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 rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Medicare" ...

  • Code Breaker

    Inquirer Magazine tells the story of Richard "Rick" Newbold, a non-practicing physician, who uncovered a massive overbilling scheme by hospitals. Newbold developed analytic software, Disease Auditor, which he later used to find that hundreds of hospitals overcharged Medicare for treating pneumonia patients.
  • Patching Up Sick Call

    "Few issues in civilian life are more intractable, or more emotional, than balancing people's need for quality health care against the costs to society at large. Those difficult choices are at the heart of the controversy over how best to fix Medicare and Madicaid." Congress and the administration battle cots, demographics, and organized retirees as they try to reform military health care.
  • America's Real Drug Problem

    Washington Monthly looks at the rising cost of prescription drugs and the worsening insurance coverage for these medications. It also examines Medicare's drug coverage.
  • As Nursing Homes Say 'No,' Hospitals Feel Pain

    Hospitals across the country are scrambling to find places for elderly patients who still have complex medical problems but no longer need hospital care. Because of Medicare cuts, a growing number of skilled-nursing facilities are denying admission to high-cost patients.
  • Dangerous Minds

    This story looks at a number of crimes around Washington, DC committed by people with a history of mental problems. It points out flaws in the mental health system that allow people who are violent and mentally ill back out on the streets. Legal limitations and a lack of adequate resources contribute to the problem.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Drug Dealer

    The American Prospect looks at a conflict-of-interest case involving Representative Bill Thomas, "the California Republican who currently chairs the House Ways and Means Committee" and the giant pharmaceutical company Ely Lilly. The story examines the circumstances at which Thomas wrote his bill on Medicare and a proposed prescription-drug benefit, which favor the big pharmaceutical companies. The major findings are that Ely Lilly was Thomas' number-one contributor in the last elections, and that the politician has been involved in a romantic relationship with Deborah Steelman, the new vice president for corporate affairs for Ely Lilly and former best-connected health care lobbyist. "How the House Republicans, Senate Democrats and President Bush handle the issue could easily sway the outcome of the 2002 elections," the analysis finds.
  • 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.
  • Adverse Reaction: AIDS Gaffes in Africa Come Back to Haunt Drug Industry at Home

    The Wall Street Journal examines the increasing risks to the pharmaceutical companies, if they continue "to conduct their business as usual - by finding and patenting a few new drugs, pricing them high and marketing them aggressively..." The story finds that AIDS-drug price cuts in poor nations have deepened U.S. pharmaceuticals industry domestic trouble, as the firms have revealed the 'true' cost of pills. The article points to evidence that some "medicines are priced - excluding research expenses - at eight to 10 times their cost of manufacturing and distribution. The reporter finds that even though drug makers "poured $80 million into last year's Congressional campaign... their credibility is weakening in the public eye." The story also looks at the possibility for government-mandated price-controls for prescription drugs.