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NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The mind-bogglingly complex American health-care system took a step toward user-friendliness Thursday when the federal government assigned star ratings - 1 to 5, like restaurant and movie reviews - for patient satisfaction at thousands of U.S. hospitals. Many leading hospitals received middling ratings, while comparatively obscure community hospitals and others that specialize in lucrative surgeries frequently received the most stars. In the Philadelphia region, for example, just two hospitals - Physicians Care Surgical Hospital in Montgomery County and Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Eastern Regional Medical Center in Crescentville - scored five stars.
NEWS
April 16, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna and Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Staff Writers
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Gov. Christie proposed an overhaul of federal entitlements Tuesday that would cut $1 trillion in spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over a decade, a bold stroke aimed at reviving his presidential aspirations. Christie, trailing potential rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination in polls, said the changes were needed both to preserve the safety-net programs and to stabilize federal finances. "Every other national priority will be sacrificed, our economic growth will grind to a halt, and our national security will be put at even graver risk" without cost cutting, Christie said during a speech at St. Anselm College.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez noted last week that he and Dr. Salomon Melgen "celebrate holidays together, have been there for family weddings and funerals, and have given each other birthday, holiday, and wedding presents - just as friends do. " The Florida eye doctor has also spent about a million dollars on campaign donations and vacations for the New Jersey Democrat, who brought Melgen's multimillion-dollar Medicare billing dispute to the attention of...
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
The patient with the bad heart valve will be in his 60s, say, someone who tires easily because of impaired blood flow but is otherwise in pretty good health. An informed consumer, he has seen the ads about the new way to fix the problem without having a surgeon crack open his chest. A slender catheter is threaded through the groin, a new aortic valve implanted, and the patient is home in a few days. Can he sign up? For now, Mark B. Anderson has to tell him no. "Surgery is still the gold standard," said Anderson, chair of cardiothoracic surgery at Einstein Healthcare Network.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
  In June, Anthony Capone said he liked his AmeriHealth Medicare Advantage plan so much he persuaded his 89-year-old mother and aunt to make the switch. Things were going along fine until recently, when the Mount Laurel businessman's renewal notice arrived in the mail. He opened the package and was taken aback. His monthly premium had spiked to $62 a month, a $23 rise. Other fees - in-hospital co-pay (up to $175), Part D deductible ($25), and ambulance ($100) - have also risen.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a bid to cut Medicare spending and help pay for health-care changes, the Obama administration has significantly expanded audits designed to recover improper payments from health-care providers. "We are taking, I would say, a brutal spanking, those that are fully compliant and within regulation," said Tim Fox, founder and chief executive of Fox Rehabilitation, a Cherry Hill company that provides physical therapy and other services to the elderly. "It's dead easy to commit fraud under Medicare, and that's why there's so much fraud and abuse out there," Fox said.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia charged the owners and manager of Life Support Corp., a Bucks County ambulance company, in a $1.9 million Medicare fraud. Those charged Thursday in the 12-count indictment were brothers Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, and Bogdan Kmet, 30, of Warminster, who owned Life Support. Their cousin, a company manager, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia, was also charged. The defendants were arrested Thursday morning and made initial court appearances in the afternoon.
NEWS
June 26, 2014
SUMMER has arrived, but hunger doesn't take a vacation. For too many students, the lunch they receive at school is their only meal. And during the summer, many of these young people lose access to regular meals. To address summer food insecurity, the city of Philadelphia provides free, healthy meals to eligible Philadelphians through the summer meals program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and local partners. Beginning this week, more than 700 summer-meal locations will open citywide, serving delicious and healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks to young Philadelphians.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A VETERAN federal prosecutor passionately told a judge yesterday that Alex Pugman, a leading defendant in a Medicare fraud case, "was without a doubt the most exceptional cooperator I have worked with. " Pugman, who was the director and co-owner of the now-defunct Home Care Hospice in Northeast Philly, helped explain the roles of other participants in the scheme, pointed out the fraud in the agency's records, and testified at two grand juries and at three trials, Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Ercole said.
NEWS
May 18, 2014 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
When Frank ONeill's heart was failing, what saved his life was a heart transplant. But what improved his quality of life and the strength of his peripheral muscles before his transplant was an individually tailored exercise program that he paid for out of pocket - $300 for six sessions - at Lankenau Heart Institute, part of Main Line Health. Now, for the first time, Medicare will cover cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients suffering from "stable, chronic heart failure," according to a February decision memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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