Koch group's income plummeted in non-election year

By Carrie Levine

Nonprofit Center to Protect Patient Rights raised in 2013 a tiny fraction of what it did during 2012, when federal political campaigns raged

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… a non-election year, according to new federal tax filings reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. The Center to Protect Patient Rights reported just $2.2 million in incom …"

"… ent Rights directors. He did not immediately respond to questions from the Center for Public Integrity. Update, 10:51 a.m., Dec. 16, 2014: Ray Brooks, a spokesman for Arizona P …"

"… rcent of Prosper Inc.’s $1.57 million in revenue in 2013, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of the group’s 2013 tax filing, available on the Citizen Audit …"

High-stakes health care battle in the Green Mountain state

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: fate of Vermont single-payer initiative may depend on financing plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America’s Health Insurance Plans":

"… lengths to hide their involvement. We probably would never have known that America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group, funneled more than $100 million t …"

Exploding the myths about American health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: new film takes on 'world's best' medical system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… n’t agree with Romney and Obama health care advisor Jonathan Gruber that Americans are stupid, but there is abundant evidence that we’re incredibly gulli …"

"… truth: that when it comes to access to affordable health care, millions of Americans might as well be living in a third world country. And that’s still tru …"

"… ars ago to fly doctors to remote villages along the Amazon. “Welcome to America,” Brock says early in the film as thousands of people wait patiently in …"

"… is medical “expeditions,” as he calls them, were to countries in South America, Africa and the Caribbean. While Remote Area Medical (RAM) still conducts …"

Nursing homes serving minorities offering less care than those housing whites

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Nursing homes serving blacks, Latinos provide less daily registered nurse care than those housing whites.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… or the period two weeks before annual nursing home quality surveys. But a Center for Public Integrity investigation has raised questions about the accuracy of the oft-used Nurs …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… sp;Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2012 more than 700 facilities, including more than 250 …"

Running a five-star nursing home

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Top-rated homes had more nurses, less turnover

Excerpts from this story referencing "professor emeritus":

"… never seen facilities "staff up" for an inspection. Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, struck a more s …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Another whistleblower suit alleges Medicare Advantage fraud

By Fred Schulte

California litigation alleges 'house calls" yielded false claims

Excerpts from this story referencing "physician":

"… eir visit, they report their exam findings to the patient’s primary care physician. But home visits also are controversial, largely due to their impact on M …"

"… isits were conducted. The lawsuit names nearly 70 nurse practitioners and physician assistants whom she claims were not properly supervised by doctors. Some e …"

Comparison shopping for a health plan

By Wendell Potter

California makes it easy to do your homework.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Northern California":

"… reet is satisfied. In last week’s OPA report, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California and Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, both nonprofits, were the on …"

A call for more scrutiny of private Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Researchers say aggressive billing by private plans may require more scrutiny

Excerpts from this story referencing "America’s Health Insurance Plans":

"… sfully lobbied to kill or scale back planned pay cuts to the health plans. America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s primary trade group, spent nearly $5 million lobbying on …"

"… ing to recoup overpayments. Clare Krusing, director of communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans, did not respond directly to a question about the payment controversy. In …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… he hospital companies, physician organizations and drug makers in ways the White House and members of both parties in Congress were not willing to do in 2009 bec …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… idence-Swedish ACO, told me his organization is working with Blue Cross of Illinois for that work. The federal government works with insurers in the same way …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers are transforming themselves — but into what?

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Cordani":

"… at a health care technology conference earlier this year.  Cigna CEO David Cordani says his team “is proud to serve as a catalyst for change in the more th …"

Black lung disease surges to highs not seen since the '70s, research shows

By Chris Hamby

The likely culprit: a failure by coal mining companies to use readily available tools to control the dust that lodges in miners' lungs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… Coal dust to improve miners’ health.” Back in 1969, the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act limited the amount of dust allowed in mine …"

Taking insurance companies out of health care

By Wendell Potter

If Boeing experiment flies, health care system could be transformed.

Docs, drug companies, insurers drive up Medicare costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: reform drove down hospital costs, creating Medicare savings, but insurers, doctors and drug companies escaped cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare Rights Center":

"… ld ever hope to have. Late last month, two of the advocacy groups — the Medicare Rights Center and Social Security Works — released a report suggesting that Congress c …"

Dire predictions of endless waits for a doctor have proven unfounded

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare has not resulted in long waits for a doctor.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… is suffering from a doctor shortage,” wrote Forbes blogger Sally Pipes, president of the Koch brothers-funded Pacific Research Institute, a think tank advoc …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… esearchers Richard Kronick and W. Pete Welch has attracted scant notice in Washington. It was quietly posted late last month on an online research site run by t …"

Critic of artificial sweeteners pilloried by industry-backed scientists

By Chris Young

Any criticism of the artificial sweetener industry is met with a barrage of criticism, often from questionable sources.

Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

By Chris Hamby

Black lung opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… to a series of new initiatives.   Two major obstacles miners face: Coal companies have more resources to develop medical evidence, and miners ofte …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemicals":

"… aches, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms have been linked to some of the chemicals emitted during shale development, including formaldehyde, particulate matt …"

Even low doses of arsenic trigger cancer in mice, study finds

By David Heath

Study by the National Institutes of Health found levels of arsenic similar to what some people consume caused cancer in mice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… rs in history. Extrapolating from those studies, scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have tentatively concluded that arsenic is a serious problem at low doses. …"

What to do if your drinking water contains arsenic

By David Heath

Millions of Americans unwittingly consume arsenic, a potent carcinogen also linked to IQ deficits in children, in their drinking water.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… eet the EPA standard. Arsenic is especially common throughout the western United States. Some states have hot spots, such as Michigan’s “thumb” region, nort …"

Praise for UK-style health system vindicates spurned nominee

By Wendell Potter

Former Medicare chief's support for UK's health care system may win votes in race for governor of Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… iled every other country studied. “Over the past decade, leaders in the United States have begun to recognize that the nation’s health care system is far more …"

"… monstrably better results,” the researchers wrote. “The claim that the United States has ‘the best health care system in the world’ is clearly not true.” …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… declined to be interviewed. Thomas A. Scully, who led CMS under President George W. Bush, serves on Matrix’s board and is a general partner in the investment fir …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government":

"… are accurate. James Cosgrove, who directs the health care division of the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, said that federal hea …"

Labor Department issues warning about Hopkins doctor's findings on black lung claims

The U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins.

Why Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers billions more than it should

By Fred Schulte, David Donald and Erin Durkin

Critics warned of billing abuse in Medicare Advantage health plans, but oversight is lagging.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… e elderly. But the plans have sharply driven up costs in many parts of the United States — larding on tens of billions of dollars in overcharges and other suspec …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… e visits also can be profitable for the health plans when they uncover new diseases that raise a patient’s risk score— even if the health plan provides n …"

"… In other words, a health plan cannot just write down that a patient has a disease and seek extra payments from Medicare. The plan must also show that its do …"

"… ulation that would have banned home health assessments which uncovered new diseases but didn’t lead to any more treatment. Retrospective Chart Reviews:&nb …"

"… s” electronic patient medical files looking for evidence of unrecognized diseases that could boost risk scores and Medicare payments. CMS has proposed that …"

Center sues in an effort to make Medicare Advantage files public

By Fred Schulte

Center sues to make records public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Buzenberg":

"… paying public. There’s no excuse for  ignoring our request,” said Bill Buzenberg, the Center’s Executive Director. Medicare Advantage, a privately-run a …"