Medicare Nation

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for a five day hospital stay on Medicare? The majority of people have no idea! The problem with Medicare is there is too much information. An overwhelming amount of information and not enough resources. Medicare Nation solves that problem by educating you on all things Medicare, because there are not enough resources out there! This podcast will educate you about the components of Medicare, the different categories of Medicare Plans and Medicare benefits. On other episodes I’ll interview expert guests in the health and wellness field, about diseases, Medicare issues and current changes to the Medicare program. Medicare Nation is dedicated to answering all your questions about Medicare. Expert information and insights regarding Medicare and you! Further information can be found on Give us feedback on Facebook!
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 27, 2016

Welcome Medicare Nation! Today’s episode is Part 2 of our interview series live from the Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis held by the National Osteoporosis Foundation in Miami, FL. Today’s episode features some of the leading Osteoporosis practitioners in the country, as well as an important summary of Medicare Benefits that relate to the treatment of Osteoporosis.


Today’s episode features:



Medicare Benefits for Bone Mass Measurement (Bone Density) Testing



How often is it covered?


Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers this test, which helps to see if you're at risk to broken bones, once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary) for people who meet the criteria below. Medicare only covers this test when it's ordered by a doctor or other qualified provider.


Who's eligible?


All qualified people with Part B who are at risk for osteoporosis and meet one or more of these conditions:

•A woman whose doctor determines she's estrogen deficient and at risk for osteoporosis, based on her medical history and other findings

•A person whose X-rays show possible osteoporosis, osteopenia, or vertebral fractures

•A person taking prednisone or steroid-type drugs or is planning to begin this treatment

•A person who has been diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism

•A person who is being monitored to see if their osteoporosis drug therapy is working


Your costs in Original Medicare


You pay nothing for this test if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.



Some good times to talk to your Physician about this testing:


  • During your “new to Medicare” visit to Dr. visit, discuss preventative exams with Dr, they can suggest bone density.


  • Annual wellness visit to Dr - talk about bone density exam



Listen to this episode to hear interviews from the following professionals:



  • Dr. Thomas Olinginski - Tom Olenginski, MD, FACP is an associate in Rheumatology at Geisinger Medical Center. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and Penn State College of Medicine, he completed both his General Internal Medicine Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center. Since 2008, he has been Co-Director of Geisinger’s High-Risk Osteoporosis Clinic. He is Chair of Geisinger’s Bone Density Committee and is responsible for Geisinger’s Osteoporosis Curriculum within its Rheumatology Fellowship. He has also served as a member of the NBHA Secondary Fracture Prevention Committee. His major interests are daily clinical care as a rheumatologist, teaching within Geisinger’s Rheumatology Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency, as well as metabolic bone disease and system-based osteoporosis care, clinically-oriented bone density interpretation, and Geisinger’s Fracture Liaison Service.
  • Sherri Betz - SHERRI BETZ, PT, GCS, CEEAA, PMA®-CPT is a 1991 graduate of the Louisiana State University Medical Center's School of Physical Therapy. Sherri actually began her career as a national gymnastics competitor and as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for Nautilus Fitness Centers in the 1980's. Inspired by the work of a physical therapist in one of the clubs where she trained, Sherri pursued a degree in physical therapy. Selected to serve on the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education (FORE) Professional Education Committee and the NOF Exercise and Rehabilitation Advisory Council, Sherri is involved in improving awareness about bone health for the lay public, exercise teachers and for healthcare professionals. These committees review the latest updates in research, develop guidelines and design educational programs for physicians and allied health professionals. She has developed the "Do It Right and Prevent Fractures Booklet" for FORE/American Bone Health.
  • Dr. Steven Harris - Steven Harris, MD is a board-certified internist and endocrinologist with a subspecialty focus on osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease and disorders of mineral metabolism. He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the same institution. He completed a clinical and research fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In 1983, he returned to the University of California, San Francisco, where he is a Clinical Professor of Medicine. Dr. Harris has spent many years working on a variety of clinical research projects to examine the effects of nutrition, calcium supplements, vitamin D, hormone therapy, bisphosphonates, calcitonin, PTH and SERMs upon the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Dr. Harris maintains an active consultative practice in metabolic bone disease, but is also engaged in a wide variety of educational initiatives related to osteoporosis.
  • Dr. Sandesh Nagamani - graduated from the J S S MED COLL, MYSORE UNIV, MYSORE, KARNATAKA, INDIA in 2000. He works in Houston, TX and specializes in Genetics, Medical. Dr. Sreenath Nagamani is affiliated with Methodist Hospital and St Lukes Hospital At The Vintage. He speaks English and Spanish. As an adult clinical geneticist, he provides clinical care for adult patients with a wide variety of heritable conditions. Dr. Nagamani serves as the Director of the Clinic for Metabolic and Genetic disorders of bone that caters to adult subjects with OI, heritable disorders of bone, early-onset osteoporosis, and other common forms of metabolic bone diseases.



Check out the Food4Bones app for iPhone and Android


Do you have questions or feedback? I’d love to hear it!

I may answer one of your questions on the air!

email me:

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes! (Click here)    

Find out more information about Medicare on Diane Daniel’s website!


May 20, 2016

Welcome Medicare Nation! I interviewed clinicians and global experts in the bone health field gathered during the Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis  held in Miami, Florida from May 12 to 15, 2016. May is the National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Clinicians and Academicians Joined  the National Osteoporosis Foundation to Identify Solutions for Reducing the Two Million Broken Bones Caused by Osteoporosis Each Year.

This conference was sponsored by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), the organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis, promoting strong bones, and reducing human suffering through education, advocacy, and research.  NOF is committed to promoting bone health among the elderly through healthy diet and safe exercise.  Both can help stop the loss of bone mass and help prevent fractures. 


Leading medical and scientific experts in the bone health field discussed  the latest information on preventing broken bones and lead in-depth educational sessions on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.


I met brilliant doctors, nurses, and therapists from all over the world and learned about:


  • Prevention and treatment of  osteoporosis 
  • Education for prevention of people at risk
  • There are 54 million Americans who suffer from osteoporosis 
  • To address this significant care gap, the ISO 2016 included training on preventive care model that operates under the supervision of a bone health specialist and seeks to prevent repeat fractures. 
  • The Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) Model of Care Training Course is designed to help doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals improve the care management of post-fracture patients and navigate the complicated coordination of care process across hospitals, medical offices and multiple medical specialties through the application of best practices.
  • The FLS model of care is the key to sparing millions of American from breaking bones due to osteoporosis.
  • This 2016 ISO includes updated FLS training, and the introduction of Bone Health ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a strategy of telementoring FLS coordinators and healthcare professionals of all levels, with the aim of reducing the osteoporosis treatment gap  said E. Michael Lewiecki, MD, FACP, FACE, New Mexico Clinical Research & Osteoporosis Center, Co-Chair ISO Planning Committee 2016. 
  • If you are over 50 and have hip or back fracture, then you have osteoporosis. 
  • Secondary fractures can occur, too. 
  • Every year, osteoporosis is responsible for two million broken bones, yet fewer than 25 percent of older women and men who suffer from a fracture are tested or treated for osteoporosis. 

So many things can happen, secondary fracture, pneumonia, 

You can find the best information about osteoporosis from   National Osteoporosis Foundation.


Listen to the first part of a 2-part interview. Learn about food for the bones, calcium-enriched diet, safe exercises for the elderly.  We are on iTunes, and Google Play.  Please tell your friends about medicare nation, and the 3 other shows I have.  You shouldn’t be breaking your hip or back. If you get fractured, you have osteoporosis.

  1. Susan Randall  


  • Osteoporosis  is the condition where the bone is weakened and impaired and more prone to rapture.  
  • Causes of osteoporosis include: aging and decline in estrogen and testosterone
  • Women and men both have the same hormones. Both lose these key  hormones as we age  
  • These hormones influence other bodily functions.  As the hormones decline, bone strength and quality are affected 
  • Treatment for breast cancer  put on a class of medications  that are aromataste  inhibitor 
  • Primary and secondary causes of osteoporosis. It’s multifactorial 


2.   Dr. Sanjeev Arora  


  • Dr. Arora, MD,  is the Keynote speaker , head of Project ECHO and  Improving Health in Underserved Populations through Technology;  
  • He is from the University of New Mexico;  
  • Project ECHO,  Extension for  Community Health Outcome use the FLS model to improve efficiencies and democratize medical knowledge.
  • Project ECHO uses video conferencing technology where conference participants  can talk  via skype about the best  treatment  in underserved nations.  It’s a new platform for medicine 
  • Project ECHO is based on the  idea that a multidisciplinary team of providers  can attract outcome in the internet 
  • The project targets meeting the medical needs of a billion people by 2020. It currently connects 13 countries and hundreds of universities and clinics.
  • Additional ISO16 Highlights include:
  • Sessions exploring the controversies in osteoporosis treatment and care;
  • New tools for assessing fracture risk;
  • Interactive sessions on safe exercises for people with osteoporosis;
  • Evidence-based answers to the most common patient questions on osteoporosis and fracture prevention;
  • Professional development workshops on patient education and new coding and reimbursement for osteoporosis;

 3.  Karen Kemmis   

  • Karen is a Physical Therapist specializing in safe exercises and movements.
  • Silver sneakers – use  gyms medicare vantage plan 
  • Some exercise and moves  could be dangerous for the elderly 
  • Many fitness instructors are not well versed with  chronic  conditions we have to be careful  what is safe for their particular condition
  • Anything in the upright position is safe  for the low-density bone mass
  • Dangerous moves include forward bending  such as toe touches, twisting hard, full rotation, sit-ups  
  • Safe exercise moves include  lying on the back;  lay grazing, isometric exercise,  
  • To work safely with a fitness instructor  tell them about your bone concern, go to www., search  positive exercises,  print those materials and bring to instructor 

4.  Dr Maria Pesquera  

  • Is a primary physician in Albany, New York  and has a lot of patients who have osteoporosis. 
  • Her medical team is  having issues with medication used for treating osteoporosis
  • She favors exercise alternatives such as yoga and pilates.
  • She promotes a Holistic method of treatment that includes  healthy diet




  • National Osteoporosis website: 
  • The best way to contact ECHO and Dr. Arora is via the website:  


I may answer one of your questions on the air!

email me:

Do you have questions or feedback? I’d love to hear it!

I may answer one of your questions on the air!

email me:

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes! (Click here)    

Find out more information about Medicare on Diane Daniel’s website!




May 13, 2016

May 10th was World Lupus Day. So today, we wanted to highlight the disease so that we can get the word out.



Linda Ruescher, author, public speaker and Lupus advocate is our guest today. Linda actually has Lupus as well.


How many people in the US have Lupus?


1.5 Million people in the US.


What is LUPUS?


An auto-immune disease in which your body mistakes other body parts are toxins and invaders and tries to kill them. Lupus doesn’t have one particular body part that it targets. It can go after any part of your body.


Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because:


  1. It flares instead of being chronic
  2. The symptoms are the same as other diseases
  3. There is no definitive test for Lupus
  4. Generally they try to diagnose other things first
  5. A rheumatologist can be necessary to get a diagnosis



Lupus is like having a never-ending flu. The symptoms are the same, and the body reacts in the same way.


After 38 years undiagnosed, Linda was diagnosed in 2003. She is treated today with immune-suppressing drugs. She also takes a chemotherapy drug. It is important to know that Lupus is not cancer. The reason chemo drugs are used is because the side effect of weakening your immune system is desirable for Lupus patients.



Lupus primarily affects women in their child-bearing years. 


UVA/UVB light can cause flares, so Lupus patients should stay out of the sun.


If you are on Medicare, and IV infusion would be covered under Medicare Part A.



Linda’s book, The 100 Questions and Answers About Chronic Illness. was written after she exhausted the reading of all the other books and getting peeved that she couldn’t find the information she needed.


You can find her book on, and in the paperback and Kindle versions.


Lupus Symptoms:


•Fatigue and fever

•Joint pain, stiffness and swelling

•Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose

•Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity)

•Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud's phenomenon)

•Shortness of breath

•Chest pain

•Dry eyes

•Headaches, confusion and memory loss



If you have 3 or more symptoms, see your Dr. If you aren’t getting anywhere with your Dr, then go see a Rheumatologist (or get a referral to one).  


Resources: - find a Dr. by zip code



Lupus Foundation of America -


Lupus Florida -



Contact Linda Ruescher:


On Twitter:

On Facebook: Ruescher



Do you have questions or feedback? I’d love to hear it!

I may answer one of your questions on the air!

email me:

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes! (Click here)    

Find out more information about Medicare on Diane Daniel’s website!


May 6, 2016

Today’s topic is the Medicare Savings Program. It can help you pay part of your Medicare premiums. It’s based on certain criteria of your income and resources.


2016 Medicare Savings Programs:


Resources include stock, bonds, 401K, IRA.


It does not include your home, 1 vehicle and other personal items.



4 Levels of Coverage:


QDWI Plan: (Qualified, Disabled, and Working Individual)

Monthly income limit - $4045 (Married $5425) 

Resource limit - $4000 (Married $6000)




QI Plan: (Qualifying Individual)


Monthly income limit: $1357 (Married $1823)

Resource limit: $7280 (Married $10,930)

Pays Part B Premium - $104.90

New to Medicare - $121.80



Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLIM-B)


Monthly income limit: $1208 (Married $1622)

Resource limit: $7280 (Married $10,930)

Pays Part B Premium - $104.90

New to Medicare - $121.80



Qualified Medicare beneficiary (QMB)


Pays Part A, Part B Premium, Deductibles, Co-pays

Monthly income limit: $1010 (Married $1355)

Resources limit: $7280 (Married $10,930)



How to Apply:


  1. Go online to Click “Benefits”, then “Extra Help for RX Drugs”, look on right side for “Application”.
  2. Go to the Social Security office (find locations on to apply
  3. Go through your state Medicaid Program - Google “medicare” and your state


It may take 4-6 weeks for them to send you an acceptance/rejection letter.

 You have to re-qualify annually.




Call SSA at 800-772-1212

Email me:

Call me: 855-855-7266


Do you have questions or feedback? I’d love to hear it!

I may answer one of your questions on the air!

email me:

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes! (Click here)    

Find out more information about Medicare on Diane Daniel’s website!