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Cardiologists accused of wrongly pumping money

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In the latest show of force against health care fraud, a Maryland cardiologist agreed to pay the federal government $476,000 in a settlement to drop claims that he bilked Medicare out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dr. Pradeep Srivastava was accused by the U.S. Department of Justice with violating the False Claims Act by billing for services not rendered; “unbundling,” or billing for each separate component of a procedure; and “upcoding,” or charging for a higher service than the one provided. Continue Reading Cardiologists accused of wrongly pumping money

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The cost of treating non-obstructive artery disease: $767,000.
The cost of treating blocked arteries: $1 million.
The cost of educating women to prevent heart disease: priceless.
Treating a woman’s mild artery blockage could cost a quarter of a million dollars.
And serious heart conditions? That’s going to cost about $1 million, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Continue Reading Heart disease: prevention cheaper than treatment

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Medicare premiums expected to be lower in 2008

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Premiums for the standard “Part D” coverage for Medicare will be nearly 40 percent lower next year than originally projected, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The agency is expecting 2008 premiums to average $25 a month. Continue Reading Medicare premiums expected to be lower in 2008

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A panel created by Gov. Bill Ritter will distribute $7.5 million in grants from UnitedHealth Group during the next six years.
The Colorado Rural Health Care Grants Council is responsible for deciding how the money will be distributed based on deficiencies in access to health care. Continue Reading Gov. establishes council to focus on rural health

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Pueblo hospital noted for work with diabetes

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St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center has received national recognition for a study focusing on blood sugar control during hospitalization.
The center was one of five Colorado hospitals that participated in the RALS Study 2006, which compiled blood sugar data collected at 130 hospitals nationwide. Continue Reading Pueblo hospital noted for work with diabetes

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Peak Vista Community Health Centers is hosting a meeting with the Senate Bill 208 commissioners about health care reform.
Scheduled for 4 p.m. August 8 at the First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou Street, the meeting will address the work that the commission, established in 2006, has done so far to expand coverage and decrease health care costs. Continue Reading Peak Vista hosting 208 discussion about reform

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Dr. John Mehall, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, has joined Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and will be performing robotic-assisted heart operations.
Mehall is the director of robotic and minimally invasive surgery and director of cardiovascular outreach services. He has been conducting robotic-assisted heart surgery for three years and will offer the procedure at Penrose with Dr. James Stewart, medical director of the cardiovascular program. Continue Reading Cardiothoracic surgeon joins Penrose-St. Francis

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Construction has begun at NorthCare at St. Francis, an 85,250-square-foot medical building that will be linked to St. Francis Medical Center via a sky-bridge. Both buildings are scheduled to open in fall 2008.
Located on the corner of Powers Boulevard and Woodmen Road, NorthCare at St. Francis will be the only private medical building in southern Colorado with direct access to a medical center or hospital. Continue Reading Construction under way at NorthCare St. Francis

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A regulation that limits reimbursements for prescription medicine could save states and the federal government $8.4 billion during the next five years.
The regulation allows Medicaid to pay “more appropriately” for prescription drugs dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries, said Leslie Norwalk, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Continue Reading Changes may save gov’t billions on prescriptions

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AARP, the Business Roundtable and the Service Employees Industry Union, which together represent more than 50 million people, are endorsing legislation that would transition the paper-based health care system to secure electronic medical records.
The “Wired for Health Care Quality Act,” introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ranking minority member Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), would spur adoption of a nationwide interoperable health information technology system. Continue Reading Groups supporting bill to reduce medical errors

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