May 18, 2016 |
The owner of a defunct Northeast Philadelphia ambulance company was charged with Medicare fraud for transporting patients who could walk and did not meet the federal program's requirements for ambulance services, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Monday. Bassem Kuran, who was the sole owner of VIP Ambulance Inc., applied to participate in Medicare in October 2011, soon after his previous employer, Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. was shut down for the same type of fraud.
May 15, 2016
Q. How can I be certain I'm picking a good nursing home? A. The majority of people entering a nursing home are doing so from a hospital, with guidance from a discharge planner. That said, knowing about long-term care facilities in your area will help ensure that you or your loved one is going to the most appropriate one. The website Medicare.gov offers a "Nursing Home Compare" section, searchable by city and state, where you can find information about the ratings of a particular facility.
May 8, 2016 |
The University of Pennsylvania Health System agreed to pay $75,787 to resolve allegations that its home health unit, Penn Care at Home, submitted claims to Medicare for services not rendered and for services that were not reasonable or necessary, the United States Attorney for the Eastern Disctrict of Pennsylvania said Friday. As part of the settlement, which orginated in a whistle-blower lawsuit, the health system agreed to implement new compliance measures and to submit annual compliance reports through 2019.
April 9, 2016
By Peter Ubel Even before Obamacare became the law of the land, the U.S. health-care system was undergoing a dramatic transformation. Millions of people were shifting from generous health-insurance plans to consumer-directed ones that pair low monthly premiums with high out-of-pocket costs. This shift has been encouraged by employers eager to reduce the cost of employee benefits. It has also been encouraged by market enthusiasts who contend that the U.S. health-care system needs to be more like the traditional consumer economy.
April 1, 2016
Six years into Obamacare, its critics still see the Affordable Care Act as a sign of the apocalypse. All three Republican candidates for president have vowed to repeal it if elected. Their obstinacy is a reminder of past naysayers who similarly predicted that Social Security and Medicare would destroy the fabric of America. Actor and budding politician Ronald Reagan, in a speech recorded in 1961 for the American Medical Association, called Medicare "socialized medicine. " Were Medicare to become law, he said, "One of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in America when men were free.
February 11, 2016
By Stuart H. Shapiro With so many Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls still looking for ways to separate themselves from crowded fields and pull ahead in the polls and the primaries, you would think they would try harder to appeal directly to the 80 million baby boomers who will help decide this election. For Pennsylvania and New Jersey, whose primaries come later, this is especially important. Yet so far, after about a dozen debates and a lot of bobbing and weaving on mostly trivial issues, none of the candidates has addressed the serious question of how we will provide and pay for the long-term-care needs of our rapidly aging population.
February 11, 2016
A federal jury convicted a registered nurse on four counts of health care fraud Monday in a case in which prosecutors alleged she aided her employer in a plan to bilk Medicare out of more than $9 million. Between 2005 and 2008, Patricia McGill, 68, served as the former director of professional services of Home Care Hospice, the Bustleton facility that prosecutors alleged enrolled dozens of patients who did not meet federal guidelines for hospice care. In addition, the government accused McGill, under the watch of the facility's owners, of overseeing the falsification of records to suggest patients were sicker than they were or received treatments that were never given.
February 6, 2016 |
Charles Prozzillo's life changed for the worse when Medicare stopped paying for his ambulance rides to dialysis a year ago. The 72-year-old Fort Washington man, who had been a hairdresser with his own salon and volunteer firefighter in younger days, was being treated for late stages of kidney failure. Three times a week for five years, he had gone to a dialysis facility to have his blood cleansed of waste, a job his kidneys could no longer do. The sessions gave him cramps and tired him, but they kept him alive.
February 4, 2016
By Cynthia Reilly In a political climate in which the two major parties don't always see eye to eye, one issue is bringing them together: Republicans and Democrats agree that we must address the tragedy of prescription drug abuse. With 44 people dying every day from overdoses of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and similar opioid pain relievers, there is growing awareness that misuse of these drugs can affect almost anyone. Presidential hopefuls on both sides of the aisle have told personal stories about the terrible toll this epidemic has taken on family, friends, and colleagues, and some have proposed detailed policies to address prevention and treatment of abuse.
January 24, 2016 |
When it comes to selecting a home health care agency, nurse Susan Sellechia, 34, says what matters most are compassion, education, and a drive to keep patients out of the hospital. Her patient at Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, Joan Hutchins, 84, who was treated for ulcers on her legs, agrees. "The nurses here have been very patient with me," said Hutchins. "I couldn't get any better care. " In July, Medicare instituted a five-star rating system to help consumers compare and select agencies.