In States, Virus Spending’s Off to the (Robo-Dog) Races

One robot dog armed with a thermometer: $150,000. Forty all-terrain vehicles, five utility terrain vehicles, and 18 utility trailers: $626,000. Using public funds earmarked for coronavirus relief to buy these items: priceless. That’s just a fraction of supposedly COVID-related spending by a single police department, in Honolulu, Hawaii. But it hints at what authorities will find as they begin to comb through the receipts from the emergency spending binge of public offices across the country during the pandemic. In March 2020, Congress passed the roughly $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Government watchdogs, critics and the media have so far...

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From Rotten Teeth to Advanced Cancer, Patients Feel the Effects of Treatment Delays

With medical visits picking up again among patients vaccinated against covid-19, health providers are starting to see the consequences of a year of pandemic-delayed preventive and emergency care as they find more advanced cancer and rotting and damaged teeth, among other ailments. Dr. Brian Rah, chair of the cardiology department at Montana’s Billings Clinic, was confused in the early days of the covid pandemic. Why the sudden drop in heart attack patients at the Billings Clinic? And why did some who did come arrive hours after first feeling chest pains? Two patients, both of whom suffered greater heart damage by delaying care, provided what came to be typical answers. One said he was...

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The Campbell Foundation Awards $90K Grant to Researchers Investigating Cardiovascular Disease in People Living with HIV

FORT LAUDERDALE – The Campbell Foundation has awarded a $90,000 grant to a pair of researchers investigating why cardiovascular disease (CVD) is significantly more prevalent among people living with HIV-1 than among those in the general population. The recipients are Teresa H. Evering, MD MSc, an infectious disease specialist and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Jonathan N. Tobin, PhD, a cardiovascular epidemiologist, President/CEO at Clinical Directors Network (CDN), a practice-based research network, and Senior Epidemiologist at The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, where he and...

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A Quick Refresher on Medicare’s Requirements for Self-Reporting and Returning Overpayments

Many providers looked to alternative methods of treating patients and achieving outcomes this past year due to the pandemic. To meet the needs of their patients and their financial obligations, many providers implemented services that were not customary to their practice, or their billing departments. As is the case for any office that begins to provide something new, there is always the potential for error in any aspect of the practice involved with the patient or claim. Therefore, I believe it is a great time to refresh providers on the procedures for reporting and returning Medicare overpayments as they are discovered moving forward. As many of you are aware, in 2016 the Centers for...

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