Lab testing startup Theranos started from a revolutionary idea: performing blood tests quickly and inexpensively using only a drop of blood. The idea may have been more revolutionary if the technology actually worked yet, and if its lab in California had been operating up to current standards. Now the federal government has imposed sanctions on the company, which include being unable to bill Medicare or Medicaid for its services, and its founder and CEO can’t own or run a laboratory for the next two years. [More]
A new lawsuit accuses the California Department of Health and Human Services of deliberately turning a blind eye to the illegal practice of taking nursing home residents who receive state aid and “dumping” them into the hospital system by refusing to let them return, even under binding orders to readmit them. [More]
Earlier this week, we told you how a Senate committee was investigating huge price hikes on a handful of niche-market prescription drugs. The companies involved in those probes are generally newer, smaller operations — but it looks like two much bigger names in the pharmaceuticals industry are also being asked about the prices of their drugs. [More]
When you’re dead, you generally can’t come back. It’s also difficult to come back when you’re actually alive, but the government thinks that you’re dead. An 87-year-old on Brooklyn is understandably worried, because Medicaid has declared her dead. If other government services believe them, dead people don’t need to do things like visit doctors or eat, so her income, food stamps, and health insurance would stop. This would be bad. [More]
In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [More]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.