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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“The Republican Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.” So said Rep. Anthony Weiner of Brooklyn last month in front of Congress. As we move towards a historic vote on health care reform, let’s take a moment to throw some gas on the fire and revisit some of the awesomely incendiary rhetoric of this statesman on revamping our health care system. Now this a healthy health care debate!
Paper clips are really handy. You can use them for things like hitting that tiny reset button on your DVR and, well, clipping paper. And according to the Attorney General’s office in Massachusetts, one dentist was using them in patients’ mouths during root canals.
Using the Health Care bill signed by the Senate on Dec. 24 as a jumping-off point, President Obama unleashed his version of the plan this morning on the White House website.