Medicare cost control in action

Tens of thousands of people with chronic conditions and disabilities may find it easier to qualify for Medicare coverage of potentially costly home health care, skilled nursing home stays and outpatient therapy under policy changes planned by the Obama administration.

In a proposed settlement of a nationwide class-action lawsuit, the administration has agreed to scrap a decades-old practice that required many beneficiaries to show a likelihood of medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing and therapy services.

…Neither she nor Medicare officials could say how much the settlement might cost the government, but the price of expanding such coverage could be substantial.

The story is here.  Without knowing the cost, it is difficult to say whether this coverage expansion is a good idea.  But that is exactly my point.  I see a good deal of cognitive dissonance when I read discussions of plans for Medicare cost control.


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