Actions Helpful to Senior Citizens in Health Care
Bill Promoted by Senate Aging Chairman
Provisions are from bills championed by Sen. Herb
Kohl to provide better health care to seniors
March 23, 2010 Several provisions of the Health
Care Reform Bill that was signed into law this morning by President
Obama were long-championed by the Chairman of the Senate Special
Committee on Aging, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). All were supported by Kohl as
being helpful to senior citizens.
The provisions pushed by Kohl that are now law
include the following.
● The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (S.
301), a bipartisan policy that requires disclosure of gifts and payments
given to doctors from the pharmaceutical, biologic, and medical device
For over two years, Kohl has been investigating the
nature of financial relationships between doctors and industry. This
provision will work to expose conflicts of interest that arise when
physicians receive financial benefits from drug and device makers.
● The Nursing Home Transparency and
Improvement Act (S. 647), a bipartisan policy that provides
consumers with more information about individual nursing homes and their
track record of care, offers the government better tools for enforcing
high quality standards, and encourages homes to improve on their own.
AARP has called Kohl's bill, which would significantly raise the bar for
standards of care in nursing homes for the first time since 1987, "one
of the most significant nursing home reform initiatives" in two decades.
● Medicare Payment Improvement Act of 2009
(S.1249), a bill that will reform the Medicare physician reimbursement
so that it rewards health care providers based on the quality of care
they provide. Under this proposal, states like Wisconsin that achieve
higher quality-to-cost ratios will receive an increased reimbursement
from Medicare. This proposal will help address the problem of
geographic variations and reward high-quality providers, such as those
● The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act
(S. 631), a policy that prevents those with violent or criminal
histories from working with vulnerable elders in long-term care settings
through the creation of a comprehensive nationwide system of background
checks. This bill will expand a highly successful three-year pilot
program instituted in seven states that kept more than 9,500 serial
predators out of the long-term care workforce.
● Key provisions from the Retooling the
Health Care Workforce for an Aging America Act (S. 245), which will
to help expand, train, and support the health care workforce focused on
● Several provisions to protect
policyholders, business, and taxpayers from Health Care Fraud and Abuse,
including new tools for Justice Department prosecutors, stronger
protections from fraud for small businesses that offer employee health
coverage, and improved methods for identifying and preventing fraud
involving Medicare, Medicaid and private health plans.
● The Home and Community Balanced Incentives
Act (S. 1256), which will provide states with financial incentives
and more flexible plan options for restructuring their Medicaid programs
in order to provide an increasing number of beneficiaries with
cost-effective home and community-based (HCBS) services.
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