Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Medicaid" ...

  • State Restrains Psychiatric Patients At High Rate

    Between 2001 and 2007, Connecticut hospitals have been cited by the federal government for overuse of restraints and seclusions involving psychiatric patients. When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released for the first time data on hospital restraints it was an opportunity to report on the restraint practices at Connecticut's hospitals.
  • Poor Health An occasional series about the barriers to health and health care for low-income urban Americans

    Poor Health was the result of a collaboration between the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and faculty and students from Marquette University. Both papers published the series, which had three major parts. The backbone of the series is a set of interactive maps that shows that health care systems have closed hospitals in poor communities in the major U.S. metropolitan areas while opening new facilities in more affluent areas, often communities that already had hospitals; that the residents of the communities in which hospitals closed were less healthy than their more affluent counterparts, and that communities in which hospitals closed were much more likely to be federally designated "physician shortage areas." than communities that retained or gained hospitals. In addition, reporting in several cities shows the health care challenges among the urban poor, the results of those difficulties and the economics that drive the unequal distribution of health care. The final part of the series focuses on solutions. A major story on the effort in Oregon to improve health care for Medicaid recipients while lowering costs is the centerpiece; other reporting on innovative approaches to health care in poor areas includes programs in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
  • The Prescribers

    Never-before-released government prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribe large quantities of drugs known to be potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive for their patients. And officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns.
  • The Prescribers

    We found that Medicare’s massive prescription drug program, in its drive to get drugs into patients' hands, failed to properly monitor safety. An analysis of four years of Medicare prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribed large quantities of drugs that were potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive. One Florida doctor gave hundreds of dementia patients antipsychotic medications despite a black box warning that it increases the risk of death. And more than half the top prescribers of Oxycontin, the most-abused painkiller, faced criminal charges or discipline against their professional licenses, or had been terminated from state Medicaid programs -- but retained their ability to prescribe in Medicare. Federal officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns. A subsequent story found that many of the top prescribers of highly advertised drugs within Medicare’s drug program had financial ties to the makers of the drugs. We also built an interactive news application that lets consumers to look up their physicians and see how their prescribing patterns compare to those of their peers. The news application, which has had more than 800,000 page views, allows users to personalize the story for themselves and see their personal stake in this national story.
  • Health Care Hustle

    It is one of the biggest and most overlooked factors in the rising cost of health care. According to government estimates, fraud in programs like Medicare and Medicaid costs taxpayers $80 billion a year, with some estimates as high as twice that amount. Doctors, pharmacists, home health care providers, and even patients are hustling the system. Who's paying the tab? You Are.
  • Denticaid: Medicaid Dental Abuse in Texas

    A nearly two-year-long probe of Medicaid dentistry by WFAA’s Byron Harris discovered what authorities now say is a system of corporate fraud, propelled by Wall Street. News 8 found taxpayer money has gone to finance lavish lifestyles of dentists who have billed the government for unnecessary orthodontics and other procedures that, in many instances, harmed children. WFAA also uncovered a network of Medicaid recruiters who, for at least one clinic, lured children into a van with cash and food, had them sign their parents' names on treatment forms, then performed extensive and unnecessary work on their teeth without their parents’ permission. The FBI is currently investigating this and other Medicaid fraud schemes brought to light by WFAA's reporting.
  • Methadone and the Politics of Pain

    Since 2003, at least 2,173 people have fatally overdosed on methadone, a narcotic painkiller that is both cheap and unpredictable. Washington steers people with state-subsidized healthcare -- most notably, Medicaid patients -- toward the drug in order to save money.
  • Crooked Teeth

    The WFAA-TV investigative series, "Crooked Teeth," reveals a troubling lack of state and federal oversight of the Texas Medicaid orthodontic program, which is designed to help poor children with severely misaligned teeth. The lack of oversight has allowed Texas dentists and their corporations to exploit the health care bureaucracy and garner hundreds of millions of dollars. "Crooked Teeth" also raises questions about other Medicaid reimbursements nationally, including troubling payment policies by one of the nation's largest government contractors.
  • Home Health Care Fraud

    Exposing how the health care company Maxim Healthcare overbilled their patients, costing the U.S. taxpayers thousands of dollars. Through a whistleblower prosecutors were able to build a case against the firm, resulting in the largest home health care fraud fine ever.
  • Methadone and the Politics of Pain

    The Seattle Times has found that since 2003, at least 2,173 people in Washington have fatally overdosed on methadone, a narcotic that is both cheap and unpredictable. More so, Medicaid recipients account for about 8% of Washington's adult population but 48% of the methadone deaths.