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 "insurance" ...

  • Kaiser Health News: Liquid Gold

    Doctors across the U.S. are becoming millionaires by setting up private, on-site labs and testing urine samples for legal and illegal drugs. The simple tests are costing the U.S. government and American insurers $8.5 billion a year -- more than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, a groundbreaking investigation by Kaiser Health News showed. Doctors are testing patients - even the elderly - for opioids as well as street drugs like PCP or cocaine that almost never turn up positive. And the payoff is stunning: Testing a tiny cup of urine can bring in thousands of dollars – up to $17,000 in some cases. Yet there are no national standards for who gets tested, for what, or how often.
  • inewsource: Hustling Hope

    inewsource spent months investigating how a California lawyer built a national network of Trina Health clinics to perform what he calls a “miraculous” treatment for reversing the complications of diabetes, even though medical experts consider it a scam that harms patients. Senior healthcare reporter Cheryl Clark tells the story of a couple in rural Montana who invested their life savings into opening their own clinic, in part so the husband could get the treatments locally for his diabetes. Less than two years later, the clinic was shuttered as health insurers refused to pay for the treatment and its founder came under federal investigation. He pleaded guilty in January 2019 to public corruption charges related to his Trina Health operation in Alabama.
  • CBS News: National Flood Insurance Mismanagement

    Our EXCLUSIVE six-month CBS News investigation uncovered serious fiscal mismanagement in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA. Today, that program is 25 billion dollars in the red. We found that as storm victims struggle to rebuild, much of FEMA’s money that could pay homeowners claims actually goes to private insurance companies and legal fees to fight flood victims’ claims. Based on a review of thousands documents related to claims, lawsuits and FOIA requests, private government contractors are getting rich at the expense of desperate flood victims.
  • CBS News: Healthcare Fraud in America

    For the past four years, CBS News has been committed to investigating healthcare fraud throughout the United States. Our reporting has uncovered schemes preying on veterans, cancer patients, rural communities, and opioid addicts. We’ve been the only network to expose con artists defrauding billions from private insurance companies, Medicare and even Tricare, a component of the military health system. In 2016 we produced an investigative series that found compounding pharmacies were collecting prescriptions for pain creams and billing insurance more than $1 million per week. Last year, our reporting revealed an insurance scheme involving genetic testing that cost the Pentagon trillions. This year’s entries continue our work to expose unscrupulous actors bilking insurance to cash in on the American healthcare system. Our stories go beyond examining the fiscal toll of insurance fraud, they illustrate the human impact these practices have on communities, families, and individuals.
  • Lien on Me

    It seemed, at first, to be an isolated case of an aggressive bill collector going after a patient, but six months after KUSA-TV heard an initial complaint, the station’s investigative team found a widespread practice of surgeons using the courts to secure thousands from their patients. The practice has left the hundreds of thousands of people with insurance vulnerable to lawsuits, wage garnishments and property liens. “Lien on Me” has legislators promising change and the region’s largest group of surgeons promising to back off.
  • Business of Disaster

    Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast in 2013, but it wasn’t a disaster for everyone. For some, Sandy was big money. This investigation revealed for the first time just how much money insurance companies make during a disaster, and how those companies wielded a taxpayer program into a powerhouse of profit while homeowners suffered.
  • Obamacare: Insurance Lost

    One week after President Obama touted the supposed affordability of Obamacare, claiming it costs less than $75 a month for most people, we found there was no state in which average policies priced anywhere close to $75: the national average was quadruple. Premium increases and higher deductibles provided such sticker shock that many Americans began giving up their insurance altogether, creating what we discovered to be a new class of uninsured under Obamacare. We learned that almost all of the increase in the number of insured has been due to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, not the marketplace. We also demonstrated that just because you have a plastic insurance card in your wallet doesn’t mean your health services are covered: Millions are forced to buy health insurance, under the Affordable Care Act, that’s of little value until they pay tens of thousands out of pocket annually. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVbNVJ5qe8o
  • Medical Waste

    WVUE’s groundbreaking investigation “Medical Waste” - which uncovered a secretive practice employed by major health insurance companies essentially forcing consumers to pay a premium back to the insurance company for their prescription drugs - led to changes in state law, was the evidentiary backbone of eleven lawsuits, and most importantly educated consumers on how to pay for life-changing medications. http://www.vimeo.com/leezurik/MedicalWasteIREAwardEntry
  • Crumbling Foundations

    NBC Connecticut's Investigative team, the Troubleshooters, exposed a consumer protection failure unlike any other previously reported in Connecticut. Our investigation revealed hundreds of homeowners in the northeast section of our state are suffering incredible emotional and financial distress as they watch the concrete foundations supporting their homes crumble. Insurance companies deny their claims and the only option they have to fix the problem is to replace their foundations. That costs them into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Troubleshooters discovered there were warning signs and complaints years ago that got little attention from the state. During the years that have followed, the foundations continued to crack and deteriorate. And all cases we’ve covered appear to have a common connection: the same concrete supply company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGULaeR47ZE&feature=youtu.be
  • Bank got caught in 'death spiral'

    This story looks at decisions that led to the Bank of Clark County's failure, and determines that the mistakes were twofold, and in the end each made the other worse. By ignoring its own guidelines, the bank issued loans to borrowers who later could not pay them back. By using risky deposits to fund these loans, it created a trap it could not escape.