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 "physician":

"… only about half of total Medicare spending. Most of the rest goes to cover physician fees, prescription drugs and to provide incentives for health insurance co …"

"… ave led to the major income disparity that now exists between primary care physicians and specialists, who are paid more because the work they do is deemed by …"

"… ative value. This not only has created the severe shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, but it has also contributed to soaring health care …"

"… paign support,” he said. He could have included insurance companies and physicians and host of other special interests on that list. …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… omplete data that would facilitate oversight” of the fast-growing health insurance plans. His comments came in testimony prepared for a Wednesday hearing of …"

"… e” Medicare. But Medicare Advantage plans, which are often run by large insurance companies and accept a set monthly fee from the government for each patien …"

"… y” and “difficulties with access to information” held by the private insurance companies. He wrote that fraud investigators have no central place to acce …"

"… ernment. Congress created Medicare Advantage in 2003 to encourage private insurance companies to jump into the senior care market without hesitation. Since th …"

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 "Obama administration":

"… y to cover millions of uninsured people. That’s consistent with an early Obama administration promise to reduce payments to the health insurers. But support for Medica …"

OPINION: taking advantage of Medicare Advantage

By Wendell Potter

Feds have been overpaying for Medicare Advantage.

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 "Pfizer":

"… ld, that translates into serious cash going into the pockets of investors. Pfizer’s most recently reported profit margin, for example, was 24.7 percent. A …"

OPINION: Big Pharma's stranglehold on Washington

By Wendell Potter

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

OPINION: Guess who would benefit from privatizing Medicare?

By Wendell Potter

Privatizing Medicare would help insurers, not seniors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wis":

"… would be wrong.As I wrote more than a year ago — when Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) unveiled his plan to replace the Medicare system with one that would ess …"

Report faults Medicare controls on widely abused drugs

By Joe Eaton

Beneficiaries easily went to multiple doctors for hydrocodone and oxycodone

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 "Health":

"… id Silbergeld, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The bacteria end up in consumer meat products sold at grocery stores acro …"

"… ket weight of 270 pounds.Both a 2008 USDA study and a 2007 study in Public Health Reports, a journal that focuses on emerging public Health issues, found th …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… down on fraud in federal health programs for the poor and the elderly.The Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act, introd …"

"… includes a provision that would require all prescriptions paid for by the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan include a valid physician identifier. That i …"

"… ugs frequently trafficked on the street. The story also reported that some Medicare scammers have stolen the identities of dead physicians to bill Medicare fo …"

"… me Medicare scammers have stolen the identities of dead physicians to bill Medicare for drugs under the plan.In addition to requiring valid prescriber numbers …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… ld alter Medicare. Shortly after I testified before Congress about how the insurance industry was conducting a behind-the-scenes campaign to influence public o …"

"… Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., invited me to share my perspective as a former insurance industry insider at his Sept. 3, 2009, town hall meeting at Montclair Stat …"

"… ts planned to dismantle the program.There was no doubt in my mind that the insurance industry was the original source of that lie. While insurers liked the par …"

"… : A provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, written primarily by the insurance industry and backed by House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Lea …"

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 "Medicare":

"… r arms around the third rail of American politics by proposing to hand the Medicare program to private insurers will themselves look foolish if they take for …"

"… their side.Rep. Ryan’s budget proposal would radically reshape both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It would turn Medicaid into a block grant, which wo …"

"… etion over benefits and eligibility.  And it would radically redesign Medicare, changing it from what is essentially a government-run, single-payer healt …"

"… cted February 27-28 showed that 76 percent of Americans considered cuts to Medicare unacceptable.  The public is almost as resistant to cutting Medicaid, …"

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

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 "Hialeah":

"… ription.” …"

"… for a plane ticket to Cuba.By Medicare fraud standards, the payout to the Hialeah pharmacy was a tiny drop in a massive bucket. But authorities say the case …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), various federal Offices of Inspector General (OIG), and other government entities. Congressional Research Service repor …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… roduced five weeks ago.The squabble is occurring just as the Department of Health and Human Services is reporting — according to the Associated Press — …"

"… ,” said Gerry Roy, the assistant inspector general for investigations at Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. Roy said organized crim …"

"… pokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a branch of Health and Human Services, said he is not aware of any counties that were left wi …"

"… the bidding delay back then was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Health and Human Services at the time, Michael Leavitt. “If Congress fails to u …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "depression":

"… aily barrage of ads for prescription drugs, targeting every condition from depression to erectile dysfunction. Industry spending on these so-called direct-to-co …"

Spending on lobbying thrives

By M. Asif Ismail

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "pharmaceuticals":

"… his report was provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation. …"

"… PhRMA lobbyist.The Center's latest study showed that the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other health products have spent at least $855 millio …"

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 "Medicine":

"… nt a regulatory review as that of the FDA or the European Union's European Medicines Agency. But WHO Prequalification Project head Dr. Lembit Rägo told the C …"

Drug makers' dime funds Congressional travel

By Robert Brodsky

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Biotechnology":

"… totaling $7,700, courtesy of AdvaMed, California Healthcare Institute and Biotechnology Industry Organization. In 2005, Greenwood became president of Biotechnolog …"

"… iotechnology Industry Organization. In 2005, Greenwood became president of Biotechnology Industry Organization, with an annual salary reported to be $650,000.'Drea …"

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 "Food and Drug Administration":

"… ased in other countries are as safe as those sold in the United States.The Food and Drug Administration has said repeatedly that importation would leave the country vulnerable to …"

FDA staff travels on drug industry dollars

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Hoiberg":

"… ions that went on to work for medical and pharmaceutical-related companies.Charles Hoiberg, former deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Drug Chemistry, now wor …"

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 "pharmaceutical industry":

"… tured the agency."[The FDA Modernization Act] was a bundle of gifts to the pharmaceutical industry," Marcia Angell, M.D., a former editor in chief of The New England Jo …"

Drug lobby second to none

By M. Asif Ismail

How the pharmaceutical industry gets its way in Washington

Excerpts from this story referencing "Biotechnology":

"… top 20 drug corporations and the industry's two trade groups, PhRMA and theBiotechnology Industry Organization, which represents biomedicine companies,disclosed lo …"

Surrogates for their agenda

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "public relations":

"… champion its positions, sponsored studies tilted to the industry and hired public relations firms to spearhead campaigns to soften up public opinion and government po …"

"… , Washington, D.C.-area advertising, media relations consultants and other public relations efforts. Other highlighted areas of interest included spending more than $ …"

"… itute's Web site reveals that some members of its brain trust moonlight at public relations firms. Peter Pitts, the Institute's Senior Fellow in Health Care Studies, …"

"… Care Studies, is also the Senior Vice President of Health Affairs for the public relations firm Manning Selvage and Lee, which lists more than 15 top pharmaceutical …"

Drug industry influence timeline

What the pharmaceutical industry has gotten on its political investment

Excerpts from this story referencing "Food and Drug Administration":

"… he FDA.In late September, President George W. Bush signs into law the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007. The bill revises and extends the user-fee …"

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