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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
“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! [More]
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. [More]
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. [More]
Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver looked at sales figures and prices for the blood thinner Plavix after direct-to-consumer advertising started in 2001. What they found was that the campaign was largely ineffective at increasing prescribing rates, but that the price of the drug shot up 12% almost immediately to cover the cost of the marketing campaign. [More]
The past few nights, thousands of people have lined up outside of the Forum in Los Angeles. a venue that usually hosts basketball games or big arena concerts. Who’s in town to attract such a crowd? Metallica? Green Day? No, even better—doctors and dentists providing free care on a first-come, first-served basis.
His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”
Thanks to an anonymous whistle-blower, a Walgreens pill-flipping scheme has been blown wide open, according to CBS. “Pill-flipping” refers the practice of pharmacies that purposefully switch Medicaid patients to more expensive versions of certain drugs for the sole reason of collecting more money from the government. Naturally, when this happens, taxpayers pick up the bill. Athough, Walgreen’s officially denies any wrongdoing they have agreed to pay the government more than $35 million. Details, inside…
CVS has settled a lawsuit that alleges the pharmacy giant improperly switched customers to a more expensive form of their medication in order to collect more money from Medicaid.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the first-ever
“U.S. taxpayers and Medicare patients could have saved almost $15 billion in 2007 if private health insurers had cut expenses for prescription drug coverage and negotiated bigger discounts,” according to a newly released (Democratic) government report. [Reuters]