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$1 Billion Health Care Fraud Took Advantage Of Medicare In Florida, Agents Say

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 11:07am

Investigators say Philip Esformes, 47, used his access to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to perpetrate a massive and profitable fraud.

Justice Department Moves To Block 2 Health Insurance Mergers

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 4:39pm

The Justice Department and a number of states filed suit today to block two big mergers in the health insurance industry. Anthem was planning to acquire Cigna, and Aetna sought to buy Humana. Justice Department officials said they had no doubt the mergers would reduce competition and hurt consumers.

Justice Department Moves To Block 2 Big Health Insurance Mergers

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 12:45pm

The Justice Department says proposed deals between Aetna and Humana as well as Anthem and Cigna would increase the cost of medical care for Americans. The deals are worth a combined $91 billion.

As Indiana Governor, Mike Pence's Health Policy Has Been Contentious

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 6:41am

Pence signed into law some of the tightest abortion rules in the U.S., and was slow to respond to Indiana's heroin and HIV crises, critics say. But he compromised with Obama to expand Medicaid.

Rehab Hospitals May Harm A Third Of Patients, Report Finds

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 12:02am

Patients sent to rehabilitation facilities to recover from medical crises or surgery too often suffer additional harm from the care they get there, according to research by U.S. health officials.

Montana's 'Pain Refugees' Leave State To Get Prescribed Opioids

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 4:13pm

With rising awareness of opioid abuse, some pain patients say doctors are less likely to prescribe them. One Montana sufferer goes to great lengths to get his prescription — he flies to California.

Anti-Abortion Groups Take New Aim With Diverse Strategies

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 5:00am

After a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last month reaffirmed a woman's right to an abortion, anti-abortion groups are rethinking their approach. And they don't all agree on the best next steps.

Maryland Switches Opioid Treatments, And Some Patients Cry Foul

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 3:20pm

The state took Suboxone strips for treatment of opioid abuse off the list of approved drugs for Medicaid. Some patients say the alternatives aren't working for them.

Covered California's Health Plan Rates To Jump Sharply In 2017

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 2:24pm

After two years of moderate rate hikes, a double-digit increase in the cost of insurance premiums in California is likely to resonate across the U.S. in the debate about the benefits of Obamacare.

Microhospitals May Help Deliver Care In Underserved Areas

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 11:41am

Hospital systems are building tiny full-service hospitals in urban and suburban markets. They have a full array of emergency services, but only a handful of beds for admitted patients.

Got Dense Breasts? That Can Depend On Who Is Reading The Mammogram

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 5:01pm

A big study suggests that radiologists vary widely in their assessment of density, a risk factor for breast cancer. And density is just one component of breast cancer risk, the researchers underscore.

Rise And Fall Of Theranos In A Biotech Cartoon

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:44am

Hollywood has already cast Jennifer Lawrence to star in a movie about the embattled biotech firm. How did founder Elizabeth Holmes go from self-made billionaire to an estimated worth of $0? Read on.

Cardiac Rehab Saves Lives. So Why Don't More Heart Patients Sign Up?

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 4:21am

Research shows exercise-based cardiac rehab programs help heart patients heal faster and live longer. But fewer than a third take part. Time and cost are the main barriers, doctors and patients say.

World AIDS Conference Returns To Durban, South Africa. How Has The Conversation Changed?

Sun, 07/17/2016 - 8:26am

The port city is hosting the International AIDS conference for a second time. NPR's Jason Beaubien tells NPR's Lynn Neary that much progress has been made in combating AIDS, but more needs to be done.

Emotional Healing After A Flood Can Take Just As Long As Rebuilding

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 4:28pm

Three weeks after the flooding in West Virginia, the phrase "West Virginia Strong" is painted everywhere. But no matter how strong the community, emotional healing after a disaster takes a long time.

Social Media Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents Often Goes Unchecked

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 8:00am

Iowa health officials recently discovered it wasn't against state law for a nursing home worker to share a photo on Snapchat of a resident covered in feces. They are trying to change that.

Frustrated You Can't Find A Therapist? They're Frustrated, Too

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 4:59am

Why is it so hard to connect people with therapists? Insurance bureaucracy cuts both ways, it turns out. Patients have trouble finding therapists in networks. And therapists have trouble joining them.

Congress Approves Bill To Address Addiction As A Health Problem

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:51am

Congress approved an amalgam of more than a dozen proposals that will expand access to medication-assisted treatment. It also will encourage police to send drug users to treatment rather than to jail.

Workplaces Can Be Particularly Stressful For Disabled Americans, Poll Finds

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 4:56am

Many disabled adults want to work — and many do. But a survey shows that a workplace can be particularly stressful for them, and workplaces may not be doing enough to lower the stress.

Red Tape Leaves Some Low-Income Toddlers Without Health Insurance

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 2:52pm

Despite government policies designed to encourage health coverage for these children, many families are thwarted by confusing rules and regulations, advocacy groups say.