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 "federal government":

"… ssage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, which created Part D, the federal government benefited from discounts on prescription medicines for people covered by b …"

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 "Health":

"… or says. Gary Cantrell, a deputy Inspector General with the Department of Health and Human Services said reviews are “hampered by a lack of accurate, tim …"

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 "Medicare":

"… ee-part series. In South Florida, one of the nation’s top privately-run Medicare insurance plans faces a federal investigation into allegations that it ove …"

"… ivate health care plans for seniors ran up more than $100 million in added Medicare charges after asserting patients they signed up also were much sicker than …"

"… ormal — a claim many experts have challenged. In Rochester, New York, a Medicare plan was paid $41 million to treat people with serious diseases — even t …"

"… had those diseases. These health plans and hundreds of others are part of Medicare Advantage, a program created by Congress in 2003 to help stabilize health …"

OPINION: taking advantage of Medicare Advantage

By Wendell Potter

Feds have been overpaying for Medicare Advantage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karen Ignagni":

"… ed.  I asked for it, but no one has gotten back to me. AHIP’s CEO, Karen Ignagni, has been quoted as saying that the MA program will go into a “tailspin …"

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

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 "Medicare":

"… t the expense of the rest of us.  …"

"… ear ago — when Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) unveiled his plan to replace the Medicare system with one that would essentially be run by private insurers — Demo …"

"… to convince people that Ryan’s plan represented the only way to save the Medicare program from insolvency.One of the tried-and-true tactics insurers have us …"

"… t week an industry friend in high places — Thomas Scully, who headed the Medicare program during much of the George W. Bush administration — weighed in on …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… l practitioners in the same year.The GAO said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has systems in place to identify inappropriate drug use by …"

"… l abuses.”  Witnesses from the GAO and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are expected to testify on the issue at Senate subcommittee heari …"

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 "Heidi Vittetoe":

"… lism Education. Use of content requires attribution under Creative Commons. …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… rt of reform that would require all Americans not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid to buy coverage from them, they did not like the provision that would elim …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… ep. Ryan’s budget proposal would radically reshape both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It would turn Medicaid into a block grant, which would give stat …"

"… d radically reshape both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It would turn Medicaid into a block grant, which would give states more discretion over benefits …"

"… Medicare unacceptable.  The public is almost as resistant to cutting Medicaid, at least for now: 67 percent of Americans said they found cutting that pr …"

"… ge from them if we’re not eligible for a public program like Medicare or Medicaid. They won that round, too. That provision alone will guarantee billions of …"

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 "Delaware":

"… ugh, they say it’s difficult to know which is which.Sen. Tom Carper, the Delaware Democrat who requested the OIG investigation, was troubled by the results. …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… are Advantage plans are required to submit to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that administrators for the health insurance pl …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… quarterly reports of average manufacturer prices (AMP) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the inspector general said in a new report. They we …"

"… a critical role in government payments for prescription drugs, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services must ensure that action is taken against noncomplian …"

"… base also captures arms transfers for American bases in region (GAO).HEALTHMedicare fraud within the U.S. Indian Health System generally involves mismanagemen …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "pharmaceutical":

"… ttle-noticed tentative agreement setting conditions under which a troubled pharmaceutical company and its subsidiary could resume the production and distribution of …"

"… Center story in December.The heart drug Digitek, which is produced by the pharmaceutical firm Actavis Inc., was recalled on April 25 by the firm’s subsidiary, Ac …"

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 "GlaxoSmithKline":

"… ded Roche Holding AG ($9 million), Sanofi-Aventis($8.4 million), GlaxoSmithKline ($8.2 million), Johnson & Johnson Inc. ($7.7 million) and the tra …"

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 "President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief":

"… he competition from generic drug manufacturers. Yet Bush's initiative, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), funded by Congress a few months after that speech, has been slow …"

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 "America":

"… t influential lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), paid for 45 trips worth at least a combined $92,000. Nearly half …"

"… 1 trips, including excursions to San Francisco, San Diego and Naples, Fla."America clearly has the best health care in the world, but it can only remain that …"

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 "Health":

"… oups.At the behest of Congress, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has investigated ties between the industry and the agen …"

"… ng perspective," said Dr. Peter Lurie, deputy director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, which monitors the FDA and the Health industry. "They most …"

"… somebody else pays."In 2004, Congress examined the National Institutes of Health ethics programs after news reports documented that NIH and FDA employees e …"

"… ged in outside consulting work. The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services — of which the FDA is a part — reviewed similar con …"

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 "Britain":

"… he diabetes drug—which could cause severe liver problems—was banned in Britain.To Findlay, "the horrible thing about Vioxx is more than half the people w …"

Drug lobby second to none

By M. Asif Ismail

How the pharmaceutical industry gets its way in Washington

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief":

"… rson was a health policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the chief sponsor of a Medicare bill that, six months later, would become law, with …"

"… A and BIO, are headed by two influential former members of Congress. PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin and BIO president Jim Greenwood were on committees that regul …"

Surrogates for their agenda

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Abbott":

"… nization that receives support from the same companies, as well as Pfizer, Abbott, Sanofi-Aventis and Eli Lilly, and spent $1.5 million lobbying t …"

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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