GAO Takes Aim at GPOs

The GAO had drawn a bead on GPOs.  In a report issued yesterday the Government Accountability Office expressed concern over the effect of GPOs (group purchasing organizations) on Medicare rates.  The report recommended that HHS look into the matter and determine whether hospitals are properly reporting their GPO …

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Growing Safety Risk for Hospitals: Spiraling Medical Device Recalls

Everyone knows that the number of medical device recalls is on the rise.  Here are two telling examples of the growth. In 2003 a total of 604 recalls were reported to the FDA, while last August a single manufacturer recalled 233 products. In 2010 a single recall—metal-on-metal hip implants—led to revision …

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Orthopedic Patient Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

It’s well known that Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers hate the ever-increasing trend of hospitals buying facilities and practices and then charging provider-based (i.e., higher) rates than the facilities and practices charged before the acquisition. Julia Zeman doesn’t like it, either.  Why?  …

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CFO’s Thirst for Wine Club Invitation Costs Hospital Millions

You can’t make this stuff up.  Last Monday a federal court in Rhode Island ordered two insurance companies to pay a $30 million claim by hospital management company Lifespan Corp.  Lifespan filed the claim after being ordered in an earlier suit to pay that amount to New England Medical Center and the …

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Where All the Hospitals Are Above Average

Last Thursday The Joint Commission released a report, America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality & Safety, identifying “top performers” among hospitals across the nation. According to the report, 1,224 hospitals are “top performers.”  The report was released in Chicago – not Lake Wobegon – but …

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Seventh Circuit: No Fraud in Billing Medicaid More than Private Insurers for Drugs

Last Wednesday the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a whistleblower suit brought by a pharmacist against his former employer, the Shopko pharmacy chain, for what he alleged was fraudulent billing of Medicaid by Shopko stores across the nation. Carl Thulin’s theory was imaginative—and complicated.  …

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