nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate. The move has also sparked a heated debate over the future of the nation’s Medicare program for seniors. Ryan is the architect of a budget proposal that includes those program cuts and Romney has said he supports the Ryan approach. Democrats say the Republican stance on Medicare could help President Obama in swing states.

Spencer Green / AP

Presumptive GOP Nominee Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate is appealing to both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are cheering the selection as proof that Romney is serious about cutting the federal debt.  Democrats say Ryan’s proposal to cut entitlement programs such as Medicare for seniors in order to reduce the federal debt could help President Obama in swing states with large numbers of elderly voters.

HCA, the nation’s biggest private hospital chain, is once again under investigation by the federal government—this time for potentially performing unnecessary and dangerous heart procedures to boost profits, mainly in Florida, where the company does about 20 percent of its business. The investigation comes after the company uncovered questionable procedures on its own and apparently failed to report them to regulators or insurers, as required by law.