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" ...

  • The Storm After the Storm

    Sharyn Alfonsi investigates allegations that thousands of homeowners were denied their flood insurance claims after Hurricane Sandy because of fraudulent engineers' reports.
  • Compounding Pharmacy Fraud

    CBS News investigates how compounding pharmacies are exploiting insurance loopholes to bill thousands of dollars for medications that in many case don’t provide any clinical benefits. In this multi-part series, we examine how compounded drugs are marketed and who is being prescribed the medications, costing private insurance companies and the military billions of dollars in waste and fraud. https://vimeo.com/cbseveningnews/review/149805761/f1a2ddc09e
  • Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections

    Driven by big business and insurers, states nationwide are dismantling workers’ compensation, slashing benefits to injured workers and making it more difficult for them to get care. Meanwhile employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ comp insurance since the 1970s. http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-benefits-by-limb http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-comp-reform-by-state https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workcomp-company http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-premiums-down http://www.npr.org/2015/03/05/390930229/grand-bargain-in-workers-comp-unravels-harming-injured-workers-further
  • ‘Banking On Failing:’ Opiate Addiction & The Insurance Struggle

    As Wisconsin’s heroin and opiate painkiller overdoses hit epidemic levels, desperate parents say the current insurance system, which they are depending on to help them save their addicted children's lives, is instead banking on their children's failure. https://vimeo.com/matthewsimonjournalist/review/146988583/89d839bc07 https://vimeo.com/matthewsimonjournalist/review/146988570/e9716e1e80
  • Paid to Prosecute

    A joint Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation revealed that the state's largest and oldest provider of workers’ compensation coverage — Texas Mutual Insurance — had paid millions of dollars to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to get public prosecutors to pursue alleged crimes against the company. It was an enormous conflict of interest that had flown under the radar for more than a decade, a private justice system that gave special treatment to one insurer — and subjected many unsuspecting blue-collar workers to lawsuits.
  • Growing Influence

    The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a two-year process that pitted farm subsidies against food stamps. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in 2012 and was set to be updated but easy passage was thwarted as Congress focused on the $17 billion in federal crop insurance payments issued to farmers that year due to a massive drought; meanwhile, lawmakers also focused on food stamp fraud. Growing Influence highlighted the bill’s impact on taxpayers by uncovering at least 600 companies that helped influence the trillion-dollar 2014 Farm Bill and the murky spending behind it between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
  • Peril in the Oil Patch

    Deaths in the oil fields reached a 10-year high nationwide in 2012, and the Houston Chronicle spent more than a year examining the carnage behind the nation’s oil and gas boom. A kick-off series published in February 2014 identified the most death-prone oil patch employers and explored why the government has failed to keep its promise to enact specific onshore drilling regulations and why, as a result, offshore workers receive more protections than those in states like Texas. The stories mined government reports, examined workers' comp insurance claims, profiled workers and their families and confronted Texas employers responsible for a disproportionate numbers of deaths. The newspaper went on to explore information on deaths in traffic accidents related to the oil boom that were published and aired in September 2014 in a collaboration that included radio reports by a reporter from Houston Public Media. With that partnership, the series reached far more oilfield workers and their families – who are based in far-flung areas throughout Texas. The final story in the Chronicle series, published in December, revealed how oilfield accidents are often under-reported nationwide – benefiting drilling companies who sometimes hide accidents to win contracts. The series included print stories, interactive maps and audio reports.
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop

    Who sues police departments the most? Police officers. In New Jersey, millions of dollars are spent each year on legal fees and settlements for lawsuits involving police. And, while you might imagine that a small handful of bad-apple cops are behind the cases, when you start digging through the legal paperwork a strange pattern begins to emerge. While there are lots of cases where civilians sue the police, there are more lawsuits where police are the plaintiffs. Police officers are suing each other, police departments and the towns and cities they work in -- cops accusing cops of harassment, retaliation and discrimination. Between 2009 and 2012, taxpayers in New Jersey footed the bill for over $49 million in legal fees, settlements and other costs relating to lawsuits involving the police. About $19.5 million went to cases where civilians sued — and $29 million on lawsuits brought by police. But ask government officials at any level throughout the state, and you’ll find no oversight of these cases or even awareness that there’s a problem. The costs don’t come out of police budgets so departments have little incentive to intervene and because the bills are often paid directly by insurance carriers, even the municipalities that pay the premiums aren’t paying attention. No one in the government is tracking the costs and in the meantime the bills continue to add up. And it’s not just the costs, experts says the cases should be tracked so that the data could be used as an early warning system to identify problem officers, but instead the data is being systematically ignored.
  • Denied

    When insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe, seriously ill people are often discharged, and can be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Dental Drama

    For nearly five years, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), a subsidiary of Xerox, allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer of poor children. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent. Our investigation found that three years later, the state’s aggressive campaign to recover misspent Medicaid dollars had failed to prove any dental providers intentionally committed fraud. Meanwhile, the state maintained its contract with TMHP, and continued to pay the company between $168 and $185 million annually to continue processing certain Texas Medicaid claims.