With all of the discussion of raising the retirement age for Medicare from 65 to 67, a totally unacceptable idea, there is a way to cut Medicare costs, and still keep the program solvent.
That is to address the issue of hospital infections, which can endanger lives, prolong hospitalizations, and lead to readmissions that raise costs dramatically!
Hospitals need to be held accountable for high infection rates, by penalizing such hospitals with decreased reimbursement from Medicare, to force them to change their practices.
The Centers For Disease Control estimates there are about 1.7 million hospital-associated infections each year, leading to 99,000 unnecessary deaths on the average per year!
Thorough washing of hands in hospitals and nursing homes is an urgent emergency, and the record of hospitals as to infection rate and death rate needs to be exposed for all to see, and that will force hospitals and nursing homes to stop being reckless and careless in their treatment of patients!
Fraud and waste need to be addressed, but also infection rates which will allow more patients to go to a hospital or nursing home, and feel confidence that their medical treatment will be far better than it has been.
And these matters, along with allowing pharmaceutical goods from Canada, taking the power out of the hands of American pharmaceutical companies that wish a monopoly, will also keep the Medicare program alive, well, and prosperous!
These ideas came from a good friend of mine, and a fan of my blog, Maggie Mitchell of Maryland, and I thank her for this blog entry idea! I could not have produced this without her cooperation! She is an advanced practice nurse, Margaret Mitchell, RN, CNS, CHPN!