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Making Health Care Affordable For All

There are currently 5,482 hospitals in the US and more then half of those hospitals do not pay federal, state or local taxes (American Hospital Directory).  Tax exemptions were meant to help  hospitals who served the poor in the 19th century, but times have changed drastically since those rules were put into place.  Today it's not just the poor who are serviced by hospitals, yet hospitals still enjoy their tax free status.  Hospitals in fact,  give less every year in charitable services and keep the profit from their tax exemptions status to pad their bank accounts.
                          
With the US government working to overhaul the health care system, hospitals are ready to make concessions, giving up $155 billion in government payments over the next decade.  Other changes being made is that Medicare and Medical payments will be withheld from hospitals for patients readmitted to the hospital for the same illness within an allotted period of time.  A well known practice is to release a patient from the hospital once they have reached the allowed number of days by Medicare.  The patient goes home only to return 72 hours later to the hospital and Medicare or Medical continues to cover the patient's  hospital treatment.

This was the case with my uncle who had to be released under Medicare guidelines, even though he was not well.  Had he remained in the hospital, private insurance or personal funds would have covered his hospital bill.  To get around this ruling, my uncle endured a short ambulance ride home, only to take an ambulance back to the hospital a few days later so Medicare coverage could be reinstated. 
 
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Check Out Your Hospital Visit The Government's Web Site
www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
Be Informed Know The Facts About Your Local Hospital Before You Are Admitted!


NEW RATINGS FOR AMERICAS HOSPITALS NOW AVAILABLE ON HOSPITAL COMPARE WEB SITE
INDIVIDUAL RATES PROVIDED ON MORE THAN 4,000 HOSPITALS NATIONWIDE, NEW MORTALITY AND READMISSION DATA INCLUDED

Important new information was added today to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Compare Web site that reports how frequently patients return to a hospital after being discharged, a possible indicator of how well the facility did the first time around. The site is www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.

On average, 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries who are discharged from a hospital today will re-enter the hospital within a month. Reducing the rate of hospital readmissions to improve quality and achieve savings are key components of President Obama’s health care reform agenda.

"The President and Congress have both identified the reduction of readmissions as a target area for health reform," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "When we reduce readmissions, we improve the quality of care patients receive and cut health care costs."

With the update announced today, Hospital Compare will provide better data on the previously posted mortality rates for individual hospitals, as well as the new data on 30-day readmissions for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. Previously, Hospital Compare had provided only mortality rates for these three conditions.

Research has shown that hospital readmissions are reducing the quality of health care while increasing hospital costs. Hospital Compare data show that for patients admitted to a hospital for heart attack treatment, 19.9 percent of them will return to the hospital within 30 days, 24.5 percent of patients admitted for heart failure will return to the hospital within 30 days, and 18.2 percent of patients admitted for pneumonia will return to the hospital within 30 days.

               

11.3 Million: Number Of Seniors Who Walk For Exercise

Execise Walking Is The Most Popular Sports Activity For Seniors.  Also Popular Is Exercising With Sports Equipment, Net Fishing, Camping, Golf And Swimming.

81% Of Seniors 65 Or Older In 2005  Owned A Home.

5 Million: The Number Of Seniors 65 Or Older Who Have Jobs.

9.1 Million: Number Of Seniors Who Are Military Veterans.

31%. Number Of Seniors Who Were Widowed In 2004.

56% Of Seniors 65 Or Older  Were Married In 2004.

79% Of Seniors 65 Or Older Were Registered To vote.

71% Of Seniors 65 Or older Said They Voted.

19% Of All Voters In The 2004 Election Were 65 Or Older.

47,000 Seniors 65 Or Older Were Enrolled In College In October 2004.

19% Of College Enrolled Seniors 65 Or Older Earned A Bachelor's Degree Or Higher Level Of Education In 2004.

73% Of Seniors 65 Or Older Had A High School Diploma in 2004.