Medicare Advantage plans require more scrutiny

By Fred Schulte

Government inspector says private Medicare plans difficult to investigate due to lack of access to data.

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 "consultant":

"… ping patients who were ill,” said Laurence Bishoff, a Boston health care consultant. Congress thought it saw a remedy in the Medicare Modernization Act of 20 …"

"… a former federal health official who is now a prominent Medicare Advantage consultant. Others blame the sheer complexity of risk-scoring for causing confusion …"

OPINION: taking advantage of Medicare Advantage

By Wendell Potter

Feds have been overpaying for Medicare Advantage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Cigna":

"… ecrease on their MA business. I can attest that that could indeed happen. Cigna, one of the companies I used to work for, used to operate private Medicare …"

OPINION: drug firms say no to rebates, despite billions in new revenue from Part D

By Wendell Potter

Part D brought drug companies billions, but they say the sky is falling

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… s year if that’s even remotely possible.   …"

OPINION: Big Pharma's stranglehold on Washington

By Wendell Potter

Pharmaceutical firms are getting their money's worth on Capitol Hill.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Canada":

"… n average of 8 percent a year from 2006 through 2011, while drug prices in Canada have remained flat. The impact that has on the divergence in pricing for t …"

OPINION: Guess who would benefit from privatizing Medicare?

By Wendell Potter

Privatizing Medicare would help insurers, not seniors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief actuary":

"… ause of those overpayments, according to Congressional testimony by CMS’ chief actuary. That’s why, despite intense lobbying by the insurance industry, Congres …"

Report faults Medicare controls on widely abused drugs

By Joe Eaton

Beneficiaries easily went to multiple doctors for hydrocodone and oxycodone

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eric Holder":

"… target for criminals who exploit the program for profit. Attorney General Eric Holder estimated the program loses $60 billion a year to fraud.Early this year, i …"

Antibiotics in livestock fuel debate over hazardous meat and poultry

By Andrew Mach

Farmers and ranchers still use large amounts of antibiotics in raising livestock, which breeds and passes to humans drug-resistant bacteria

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… from 26 retail stores in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Los Angeles and Flagstaff, Ariz., contained drug-resistant bacteria. While thorough co …"

Investigations Around the World

By Simona Raetz

Drug on wars makes pain killers unavailable for patients in developing countries; mining companies are big winners of Chilean tax system

IMPACT: Bipartisan bill targets Medicare scammers

By Joe Eaton

IMPACT: Bipartisan bill targets Medicare scammers

Analysis — Are seniors paying attention to Paul Ryan's plan for Medicare?

By Wendell Potter

ANALYSIS: Republicans sold seniors a bill of goods on health care reform and Medicare

Analysis – Pay much attention to the insurers behind the curtain

By Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter looks at the GOP budget plan

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bush administration":

"… percent more than people enrolled in the basic Medicare program.During the Bush administration, the insurers persuaded lawmakers to allow them to administer the new Medi …"

GAO: Almost a tenth of Medicare spending was improper

By Laurel Adams

An estimated $48 billion went to improper Medicare payments last year, out of the $509 billion spent on health care for elderly and disabled

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government":

"… medical services.Following are other new watchdog reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), various federal Offices of Inspector General …"

Medicare can’t identify top prescribers of addictive drugs

By The Center for Public Integrity and Joe Eaton

Medicare doesn't know if all the prescriptions it is paying for are being written by real doctors, says a new inspector general's report....

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eric Holder":

"… ady deceased — to commit Medicare fraud, a problem that Attorney General Eric Holder estimates costs taxpayers $60 billion a year.Sham suppliers of wheelchairs …"

Medicare patients received expired, terminated drugs

By Joe Eaton

Medicare patients in 2006-07 likely received more than $112 million worth of expired prescription drugs or drugs that have been pulled from

Medicaid to get tougher on drug makers’ price reporting

By Julie Vorman

The federal overseer of Medicaid plans to crack down on drug makers that fail to submit complete monthly and quarterly price information for

Senator seeks deadline for Medicare to prevent prescription drug fraud

By Joe Eaton

Taxpayer-funded Medicare recently spent more than $1 billion on drug prescriptions missing a valid doctor identification number and a Senate

Congressman takes swipe at program to reduce Medicare fraud

By Naseem Miller and Joe Eaton

As health reform bills consume Congress, a battle over a program designed to help cut soaring rates of Medicare overpayment and fraud is pla

FDA reaches agreement with firm that produced troubled heart drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week announced a little-noticed tentative agreement setting conditions under which a troubled pha

A record year for the pharmaceutical lobby in '07

By M. Asif Ismail

Washington's largest lobby racks up another banner year on Capitol Hill

Spending on lobbying thrives

By M. Asif Ismail

Drug and health products industries invest $182 million to influence legislation

PEPFAR policy hinders treatment in generic terms

By M. Asif Ismail

Critics say FDA approval rule has meant greater use of high-cost drugs at expense of helping fewer patients

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… not used]," William F. Haddad, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York-based generic biotechnology firm Biogenerics Inc., told the Center for Pub …"

Drug makers' dime funds Congressional travel

By Robert Brodsky

Pharmaceutical companies, affiliated trade groups spent more than $600,000 on trips

States see importation as solution to high drug costs

By Victoria Kreha

Several seek, have plans despite federal and industry opposition

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vermont":

"… medication from Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Wisconsin, Kansas, Vermont and Missouri have joined, with supporters claiming that it provides consum …"

"… Tennessee, also have introduced bills proposing that they join the program.Vermont also has been vigorously pursuing an importation program. In 2004, the sta …"

"… tate legislature passed a law establishing a program that would detail how Vermont residents could purchase prescription drugs from participating Canadian ph …"

"… chased in Canada and imported legally to the United States.That same year, Vermont sued the Bush administration in U.S. District Court for not authorizing th …"

FDA staff travels on drug industry dollars

By Alexander Cohen

Groups tied to FDA-regulated industry paying for agency officials' trips

FDA: A shell of its former self

By M. Asif Ismail

The Food and Drug Administration lacks the power to regulate pharmaceuticals and keep you safe

Excerpts from this story referencing "media stories":

"… y monitoring system as well as the FDA's inaction. Complaints about Vioxx, media stories revealed, had been trickling in since 2001."The fact is that doctors shoul …"

Drug lobby second to none

By M. Asif Ismail

How the pharmaceutical industry gets its way in Washington

Surrogates for their agenda

By Alexander Cohen

How the drug industry uses non-profits to push its interests

Drug industry influence timeline

What the pharmaceutical industry has gotten on its political investment

Prescription for power

By M. Asif Ismail

Drug makers' lobbying army ensures their legislative dominance