Trending News Today: Medicare Part B Premiums May Spike for Wealthier Beneficiaries

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

An analysis from government health care plan trustees projected that premiums could increase by as much as 22% for wealthier beneficiaries of Medicare Part B, reported The Wall Street Journal. The new policy will affect almost one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries, who may face a steep increase in their premiums next year. In certain instances, the policy will require beneficiaries, including those who are wealthier, to shoulder the burden of the rising costs.

Over the course of 3 days, 300 people, including physicians, doctors, physical therapists, and some home health care providers, were hit with charges for alleged health care fraud by bilking Medicare and Medicaid. According to The New York Times, the fraud spread throughout the country from southern California to southern Florida and from Houston to Brooklyn, New York.

In an intelligence briefing by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Chinese customs seized 70 kilograms of the narcotics fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl that were hidden in a cargo container headed for Mexico last spring. The drugs were so potent that 6 of the agents became ill after handling them and 1 agent fell into a coma, reported The Wall Street Journal. The briefing reported that the cargo container traveled through 5 freight forwards before it reached customs, so the exact origins were obscured. It’s clear that the shipment is part of a large drug distribution network that begins in China, sending the lethal synthetic narcotics to the Americas, according to the report.