During Its Move To Electronic Records, Medicare Erroneously Paid $729M To Health Professionals
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should review its incentive payments, recoup any money erroneously paid and do more to scrutinize spending, the inspector general audit recommended.
The Wall Street Journal:
Medicare Erroneously Paid Millions In Electronic Records Push, Audit Finds
Medicare erroneously paid an estimated $729 million to doctors and other health professionals under a multibillion-dollar federal initiative designed to shift the health-care system from paper records to computer files, according to a new federal audit. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which conducted the audit, said Medicare, over a three-year period, improperly paid health professionals who vouched they earned bonus payments under the initiative, but who either lacked required proof or failed to meet bonus criteria. (Evans, 6/12)
In other national health care news —
The New York Times:
States Lead The Fight Against Trump’s Birth Control Rollback
Not long after President Trump took the oath of office, a busload of women’s health advocates made the first of a series of 860-mile round trips from Las Vegas to the Nevada capital, Carson City. Their mission: to push state legislators to expand insurance coverage for contraception. It worked. On Saturday, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, a Republican, signed a measure requiring insurers to cover 12 months of birth control at a time, with no co-payment. (Stolberg, 6/9)
The New York Times:
Seizing On Opioid Crisis, A Drug Maker Lobbies Hard For Its Product
The ads have been popping up on billboards, buses and subways and in glossy magazines, with portraits of attractive men and women and a simple question in bold letters: What is Vivitrol? Five years ago, Vivitrol was a treatment for opioid addiction that was struggling to find a market. Now, its sales and profile are rising fast, thanks to its manufacturers’ shrewd use of political connections, and despite scant science to prove the drug’s efficacy. (Goodnough and Zernike, 6/11)
Amazon Poised To Deliver Disruption In Medical Supply Industry
Amazon is on the healthcare industry's doorstep. The e-commerce giant continues to transform virtually every segment of the economy as it leverages its massive distribution network to deliver logistical harmony. With a stronghold on the consumer market, Amazon is eying the business-to-business segment as it builds its seller base. Soon, that familiar smiling brown box will make its way from porches to providers' front doors and that may make for some disgruntled medical supply distributors. Since launching two years ago, more than 45,000 sellers have signed on to the Amazon Business platform, which essentially serves as the middleman for third-party vendors. (Kacik, 6/10)
Will Baby Boxes Really Keep Children Safer?
When Maisha Watson heard about baby boxes, her first reaction was: "Why would I want to put my baby in a box?" She was talking with Marcia Virgil — "Miss Marcia" to her clients — a family support worker with the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative. True, it's a cardboard box, Miss Marcia told her. But it's also a safe place for a baby to sleep: It comes with a firm mattress and a snug sheet, in line with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations meant to protect against sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. (Pao, 6/12)