Medicare should cover preventive health services, such as treatment for tobacco addiction and cholesterol screening, extending lives and eliminating coverage gaps between the privately insured and Medicare beneficiaries, said the Partnership for Prevention, a Washington health-policy think tank. Treatment for tobacco addiction and depression and services such as cholesterol and prostate-cancer screenings are not covered by Medicare. The think tank suggested the CMS be given the same decisionmaking authority for preventive services as it has for other medical care and that seniors receive a "Welcome to Medicare" visit including a health screening and preventive services. The group cited a Harris Interactive poll finding that 87% of respondents support adding preventive services to Medicare. -- by Jeff Tieman
Medicare should cover preventive care, group urges
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