Students and Senior Citizens Join Forces on Public Discussion on Medicare Fraud and Affordable Coverage

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Health psychology students from Montclair State University and senior citizens from PineRidge of Montclair senior living center will host a public discussion on Monday, May 2, 2011 to present recommendations to be sent to legislators on ways to reform Medicare.

Health psychology students from Montclair State University and senior citizens from PineRidge of Montclair senior living center will host a public discussion on Monday, May 2, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the University Hall Conference Center during which they will present recommendations to be sent to legislators on ways to reform Medicare.

Working in four-person teams over a period of three months, the 20 students and six seniors involved in the project examined current Medicare problems, including Medicare fraud, prescription drug coverage, Medicare reimbursement for medical providers, and the “alphabet soup” of plans: Medicare A, B, C, D, and others.

The Medicare project is part of a three-credit undergraduate Health Psychology course.
“We wanted to bring this project to life by making it more than an academic exercise. We hope that members of Congress will seriously consider the recommendations,” said Deborah Fish Ragin, associate professor of psychology at Montclair State and the instructor for the course.

In addition to the policy recommendations, the event will include a panel discussion moderated by Todd Kelshaw, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, and an audience Q&A session.

Three student/senior panels will offer major policy recommendations, which are summarized below:

Recommendation #1
Institutional Fraud: New Solutions versus Improved Enforcement
Combat Medicare fraud at the institutional level by imposing a moratorium on enrolling new Medicare-certified home health and hospital agencies, and by introducing and conducting stronger criminal background screenings of home health managers. Expand Medicare and Medicaid audits, investigative screenings, and oversight.
Presenters: Kristen Menaldo (Montclair State University); Adele Vick (PineRidge)

Recommendation #2
Balancing the Budget: Making Healthcare Affordable for Seniors
Consolidate Medicare Parts A, B, and D into one plan similar to the United Kingdom’s comprehensive National Health Service. Seniors would be phased into the system based on assessed health status and access to existing private health insurance. No requirement for seniors to purchase additional riders for medical care or prescriptions.
Presenters: Jonathan Feuer (Montclair State University); Mary Martin (PineRidge)

Recommendation #3
Combating Medicare Fraud: One Person at a Time
Developing education and fraud prevention programs for current Medicare users, baby boomers (60-65), and older adults (50-60) will provide long-term cost savings.
Presenters: Joe Felipe (Montclair State University); Sharon Sandusky (PineRidge)

Montclair State University
Montclair State offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students. montclair.edu

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Diane Reed
Montclair State University
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