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Brown signs Calif. measures to aid children with autism, ban kids younger than 18 from using tanning beds

September 19, 2019

The Miami Herald: Daughter's Complaint Puts Focus On Medicare Payment To For-Profit HospiceWhen Carol Flatto saw that Medicare was paying $4,500 a month for her father's hospice care on Miami Beach, she was astounded. ?? After Edwin Flatto died in July, records showed that Medicare had paid Odyssey (Healthcare, a for-profit company in West Dade) $35,043 for his care, including various miscellaneous claims. ?? Her complaint echoes a stern warning in July from a federal watchdog agency that Medicare is paying far too much for hospice care in nursing homes. Several investigations into Odyssey by the federal government and the states of Texas and Georgia are pending. ?? The irony is that for years, healthcare policy experts have viewed hospice as the cheaper, more humane alternative to patients spending their last weeks in intensive care units. That has also represented a business opportunity. In the past five years, hospice services have been the fastest-growing Medicare service -; climbing an average of 10 percent per year, a Medicare spokeswoman says. Hospice costs in nursing homes have been soaring even faster during that time -; up nearly 70 percent -; often for care that wasn't provided or wasn't necessary, federal investigators say (Dorschner, 10/9).

The Associated Press/BusinessWeek: Most Ohio Union Workers Affected By Insurance Rule Employees of more than 550 school districts, townships and other government units across Ohio will see their share of health care costs rise if voters approve a collective bargaining law this fall, state data show. Widespread impact of the provision is fueling arguments on both sides. Supporters say having employees pay a bigger share of their health care costs will bring them in closer alignment with private sector workers and help balance local budgets. Opponents say the data validate that the union-limiting bill will hurt tens of thousands of average workers around the state, who will be required by the law to spend more on benefits (Smyth, 10/5). 

This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.