These letters got overrun by other issues and did not make the paper.
Letters to the Editor: GOP, Medicare, etiquette, same-sex marriage, abortions, jobs, cursive writing and gunsSubmitted by samnewkirk on 05/10/2013 - 11:47
Tom Oxholm, chairman of the WakeMed board, has written a letter to the editor apologizing to the public for Medicaid being billed for overnight stays when patients did not in fact stay overnight.
Read the latest story on the legal settlement WakeMed case
North Carolina will get nearly $1.2 million from a $612 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant Amgen over fraudulent Medicaid claims, kickbacks and other misrepresentations.
As part of the settlement with federal prosecutors, the California drug company pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of promoting an anemia drug for higher doses than it was approved.
The federal settlement ended an eight-year investigation based on 10 whistleblower cases filed in New York, Massachusetts and Washington state.
North Carolina's portion of the settlement was reached by the N.C. Attorney General's Medicaid Investigations Division and the N.C. Division of Medical Assistance.
A federal judge this week granted class action status to a lawsuit by retirees against phone companies Sprint Nextel and Embarq for canceling the retirees' health benefits and life insurance.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Kansas opens the retirees' lawsuit to some 14,000 phone company retirees, and thousands of spouses, in 18 states.
Previously, the suit represented 17 retirees, including 11 from North Carolina, seeking to have their health benefits restored. The case also represented 756 retirees, all in North Carolina, for age discrimination.
The retirees allege that for more than three decades, phone company representatives made promises verbally and in writing that their retiree benefits were guaranteed for life. Some took early retirement to lock in on the benefits.
Go to the story online and weigh in on the proposals by Erskine Bowles, president of the UNC system, and former Sen. Alan Simpson to reduce the deficit. They want to jack up the Social Security retirement age to 69 (but not until 2075, so we're ok. Tough luck, 1-year-olds). They also want to do away with the mortgage interest deduction but cut the top income tax rate. I know I don't come out ahead there. They also want to bump up the gas tax 15 cents to pay for road projects. A three-year freeze on federal pay and a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce.
Medicare recipients need to be on the alert for a new telephone scam designed to get their personal financial information.
About 20 North Carolinians have complained to the N.C. Attorney General's office in recent weeks of getting calls that claim to come from Medicare, asking for personal financial information such as their checking account number.
Medicare will now pay for gastric bypass surgeries on obese people who have diabetes, the federal insurance program announced today.
The program specifies that it will only cover the surgery for people who meet the clinical definition of obese — a body mass index of 35 or above. Patients must also have a diagnosis of diabetes.
The ruling validates a finding that doctors at East Carolina University noted years ago — obese patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery were essentially cured of their diabetes, even before they began experiencing weight loss.
ECU's Brody School of Medicine was a pioneer in bariatric surgeries more than 30 years ago, and it now has been designated a center of excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
For more information about the federal government's decision on gastric bypass surgery, go to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewdecisionmemo.asp?id=219
For more information about ECU's weight loss surgery center, go to http://www.ecu.edu/weightlosssurgery/