Medicare

Fraud
3:38 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Seniors On Medicare Patrol In Miami

Gustavo Franco, of Senior Medicare Patrol, warns seniors of Medicare fraud.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

It’s a crime that requires no guns. It frequently goes unnoticed until after the fact, and the victims are unwitting U.S. taxpayers duped to the tune of $68 billion a year. Medicare fraud has become one of the most profitable illegal activities in the country — and South Florida is the most likely place to get fleeced.

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Medicare Fraud
2:28 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Unusual Medicare Billing Patterns Are A Red Flag For Fraud

Unusual Medicare billing patterns can tip off fraud investigators.
Credit Patrisyu / freedigitalphotos.net

 

A ProPublica investigation earlier this month looked at how Medicare providers charged for their services in 2012 and found unusual billing patterns among a number of Florida care providers.

On average, most providers only charged for the most complex, expensive level of care during office visits about 4 percent of the time. But in Florida, nearly 100 Medicare providers with relatively high volume billed at the most expensive rate 100 percent of the time.

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Newscast
6:19 am
Tue May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014: ProPublica Investigation Reveals Possible Medicare Fraud In Florida

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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Medicare Investigation
9:32 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Florida's Unusual Medicare Charges, And Why They Matter To Patients

ProPublica found unusual Medicare billing patterns in Florida and elsewhere.
Credit cooldesign / freedigitalphotos.net

A group of Florida doctors has been charging Medicare at a surprisingly high rate.

A ProPublica investigation analyzed a recently released Medicare database and found unusual billing patterns in Florida and elsewhere. ProPublica used that same data to create an online tool that lets patients see how individual doctors compare to their peers when it comes to procedures and billing patterns.

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The Florida Roundup
11:42 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Is South Florida Going More Nuclear?

Credit Florida Power & Light

Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet approved two more nuclear reactors to the Turkey Point power plant on Biscayne Bay. But neighbors are worried about the construction of 88 miles of transmission lines, and environmentalists question why Florida Power & Light wants more nuclear facilities by the coast.

A ProPublica investigation reveals unusual billing patterns among Florida’s Medicare providers. We ask how this connects to Florida’s history of Medicare fraud.

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ProPublica Investigation
12:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Florida Docs Charge Medicare Top Rate For Office Visits

An analysis of Medicare billing rates show some doctors charge an unusually high amount for office visits.
Credit Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.net

Office visits are the bread and butter of many physicians’ practices. Medicare pays for more than 200 million of them a year, often to deal with routine problems like colds or high blood pressure. Most require relatively modest amounts of a doctor’s time or medical know-how.

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Public Services
7:19 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Miami-Dade County Helps Seniors Figure Out Health Care

Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation will host health fairs for seniors all over the county.
Credit Wilson Sayre

The Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is trying to do its part to help seniors navigate the health insurance maze.

Yesterday, the department kicked off a series of health fairs to be held all over the county as part of their Active Adults program.

Health service providers gave short presentations about how they can help to navigate the complicated health system -- tips about how to get the most out of coverage and ways to avoid health care fraud.

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Health Care
10:52 am
Mon September 16, 2013

More Companies Steering Retirees To Private Health-Insurance Exchanges

Private health insurance exchanges have existed for several years but are separate from the public health insurance marketplace being created by the Affordable Care Act.

Thousands of retirees covered by company health insurance plans will soon see their benefits shifted toward private health-insurance exchanges.

IBM and Time Warner announced the change last week. They’ll provide retirees money to buy Medicare Advantage or supplemental Medigap policies instead, part of a push by businesses to move away from the increasingly costly group-coverage model.

American Airlines may follow. Its parent company, AMR Corp., is seeking approval to make the change from a federal bankruptcy court judge.

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Health Care
10:41 am
Fri September 6, 2013

After A Decade, Congress Moves To Fix Doctors' Medicare Pay

I think I see the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:59 am

Hear the words health care and Congress, and you think fight, right?

And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted some 40 times in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Free Medicare And Health Insurance Education

http://www.floridashine.org/

08/15/13 - Thursday’s Topical Currents begins with a look at SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) it’s a statewide, volunteer-based program offering free Medicare and health insurance education to people and their caregivers. And more, Linda Gassenheimer speaks with Mandy Baca about her book,

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Health Care
11:21 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Palm Beach County Expands Drug Take-Back Program

Twenty-two drop boxes like this one give Palm Beach County residents places to safely dispose of their old prescription medications.
Credit C. DiMattei

Palm Beach County wants your drugs.

Actually, the county only wants the medications taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, the ones that might end up in the wrong hands. 

At first glance, the receptacles cropping up all over Palm Beach County look like the donation bins that collect old clothes for charity.  But printed on the front of each drop-off box is the urgent instruction to “Deposit Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs Here!” 

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Health Care
4:12 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Outreach For New Health Insurance Exchanges Targets Latinos

Elva Jaldin, a promotora, talks with Andrea Velandia about health. Soon Jaldin will help women like Velandia sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Jenny Gold

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Andrea Velandia, 29, is just the sort of person the architects of the new health insurance marketplaces had in mind when they were thinking about future customers.

She's young, in good health, uninsured and Latino.

"We're very healthy. We don't have many issues," she says of her family. For the most part, she and her husband avoid the health system. "It's very expensive to go to the doctor to get a regular checkup," she says. "And you only have an option to go to the emergency room, which is even more expensive."

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Health Care
10:45 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Top Medicare Prescribers Rake In Speaking Fees From Drugmakers

How does the doctor decide what to write on the prescription pad?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:38 pm

When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.

So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Shortage of Primary Care Doctors

02/20/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents examines the shortage of primary care doctors in today’s medical landscape and efforts to give more latitude to nurse care practitioners.  The upcoming Florida Legislative session will address the issue.  Increased Medicare costs and the Affordable Care Act figure into the picture to give qualified nurse practitioners more latitude in patient treatment.

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