Reports of scheduled ER visits raised a concern internally that some cardiologists might be using the emergency department to get the costs of uninsured patients’ procedures covered, according to hospital correspondence. In some cases, the government’s Medicaid program and private insurers will pay for procedures done via an emergency-room visit that wouldn’t be covered otherwise, Bloomberg News reports.
Extra Extra : Consumer Safety
We took a break from publishing Extra Extra during the 2014 CAR Conference. Here are some of the stories that ran while we were away:
Fords with faulty transmissions not recalled | WTAE Pittsburgh
Following the redesign of Ford Fiesta and Focus transmissions in 2011, hundreds around the country said they're concerned about the safety of the vehicles. They have reported difficulty shifting as well as odd crunching and grinding noises as the cars change gears.
Dozens of consumers in Western Pennsylvania filed lawsuits alleging that, despite assurances from dealers, the vehicles do not function properly. The cars have not ...Read more ...
Liquor law violations drop as Wash. officials turn their attention to regulating recreational marijuana industry
Disciplinary action taken against bars, taverns and restaurants has dropped sharply, according to Seattle's KING 5 TV. Documents obtained by the station showed that liquor license suspensions were down in 2013 and no licenses were permanently cancelled.
The lax oversight could be a result of the Washington State Liquor Control Board taking on new responsibilities monitoring the state's emerging marijuana industry, KING 5 reported.
An oil boom is underway at the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, Texas, but the development is diminishing the quality of life of the inhabitants of the rural county and possibly endangering their health, according to reporting by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and the Weather Channel.
Residents' complaints are going unaddressed and air quality monitoring is patchy. Though officials have said there is no cause for worry, experts say that the lack of monitoring and research into the health effects of pollutants has resulted in a poor understanding of how oil and gas development impact public ...Read more ...
Wis. freeing more sex offenders from mental lockup | WisconsinWatch.org
Wisconsin officials have nearly quadrupled the number of offenders released from state custody after they were committed as sexually violent persons. The risks to residents are reasonable, officials say, because the state’s treatment programs are working and new data suggest these offenders are less likely to reoffend than previously thought.
The story is the first part of “Rethinking Sex Offenders,” a three-day series by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Mass. children under state protection die from abuse with alarming frequency | The New England Center ...Read more ...
With their quaint barrel-like contours and weathered cedar-plank sides, rooftop water towers are a constant on the New York City skyline. And though they may look like relics of a past age, millions of residents get their drinking water from the tanks every day.
But inside these rustic-looking vessels, there are often thick layers of muddy sediment. Many have not been cleaned or inspected in years. And regulations governing water tanks are rarely enforced, an examination by The New York Times shows.
"West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection officials never reviewed two key pollution-prevention plans for the Freedom Industries tank farm before the Jan. 9 chemical leak that contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents, according to interviews and documents obtained under the state's public-records law," The Charleston Gazette reports. Read the full story here.
There’s been a lot of great reporting coming out of West Virginia recently as reporters continue to cover a chemical spill that contaminated water for about 300,000 people. National publications investigated the lax government oversight and toothless regulations that applied – or, perhaps, failed to apply – to Freedom Industries.
But let’s not forget the local reporters, the folks working at the Charleston (W. Va) Gazette, who have been chronicling the spill from the front lines. Every day they seem to unearth new, grim details about the leak. Instead of one big story, they’ve steadily covered the water ...Read more ...
The latest installment in USA TODAY’s ongoing “Supplement Shell Game” investigation published today finds that the key author of a safety study of the controversial sports supplement Craze is a doctor who has been disciplined in two states for issues relating to fraudulent billing practices and other misrepresentations. Now the editor of the peer reviewed journal that published the study says he has “serious concerns” about the research after being contacted by scientists and USA TODAY.
"CBC Toronto crunched the numbers and found that a Scarborough restaurant tops the list of violations with more than thirty - resulting in eight yellow signs - in just two years." Read the full story here.