GAO takes on Medicare Advantage spending

By Fred Schulte

GAO will investigate program spending.

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

"… hing we have focused on before.” The GAO audit comes in the wake of the Center for Public Integrity’s “Medicare Advantage Money Grab” series published in June, which sh …"

"… ed at nearly $650 million for 2007 alone — just for those six plans. The Center for Public Integrity investigation confirmed in June that federal officials, after years of hag …"

"… year, or the results. So it’s not clear if any have been completed. The Center for Public Integrity in May sued CMS under the Freedom of Information Act, in part to …"

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 "Patrick Burns":

"… s. “Inflating Medicare Advantage risk scores is a perfect scam,” said Patrick Burns, co-director of Taxpayers Against Fraud in Washington. “You simply syste …"

California coverage plan for undocumented echoes earlier call by Schwarzenegger

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former governor supported plan allowing coverage for undocumented residents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Governor":

"… at with folks hanging off the sides of the ship." …"

"… nuary 2007 that was similar to the one enacted in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney. Schwarzenegger’s plan had one notable difference: it would …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… ot just those who have become newly insured over the past year. President Barack Obama cited some of the impressive statistics last Thursday, the day after the o …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ral election laws — and spamming legions of people with unsolicited anti-Barack Obama text messages — has created a new super PAC. Gabriel S. Joseph III regi …"

"… 10,000 worth of payments from the PAC to ccAdvertising to disseminate anti-Barack Obama "phone communication" messages, FEC records show. It also made a $27,500 …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… yle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. He attributes it, in part, to a growing partisan split among voters. “ …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to n …"

"… gel, executive director of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of local and state worker safety groups. “That’s one reas …"

Activists say gun debate overlooks gun-related deaths of children

By Kate Murphy and Jordan Rubio

An investigation found that at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns in America over 10 years

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… the firearms available, Berman said. “The problem of course is the NRA (National Rifle Association) and their interpretation that any attempt even to talk about safe storage …"

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 …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Analyzing government":

"… eating elderly patients — and have gotten away with doing it for years. Analyzing government data never before made public, Department of Health and Human Services res …"

Flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus

By Kristen Lombardi

New legislation follows landmark Center series

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… latest action on a variety of fronts to curb what everyone from President Barack Obama to Vice President Joe Biden to Education Secretary Arne Duncan has called …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Homeland Security":

"… tal number of such kids detained during all of last year. For some kids, a Department of Homeland Security assessment found, violence in their countries is so great that the risk of …"

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.

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… at least where they think they can make money. Leading the pack is UnitedHealth Group, the country’s biggest Health insurer. The company offered 2014 po …"

"… n only about a dozen states. During a call with investors last week, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company will compete for 2015 Obamacare busin …"

"… p to choose from. And based on preliminary rate filings, the Ohio co-op, InHealth Mutual, is besting its established competitors by almost 25 percent. Here …"

"… of 5.1 percent while two nonprofit carriers, Colorado Access and Colorado HealthOP, plan to reduce premiums by 22 and 9.63 percent, respectively. Mary …"

Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congressional Research Service":

"… ;Central America have warned that organized crime was gaining strength. A Congressional Research Service report in February of this year surveyed the gang problem in El …"

New scrutiny on campus sexual violence highlights Center findings

By Gordon Witkin

New efforts are aimed at both assisting schools and putting pressure on them to assist victims of sexual violence.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Claire McCaskill":

"… handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. In Congress, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has led a group of senators researching ways the issue might be ad …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… in favor of young children benefitting from counsel in immigration court. Lawyers said the suit—one of the plaintiffs is originally from Mexico—was …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… luating the proposal,” said Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group. Congress created Medicare A …"

"… s were presented at a conference of the American Society of Health Economists in Los Angeles on June 25. “Our study is the first that can …"

"… late May, the Center for Public Integrity sued the Department of Health and Human Services to make its audits and other records public. The case i …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Homeland Security":

"… ries. The administration plans to ask for “greater discretion” for the Department of Homeland Security to repatriate Central American minors more quickly, according to a letter …"

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 …"

IRS says liberal group too political for 'social welfare' status

By Michael Beckel

Tax agency rejects pro-Blanche Lincoln group's application for tax-exempt status, calling it too focused on influencing elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… while reviewing their applications for tax-exempt status.    …"

Get involved: Help Medicare Advantage investigation go further with donations and news tips

Join us in finding problems with Medicare Advantage billing, “risk scores”, or home visits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… y Gordon Witkin.      …"

"… ls that billions of tax dollars are wasted every year through leakage of a Medicare payment tool called a "risk score". Get involved   If you are a hea …"

"… are a health professional or medical coder and have a story to tell about Medicare Advantage billing issues or “risk scores”, please send Fred Schul …"

"… res”, please send Fred Schulte an email. If you are a patient in a Medicare Advantage plan and have been scheduled for a “home visit” let us know …"

Medicare Advantage lobbying machine steamrolls Congress

By Fred Schulte

Under pressure, Medicare Advantage critics morph into defenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… s industry over the past three election cycles, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Franken alone has received at least $90,000 from the health services indu …"

Explaining Medicare Advantage, and why it matters to you

By Fred Schulte and Sarah Whitmire

Explaining risk scores, Medicare Advantage and what alleged overbilling could mean for the Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… can answer it, we'll do so and add it here. …"

"… so and add it here. …"

"… and Medicare? They’re two sides of the same coin. By choosing standard Medicare, people can visit any doctor they want. But they may have to buy supplemen …"

"… ant. But they may have to buy supplemental insurance to cover gaps in what Medicare will pay for. This option is called “fee-for-service.” By contrast, M …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Comcast-Time Warner deal may hinge on anemic low-cost Internet plan

By Allan Holmes

Comcast Corp. will use heavily criticized broadband program for the poor to persuade regulators to OK Time Warner buyout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… d. “Having Internet in your home is an absolute necessity.” President Barack Obama agrees. In his 2011 State of the Union Address, Obama pledged to ensure hi …"

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 "U.S. Department of Health and Human Services":

"… ts to report similar stories. …"

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ensure the continued financial viability of their system, which they call Medicare, no one in Ottawa of any ideological stripe would dare suggest doing much …"

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