Feds Investigating One Of The Nation’s Largest Assisted Living Companies

Feds Investigating One Of The Nation’s Largest Assisted Living Companies

Last summer, a ProPublica/Frontline report put a spotlight on Emeritus Senior Living, one of the country’s largest private operators of assisted living facilities (and soon to be the largest, if a proposed merger goes through), raising questions about the company’s business practices and the general lack of regulation in the industry. Now comes news that Emeritus is under investigation by the federal government. [More]

Hospital Chain Inflated Bills, Pressured Doctors Into Generating Admissions, Lawsuits Claim

Hospital Chain Inflated Bills, Pressured Doctors Into Generating Admissions, Lawsuits Claim

There are many accusations of money-grubbing in the health care industry. Most of them are subtle: a preferred medication here, a handshake behind closed doors there. But actually hanging a chart on the wall and proudly color-coding your ER doctors like car salesmen based on how high their admission rates are? That’s about as in-your-face as the pursuit of profit gets. [More]

(afagen)

So The Government Is Shut Down… Do I Still Have To Pay My Taxes?

As the sun rises over Washington, D.C., this morning, huge numbers of federal employees are either not coming in to work or are only coming in to shut down their offices until lawmakers sort this mess out. But just because the wheels of government have come grinding to a halt doesn’t mean everything is put on hold indefinitely. [More]

(bclinesmith)

What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Gay Couples’ Wallets

Earlier today, the Supreme Court effectively struck down the federal Defense Of Marriage Act. For same-sex couples around the country, this could open up a whole new world of tax breaks and benefits that were previously not allowed, while also taking away some unintended perks that same-sex couples had enjoyed because the government did not recognize their unions. [More]

Scoot!

Scooter Store Files For Bankruptcy After Overbilling Medicare At Least $47 Million

If you watch daytime TV or have been stuck watching daytime TV while visiting your parents, surely you’re familiar with The Scooter Store. The power wheelchair vendor has had some trouble lately, including accusations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, a raid by the FBI, and even a lawsuit from the company’s hometown, of New Braunfels, Texas. The company laid off most of its employees, and plans to deal directly with health care providers, rather than blanketing the airwaves and selling directly to consumers. [More]

(TMQ.st.louis)

Pharmacists Confirm Pressure From Management To Refill Prescriptions Automatically

Since we began following the stories of CVS pharmacists who appear to have been pressured into automatically refilling customers’ prescriptions, regardless of whether or not a refill has been requested, we’ve received enough e-mails from from both customers and pharmacists at a number of companies who say these are not isolated incidents. [More]

(Eric Spiegel)

Study Indicates Many Prescriptions For Kids On Medicaid Aren’t Getting Filled

Researchers have been looking into the amount of prescriptions that go unfilled for kids on Medicaid and they’ve found some pretty startling results: Almost 17,000 or 22% of prescriptions at two clinics went unfilled. Those findings mirror other studies along the same lines for adults, which have found discrepancies  from  16% to 24% of those medications never getting filled. [More]

Will States Eventually Opt In To Medicaid Expansion?

Will States Eventually Opt In To Medicaid Expansion?

With several states’ governors already saying they will opt out of the Medicaid expansion intended to bring health care to millions of currently uninsured Americans, some are calling it the death knell for this portion of the Affordable Care Act. But others say that the federal subsidies will be too tempting, and that it’s just a matter of time until these states decide to take part in the program. [More]

Texas Governor Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Texas Governor Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Last week, while states like Florida and South Carolina were stating their intentions to opt out of the portion of the Affordable Care Act that expands Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans, Texas — where approximately 2 million currently uninsured residents would have been eligible for coverage. remained oddly quiet on the matter. That is, until Governor Rick Perry declared his intention this morning. [More]

Florida, Other States Opting Out Of Medicaid Expansion Four Years Before They Are Expected To Pay A Dime

Florida, Other States Opting Out Of Medicaid Expansion Four Years Before They Are Expected To Pay A Dime

Even though the expansion of Medicaid to cover several million more low-income Americans isn’t slated to begin until January 2014 — and even though states aren’t scheduled to begin contributing anything to the expansion until 2016 — some states have already declared their intention to not take part in the program. [More]

How Will The Supreme Court’s Medicaid Decision Affect You?

How Will The Supreme Court’s Medicaid Decision Affect You?

While supporters of the Affordable Care Act have spent the day reveling in this morning’s Supreme Court ruling and its detractors have vowed that they will continue to fight the law through legislative means — there is also a third group of people who think that moving to Canada would somehow teach America a lesson about a national health care law — what’s been left out of most of the discussion are the ramifications of the Supremes’ ruling against the portion of the bill that penalizes states that don’t contribute to Medicaid expansion. [More]

Maggots Found On Nursing Home Residents

Maggots Found On Nursing Home Residents

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Michigan has cited two nursing homes for violations after a survey found two elderly women in their care had maggots in their throat and pubic areas. Now a watchdog group is investigating. [More]

Medicaid Providers Face Funding Cuts From States

Medicaid Providers Face Funding Cuts From States

Medicaid providers have taken hits in reduced state funding, potentially making health care more difficult to come by for the 60 million low-income patients covered by the program. Federal stimulus funding of $50 million in 2010 and $60 million in 2011 to beef up the program went away July 1, making it tough for states to maintain funding levels. [More]

Study: Dentists Less Likely To Treat Kids On Medicaid

Study: Dentists Less Likely To Treat Kids On Medicaid

Dentists in Cook County, IL, were more likely to provide emergency treatment to children who had private insurance than to those on Medicaid, even if the dentists were enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, according to a new study. Medicaid typically pays less than private insurance plans, and experts say there’s “little market motivation” for practitioners to take on those patients, rather than just going with those who have private insurance. [More]

Illinois Blue Cross To Pay $25 Million After Denying Coverage To Sick Kids In Need Of Nursing Care

Illinois Blue Cross To Pay $25 Million After Denying Coverage To Sick Kids In Need Of Nursing Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the largest health insurer in the Land of Lincoln, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it denied coverage to sick kids who needed nursing care. [More]

Only 56% Of Dialysis Technicians Pass New Skills Test

Only 56% Of Dialysis Technicians Pass New Skills Test

Almost half of the dialysis technicians in California are failing a new Federally-mandated skills test, throwing the industry’s tarnished reputation under the magnifying glass once again. [More]

Feds Sue New York City For Overbilling Medicaid

Feds Sue New York City For Overbilling Medicaid

Saying it’s caught New York City’s hand in the Medicaid cookie jar, the federal government has sued the city, claiming it billed Medicaid for “at least tens of millions of dollars” more than it was legally allowed. [More]

Obama Says Hospitals Must Allow Visitation Rights

Obama Says Hospitals Must Allow Visitation Rights

President Obama issued a memo last night instructing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to write rules that will allow patients to designate visitors at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid. This move would benefit same-sex couples, unmarried heterosexual couples, widowed adults, members of religious orders and others who want to have someone other than an immediate family member as a visitor or decision maker for medical care, notes the WSJ Health Blog. [More]