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Tuesday, Jul 26th

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Medicare safeguard overwhelmed by pricey drugs

Medicare drug costsA safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show.

The cost of Medicare's "catastrophic" prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program's number-crunching Office of the Actuary.

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Johnson & Johnson subsidiary pays $18 million to U.S. in settlement

Johnson & Johnson pays $18mJohnson & Johnson's subsidiary Acclarent, paid $18 million to resolve allegations the company marketed a medical device without FDA approval, which led health care providers to submit false claims to Medicare and other federal healthcare programs.

According to a statement from the Justice Department, Melayna Lokosky, a saleswoman for Acclarent, filed a whistleblower suit against the company and two if its senior executives.

Court documents show managers at Acclarent directed the sales staff to market the company's Stratus device as a drug delivery device. The Food and Drug Administration had only cleared the device to maintain an opening to the sinus immediately after surgery.

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Seven US cities losing their doctors

Cities losing doctorsAs the U.S. population continues to grow — and age — demand for health care services is expected to increase. Along with demographic changes, the number of Americans with health insurance has also increased considerably in recent years — another factor in the growing demand for health care services. As a result, the number of physicians needed in the United States will likely continue to rise.

However, while the number of doctors per capita has been indeed increasing nationwide, in a number of areas across the country, this pattern does not hold. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metro areas shedding primary care physicians the fastest.

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

Miami Medicaid fraudThe Justice Department calls is the largest criminal health care fraud case ever brought against individual suspects: three people are accused of orchestrating a massive fraud involving a number of Miami-based health care providers.

The three facing charges are all from Florida's Miami-Dade County; they include Philip Esformes, 47, owner of more than 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities, hospital administrator Odette Barcha, 49, and physician's assistant Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, the Justice Department says.

"Medicare fraud has infected every facet of our health care system," U.S. Attorney Ferrer said as indictments against the three were announced Friday.

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Doctors should bone up on CT scan cancer risks

CT scan cancer risksDoctors routinely order CT scans as diagnostic tools. But many are ill-informed about the cancer risks associated with this imaging technology, a new study suggests.

Patients who undergo CT scans are exposed to harmful ionizing radiation, which could affect their lifetime risk for developing cancer, Canadian researchers said.

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Report: 2,400 U.S. Doctors Sanctioned for Sexual Abuse of Patients

2.400 doctors accused of assaultVictims were babies. Adolescents. Women in their 80s. Drug addicts and jail inmates. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

But it could be anyone. Some patients were sedated when they were sexually assaulted. Others didn’t realize at first what had happened because the doctor improperly touched them or photographed them while pretending to do a legitimate medical exam.

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Flesh-eating bacteria scare along Gulf Coast has locals on alert

Flesh eating bacteria on Gulf CoastAt the peak of the summer vacation season, a flesh-eating bacteria has infected the shores of the Gulf Coast.

From Texas to Florida, the water-borne bug – a strain called a Vibrio vulnificus – has spooked locals and tourists in the way shark attacks do: infections are rare, but when they strike, the victim is likely to lose a limb or die.

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