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

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Search results for "Medicaid" ...

  • OxyContin Investigation

    A WWL-TV investigation discovers that OxyContin, a powerful painkiller popular among drug users, could be easily obtained by prescription from certain doctors. Those were writing prescriptions after performing only cursory physicals, and their offices were crowded by drug addicts until late in the night. Many prescriptions have been filled through Medicaid, WWL-TV reports. The investigation sheds light on one specific case - those of Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett - who wrote an OxyContin prescription to a patient whose son died from an injected overdose.
  • Broken homes

    A New York Times investigation reports on the poor conditions in which mentally ill people live in the state of New York. Many of them die prematurely in adult homes typically run by businessmen with no mental-health training, and troubled by systemic problems like untrained workers and gaps in supervision. Some of the major findings are that the government does little to hold the home operators accountable; many deaths go unreported; residents have been pressured to undergo medical treatment they do not need so that operators can earn Medicare and Medicaid billings; mentally ill people suffer from lack of air conditioning in oppressively hot summer days. "The mentally ill are among the most powerless of all populations, lacking the political influence to demand change," the Times reports.
  • Crowning Glory?

    Dateline reports on Medicaid abuses among Texas dentists. In 1999, Texas dentists put more stainless steel crowns on poor children in the Medicaid program than all the children in the Medicaid programs in New York, Florida, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania combined. Some dental work was being done without the consent of parents. The investigation used FOI requests for the Medicaid billing database to complete its analysis.
  • Rationed Care

    The Star-Telegram looks at problems flooding the taxpayer-funded hospital system in Tarrant County, Texas. The three-part series reveals that unjustified income requirements have cut off uninsured residents from subsidized treatment. Patients have to be poorer than in other urban counties in the state in order to receive non-emergency care and prescription drugs at discount. Other findings include that funding is not reaching patient care, but is "rather being diverted to other, unnecessary items such as construction, renovation and acquisition of building space." Administrators have been slow to add basic services, and a shortage of doctors and supplies has severely hurt patient care.
  • Medicaid loophole used to balance state budget

    Times-Dispatch reports on how the State of Virginia managed to get $259 million from the federal government under the Medicaid law. Instead of using the funding to cover Medicaid costs, the state put the money into the general fund budget "to offset such things as the elimination of the local car tax." The articles describe how the state used county governments to obtain the funding. The quarter-billion money transfer occurred shortly before the federal government discovered the loophole in the law, which allowed state governments to siphon Medicaid funding. The federal government eventually ordered Virginia to repay the millions. Although the case was concealed behind terms like "intergovernmental transfers" and "upper payment limits," many officials came to call it a scam.
  • Overwhelmed and Broken Down: Caring for the Elderly and Disabled

    The Journal Sentinel reports on deaths and injuries occurring in assisted living facilities. The three-part finds that elderly and disabled people are put at risk by "poorly trained or stretched too thin" caregivers. The findings are based on analysis of a database of state inspection reports. Other findings include that about 10,000 of the state residents who need long-term care have been pressed to wait for months or years for assistance from the state. The investigation examines the nursing homes industry in light of the aging baby-boom generation and the increasing number of people needing long-term care nationwide. The investigative team concludes that nursing homes are "crumbling under the financial burdens caused by inadequate Medicaid payments."
  • Crisis in care: Community health centers in rural America

    The Post Dispatch reports on the problems of the small, federally funded and nonprofit community clinics designed for the needs of low-income uninsured patients. These clinics have become primary caregivers in rural areas, the story finds, as the number of uninsured in Missouri has soared since 1999. The article reveals that the centers themselves scramble for funding and qualified personnel, and many continue to operate only due to the services of some doctors and nurses working for free. Most doctors in the community clinics are immigrants because American doctors don't want to work in rural areas. The story depicts the dare needs of uninsured patients who - being unable to pay for doctor's visits - have neglected their illnesses for years.
  • If you cut our budget, we'll have to shoot this bear

    A Washingtonian investigation lists 30 strategies that lobbyists and agency officials use to save their programs from budget cutting. The we-are-a-bargain tactic, kids-will-suffer threat, and the explanation that unaffordable luxuries are actually wellsprings of technology, are among the most popular power plays, the magazine reports. The story describes the most time-honored defensive strategy of budgetary politics - the prediction that the most popular services would be the first to be sacrificed. Protection is provided also when the necessity of pandering to voters becomes especially crucial in times of coming elections. The article looks at the political games behind budget-cutting proposals, and reveals that, for example, Republicans' favorite target are programs introduced by President Clinton.
  • Doctor Feelbad

    New York Magazine looks at the lowering of doctors' income in recent years. The story reveals that, mainly because of the managed-care scheme, physicians can no more charge as much as they want. The article points out that increasing paperwork, emphasize on teamwork, more informed patients and meager co-pays are additional factors contributing to the erosion of doctors' independence and power. "There has been a vast, largely unnoticed change in the organization of the medical labor force .... from now on, doctors will be employees like everyone else," reports the magazine.
  • Ten Things Your Nursing Home Won't Tell You

    Smart Money reports on ten things common problems in nursing homes. Some of these include the mishandling of medication, theft from residents; insufficient staff and the inability of the federal government to collect fines.