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 "director":

"… revenue, a practice known as “upcoding.” Researcher Richard Kronick, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Re …"

"… edicare Advantage risk scores is a perfect scam,” said Patrick Burns, co-director of Taxpayers Against Fraud in Washington. “You simply systematically up- …"

"… ls have largely stumbled in trying to recoup overpayments. Clare Krusing, director of communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans, did not respond …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… ll. About 70 medical conditions can boost payment rates. Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group, said …"

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 "board member":

"… of interest statement read. “He has served and is currently serving as a board member for multiple food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies.” Foreyt is l …"

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 "Consumer Reports":

"… c from your drinking water, you’ll still consume some in your food. Consumer Reports tested rice and rice products and found what it described as “worri …"

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 "federal government":

"… t close to 16 million elderly and disabled people under contracts with the federal government. The health plans tout the voluntary, free annual physicals as a major ne …"

"… Care Act, which officials expect to contain costs. Behind the curtain The federal government pays Medicare Advantage plans a monthly fee for each patient to cover all …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal government":

"… es. Four years ago, Medicare auditors came to an alarming conclusion: the federal government shouldn’t have paid a half-dozen insurance plans hundreds of millions of …"

"… rooted within private Medicare Advantage plans — which contract with the federal government to care for nearly 16 million elderly Americans — and that these abuses …"

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 "diabetes":

"… nbsp;that a Humana-owned clinic diagnosed patients with conditions such as diabetes with complications, which boosted Medicare payments. She alleged that thos …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… Medicare Advantage plans that enroll people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and take other steps to manage their care. …"

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 "Iraq":

"… t get a drink of water. Hancock, 27, joined the Army in 2004 and went to Iraq, where he drove a tank. On Memorial Day 2007 — one month after the birth …"

"… t of health 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, wi …"

"… rsity and coauthor of "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict." As veterans age, their injuries worsen over time, she said. Th …"

"… 3, according to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military …"

OPINION: smoothing out Medicaid's 'churn'

By Wendell Potter

Proposed legislation would protect folks from briefly losing benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Association for Community Affiliated Plans":

"… on health for low-income Americans,” says Margaret A. Murray, CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), an organization representing health plans serving Medicaid benefic …"

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 "strain":

"… ise.”Uddanam’s rich terrain seems an unlikely place for the mysterious strain of illness tormenting the area. For more than a decade, a rash of chronic …"

"… he 1990s, when Tatapudi and other nephrologists began noticing the unusual strain of CKD in Uddanam, various theories of the disease’s origins have emerge …"

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 "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention":

"… ease, cancer and diabetes,” said David McQueen, a U.S. delegate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has since retired from the agency. “And we felt, the position we wer …"

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 "National Alliance":

"… "This is a wake-up call for many reasons," said Dr. Ken Duckworth of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The coming need for geriatric mental health care "is qu …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… s are to kick in. Congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney want to repeal "Obamacare" if they win the November elections. Still, with …"

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 "Insurance":

"… oken system. Here’s what Karen Igagni, who heads America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s largest PR and lobbying group, told a Congressiona …"

"… ir acquisition strategy shows, they will be very different companies. Insurance executives know they will have to transform their companies even more rapi …"

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 "Costa Rica":

"… he Island of the Widows. That first story about the epidemic prompted the Costa Rican government to launch a study and a leading Costa Rica plantation to annou …"

"… idemic prompted the Costa Rican government to launch a study and a leading Costa Rica plantation to announce an overhaul of its worker safety practices. Photogr …"

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 "cancer":

"… disabilities or who developed life-threatening illnesses like diabetes or cancer. It was perfectly legal for them to refuse to sell coverage to anyone — …"

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 "diabetes":

"… xamples — like what and how much a particular plan will cover if we have diabetes or if we get pregnant and how much we’ll have to pay out of our own pock …"

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 "United Kingdom":

"… lding up in humans. Researchers measured the serum levels of people in the United Kingdom — where BVO was in use — and in their counterparts in the Netherlands …"

"… Wim Thielemans, a chemical engineer at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said since the alternatives are already used in Europe "their performance …"

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 "Canada":

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

ANALYSIS: Losing the public relations war

By Wendell Potter

ObamaCare backers are being outhistled

Excerpts from this story referencing "Canada":

"… Investors Business Daily. It revealed that people who live in England and Canada fare much worse than Americans when it comes to surviving cancer, being tr …"

"… e creates nothing like the single-payer health care systems in England and Canada.  In fact, to the great disappointment of many reform advocates, the …"

"… U.S. does do better than other developed countries, including England and Canada. But it is also true that we do far, far worse in many other measures, and …"

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 "diabetes":

"… .The list for automatic denial is long. It includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and stroke and even allergies and …"

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 "American Academy of Family Physicians":

"… to your demise.”Dr. David Kibbe, a physician and senior adviser for the American Academy of Family Physicians, said the organization of workflows by podiatrists has always impressed hi …"

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 "Washington":

"… tainty about the numbers, said Brian Bruen, a research scientist at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Even the most opti …"

"… ed to be interviewed for this story. But he told a think tank gathering in Washington in April that “you can’t improve what you can’t measure — you can …"

"… ll help you practice better. They are developing a product for whomever in Washington who wrote the specs.”And those criteria are still evolving. Last year, f …"

"… ltimately, the decision is theirs alone — whether it brings rewards from Washington, or penalties. …"

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 "diabetes":

"… stem problem; tardive dyskinesia, a movement problem; high blood sugar and diabetes; and very low blood pressure resulting in dizziness and fainting.In 2009, …"

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 "USA Today":

"… Scientology is no church,” Daniels said in a 1991 interview published by USA Today, in which he criticized the Church of Scientology’s anti-Prozac advertis …"

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 "National Alliance":

"… r group of Americans,” said Adolph Falcón, senior vice president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, an advocacy group.Research showing that this digital …"

Are new digital networks part of the cure?

By Emma Schwartz

Targeting the chronically ill, Obama Administration bets millions

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congressional Budget Office":

"… dherents among some of the nation’s largest health care plans.In 2005, a Congressional Budget Office report found “insufficient evidence” to conclude the programs reduce h …"

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 "diabetes":

"… e and pricks his finger to test his sugar levels. Though he’s lived with diabetes and hypertension for decades, he no longer has to bother with pen and pape …"

"… eers on measures including how well they treat or prevent diseases such as diabetes. Yet doctors distrusted the data at first, and it took months of programmi …"

"… fits of electronic health systems were limited to chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, that could produce enormous cost savings. Chronic diseas …"

"… r Disease Control and Prevention.Giuliani, the public defender living with diabetes, is a case in point. In the past, it was up to him to take his blood press …"