September 24, 2008 |
The government paid more than $1 billion in questionable Medicare claims for medical supplies that showed little relation to patients' conditions, including blood glucose strips for sexual impotence and special diabetic shoes for leg amputees, congressional investigators say. Billions more in taxpayer dollars may have been wasted over the last decade because the government-run health program for the elderly and disabled paid out claims with blank or invalid diagnosis codes, such as a "?"
August 4, 2008 |
The government is putting millions of Medicare dollars at risk by authorizing fictitious sellers of wheelchairs, prosthetics and other medical supplies to submit reimbursement claims with only limited review, congressional investigators say. A Government Accountability Office study, obtained by the Associated Press, sought to follow up on oversight gaps that have plagued the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services since at least 2005.
March 14, 2008 |
Abbott Laboratories won U.S. approval of a glucose-monitoring system for people with diabetes that provides minute-by-minute and trend information to help patients manage the disease. The system, called the FreeStyle Navigator, measures blood sugar through a sensor in the back of the upper arm or through the abdomen. The information can help manage treatment, although traditional blood tests must be performed before therapy can be adjusted, the company said. From Times Wire Services
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2008 |
After a series of surprise inspections in Los Angeles County, Medicare fraud investigators found persistent corruption among medical equipment suppliers who set up phony offices that billed the government $21 million over one year, prompting officials to call for stronger enforcement efforts, according a report to be released today. Investigators checked 905 suppliers. Their offices should have been filled with wheelchairs, crutches, bedpans and other medical equipment.
November 30, 2007 |
Abbott Laboratories' experimental heart stent should be cleared for sale because it worked as well as devices already on the market to prop open clogged arteries, a U.S. advisory panel said. Outside experts for the Food and Drug Administration voted 9 to 1 to recommend that the stent, called Xience, be approved. The panel also said the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company should do long-term studies on whether the drug-coated device causes potentially deadly blood clots.
November 12, 2007 |
People with chronic kidney failure face a bleak future. Conventional dialysis cleanses the blood of only about 17% of the toxic chemicals that a healthy kidney removes. And donor organs are scarce. The 300,000 Americans who depend on dialysis to stay alive are crippled by an array of complications caused by the buildup of dangerous poisons in their blood, and only one-third survive more than five years. Experimental devices in development could help turn this situation around.