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 …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "CEO":

"… iscuss, but the data is in black and white and speaks volumes,” Cassano, CEO of Accucode Consulting, wrote in an email. Medicare Advantage enjoys soli …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.” Seizing on the “opinion” tag, the foo …"

"… ted them with short- and long-term health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease — even cancer. The conflicting studies have spar …"

"… f sugary foods and beverages that are more clearly tied to weight gain and diabetes. But when it comes to long-term health effects, he says, “There is some …"

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 "diabetes":

"… e include bladder, lung, liver and skin cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Recent studies have suggested that arsenic may cause IQ deficits in child …"

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 "diabetes":

"… h plans when they help document medical problems — from complications of diabetes to a history of heart trouble that’s flared up. Health plans can profit …"

"… ple is a person who has prescriptions for insulin, an obvious indicator of diabetes, but whose medical record doesn’t capture that diagnosis. Doctors also m …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Humana":

"… ty from flawed risk scoring, according to its financial statements.  Humana Inc., which disclosed to securities regulators that it was the subject of …"

"… low earlier predictions, it still caught the industry’s attention. Both Humana and UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s two biggest Medicare Advantage plan …"

"… nificant refunds, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Humana reported to the SEC in November that “certain” of its contracts would …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… hly premiums average about $35. Other terms The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Referred to as CMS, this federal agency oversees Medicare and Me …"

"… id Services: Referred to as CMS, this federal agency oversees Medicare and Medicaid, the government health plan for low income people. CMS is part of the Depa …"

"… les: The term refers to people who are eligible both for Medicare and Medicaid because they have low incomes. These patients are generally considered the …"

Health care costs will mushroom as injured veterans age

By Jessica Wilde

News21 investigation finds injured veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan will need costly care for decades.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… th care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, with the veterans …"

"… ing to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military medicine’s hi …"

"… analyzed the medical costs of war through 2035. More than half of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are between the ages of 18 and 32, according to 2011 American Com …"

"… eir numbers are growing at the fastest rate. Fifty-six percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans use the VA now. and their numbers are expected to grow by 9.6 per …"

OPINION: smoothing out Medicaid's 'churn'

By Wendell Potter

Proposed legislation would protect folks from briefly losing benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… That’s because it only affects the poorest among us who are eligible for Medicaid. The problem is referred to by policy wonks as “churn.” Because of th …"

"… problem is referred to by policy wonks as “churn.” Because of the way Medicaid is administered by the states, millions of Americans enrolled in the progr …"

"… m the rolls simply because they can’t take time off from work to go to a Medicaid office to re-verify their incomes every three months, which some states re …"

"… rance industry jargon — are eventually reinstated. Their eligibility for Medicaid never changed. They lost coverage solely because of paperwork requirements …"

In India, verdant terrain conceals clues to a fatal kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… a. They come from farming communities and are mostly poor. Few suffer from diabetes or hypertension. The climate is sweltering, toxic pesticides are used libe …"

In Sri Lanka, breakthroughs, setbacks and a spiritual touch

By Sasha Chavkin and Anna Barry-Jester

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "illness":

"… s who do not suffer from diabetes or hypertension, the usual causes of the illness. The government and WHO call it CKDu: chronic kidney disease of unknown et …"

As kidney disease kills thousands across continents, scientists scramble for answers

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Daniel Brooks":

"… death toll reversed.“I absolutely think that it’s preventable,” said Daniel Brooks, an epidemiologist at Boston University who is leading a study in Nicaragu …"

Report: Too little mental health care for boomers

By The Associated Press

Aging boomers to face hard time finding mental health care; report urges geriatric training

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… le better recover from a mental health problem, said Dr. Paul D.S. Kirwin, president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Adding stress may be …"

Health care options for young, healthy and broke

By The Associated Press

Insurance options for those with lots of health, little wealth: Is the cheapest choice best?

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… the 15 percent of young people who have chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes, and the young women looking to have a baby," said Aaron Smith, 30, co-fou …"

ANALYSIS: Why the insurance industry needs Obamacare to stay in business

By Wendell Potter

The insurance industry is banking on the individual mandate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… old, the chronically ill, and those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes.” And here’s what Larry English, the former president of Cigna He …"

Support our new investigation into a deadly disease killing agricultural workers

By Ellen Weiss

Support our investigation of a disease that is killing workers around the world.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… dney disease is a manageable illness that mostly affects older people with diabetes and high blood pressure. But in Central America, each year thousands of ag …"

ANALYSIS: Slogans versus substance in the battle over ObamaCare's future

By Wendell Potter

Tea Party slogans distort the Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… are Act is closing the despised and even deadly “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug program, which was designed in 2003 largely by lobbyists …"

"… its than helping seniors stay alive. The way the law was cobbled together, Medicare beneficiaries get prescription drug coverage only up to a certain amount. …"

ANALYSIS: This just in, insurers required to speak plain English

By Wendell Potter

Obamacare rule requires health insurers to speak plain English

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… o persuade its friends in Congress, including some Democrats, to flood the White House with calls urging that the new requirement be postponed indefinitely and a …"

Brominated battle: Soda chemical has cloudy health history

By Brett Israel

Experts now urge a closer look at a chemical, banned in other countries, now popping up in U.S. sodas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… sumption of BVO would not cause any health problems — except the risk of diabetes and obesity from drinking that much sugar water," said Zane Horowitz, medi …"

ANALYSIS: Despite GOP claims, U.S. health care nowhere near 'best' in the world

By Wendell Potter

Americans pay more for health care than anyone in the world, but our system is not the best

Excerpts from this story referencing "Germany":

"… average of five other relatively expensive countries (Switzerland, Canada, Germany, France and Japan); spending on pharmaceuticals and medical goods is much …"

ANALYSIS: Losing the public relations war

By Wendell Potter

ObamaCare backers are being outhistled

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… worse than Americans when it comes to surviving cancer, being treated for diabetes, getting a hip replacement when needed and getting an appointment with a s …"

ANALYSIS: Obama plan helping those with pre-existing health conditions

By Wendell Potter

Obama health plan will prevent insurance firm denials for pre-existing conditions

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… if your pre-existing condition is on the list.The California Department of Insurance provides a valuable public service by listing on its Web site the health c …"

"… ObamaCare already is forcing insurers to change their business practices. Insurance firms no longer can refuse to cover children with pre-existing conditions. …"

"… le in states that did not previously offer them.The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) makes coverage available to any U.S. citizen who has been deni …"

"… ou can get on the individual market, including in a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.Have a question about your health Insurance? Wendell Potter wants to …"

Podiatrists have their foot in the door

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Podiatrists are taking advantage of payments for installing electronic health records

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… providers,” Christina said. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a list of the first 320 recipients of “meaningfu …"

Doctors skittish about health technology despite promise of big federal bucks

By Susan Jaffe

The federal government is paying physicians billions to adopt electronic health records, but doctors still aren't sure they want the cash

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… program has only just started — and it could become a tempting target as Congress struggles to tighten the federal budget. (In May, Medicare officials distr …"

"… for pediatricians). That requirement will disqualify some doctors, unless Congress drops it, said researcher Brian Bruen. But that is unlikely to happen, he …"

Nursing home patients put at risk by antipsychotic drugs, IG says

By Laurel Adams

Medicare claims for antipsychotic drugs given to nursing home patients in question

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

"… of those patients, 17 percent were taking more than one antipsychotic.The Food and Drug Administration requires drug manufacturers to include a warning explaining the increased …"

During Mitch Daniels’ decade at Eli Lilly, the drug giant paid billions in fines and settled thousands of lawsuits

By Joanne Kenen and Rochelle Sharpe

Eli Lilly paid billions in fines, settled thousands of lawsuits while Daniels was an executive at the drug giant

Excerpts from this story referencing "Richard Lugar":

"… n and out of politics, starting as a young aide to then-Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar in the 1970s. He moved to Washington when Lugar won his Senate seat, and l …"

Will digital technology reduce gap in health between rich and poor?

By Emma Schwartz

Two years ago, the Ethio American Health Center opened its doors in the nation’s capital, promising the country’s largest community of Ethio

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicine":

"… diseases impact minority communities.For instance, at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, researchers are starting to pull together data on African-Amer …"

Are new digital networks part of the cure?

By Emma Schwartz

Targeting the chronically ill, Obama Administration bets millions

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… — These days, Debra Richardson, a 53-year-old former schoolteacher with diabetes and other chronic diseases, spends a lot of time thinking about how to tur …"

"… some rural and others in major cities — will focus at least partly on diabetes, a disease that is both debilitating and expensive to treat. The fede …"

"… ce aims to reduce blood sugar levels in at least one of four patients with diabetes, increase the numbers of people who take their medications as directed and …"

"… The Hawaii group hopes to improve care for people with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity who live in rural areas with shortages of …"

Can Cleveland clinic be a model for digital medicine?

By Emma Schwartz

Hospital’s success with electronic records raises hope and caution

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harvard":

"… published in November in the American Journal of Medicine—carried out by Harvard researchers who are some of the most prominent advocates of a single-payer …"

"… ary results from a separate study of 3,000 hospitals by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, who found no evidence of cost savings with electr …"

"… h sailing,” said Catherine DesRoches, a senior research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the forthcoming study. “It’s …"