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]

(kevindean)

Health Dept. Report: Medicare Is Wasting Millions Of Dollars Paying Too Much For Penis Pumps

When you hear about government waste, perhaps you have some vague idea of money being spent on things it shouldn’t be, like a new ping pong set for the Capitol game room or free novelty shot glasses at the White House (both are fictional examples, I think). But it’s not that Medicare is spending money on the wrong thing in this case — it’s that it might be paying close to double what it should. For penis pumps. [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]

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]

(zipsonic)

CVS Under Investigation For Automatic Prescription Refill Allegations

After leaked e-mails seemed to indicate that at least some people at CVS have been pressuring pharmacists to refill customers’ prescriptions — without the patient’s consent — in order to meet sales quotas, federal and state regulators have begun investigating the drugstore chain. [More]

House Votes To Cap Malpractice Damages

House Votes To Cap Malpractice Damages

While the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments next week over the constitutionality of the nearly two-year-old health-care reform package, members of Congress have been busy trying to chip away at the legislation. [More]

Doctor Accused Of Billing Medicare $375 Million For Nonexistent Treatments

It’s one thing to sneak a few hundred — or even a few thousand — dollars under the federal government’s radar. But how in the world did a Texas doctor allegedly manage to bilk the feds out of almost $375 million in bogus Medicare claims in only five years? [More]

Study: Only 14% Of Medical Errors Reported By Hospitals

Study: Only 14% Of Medical Errors Reported By Hospitals

In order for a hospital to participate in the Medicare program, it must develop and maintain a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program to “track medical errors and adverse patient events, analyze their causes, and implement preventive actions and mechanisms that include feedback and learning throughout the hospital.” However, a new study by the Dept. of Health & Human Services found that only a small portion of patient errors are being reported — and that hospitals don’t seem to give a damn about fixing things. [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]

Medicare Drugs Should Cost A Little Less Next Year

Medicare Drugs Should Cost A Little Less Next Year

Good news for Medicare enrollees who are on fixed incomes and counting pennies as well as pills: The price of prescription drug premiums in the program are expected to slightly dip next year. [More]

Company Accused Of Wasting Medicine To Take Money From Medicare

Company Accused Of Wasting Medicine To Take Money From Medicare

A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a doctor and nurse accuses a kidney dialysis provider of intentionally wasting medicine in order to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare. According to the employee, the company used over-sized vials for medicine, intending to have the excess amount deemed to be waste that Medicare pays for. [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]

This Is What Happens When A Life Alert Breeds With A Baby Monitor

This Is What Happens When A Life Alert Breeds With A Baby Monitor

For some people in the Baby Boomer generation, the answer to taking care of their elderly parents was to give them a Life Alert necklace to call for help when they’d fallen and couldn’t get up. The Boomers are also the generation that popularized the use of baby monitors to keep tabs on their out-of-sight tots. So, with that generation going gray gracefully, some are looking to combine these two ideas into one system for adults to keep tabs on their elderly parents. [More]

1 In 7 Medicare Patients Harmed By Treatment Errors

1 In 7 Medicare Patients Harmed By Treatment Errors

A new Federal study finds that 1 out of every 7 Medicare patients are harmed during their hospital stays by treatment errors. These gaffes include bed sores, excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, and mistaken medication. [More]

Why Does US Have Worst Fatality Rate From Kidney Dialysis?

Why Does US Have Worst Fatality Rate From Kidney Dialysis?

Just about anyone diagnosed with kidney failure can get their kidney dialysis fully covered under Medicare. So why are taxpayers paying $20 billion a year for a program that lets 25% of the patients die within a year, the worst fatality rate of the first world? Why do only two chains run 2/3 of all clinics? And why won’t the government release important data that could improve the quality of care? An investigation in The Atlantic probes this issue in depth. [More]

Tips For Avoiding Medicare Enrollment Scams

Tips For Avoiding Medicare Enrollment Scams

It’s almost time for Medicare’s Annual Election Period (Nov. 15 – Dec. 31) and with the recent changes to healthcare laws, some scammers are attempting to take advantage of people’s uncertainty. [More]

Biggest Medicare Fraud Scam Ever Busted

Biggest Medicare Fraud Scam Ever Busted

Authorities busted a ring of reputed Armenian gangsters who they allege perpetrated the most ginormous Medicare fraud of all time, racking up $163 million in fake claims. [More]