health care

Sen. Roy Blunt
1:36 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Blunt Offers State of the Union 'Prebuttal'

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) delivers a preemptive response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union
Credit St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says President Obama has "a lot of explaining to do” in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Blunt offered a preemptive rebuttal to the speech in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday, saying Americans are suffering under unnecessary regulation and lackluster job creation.

Obama is expected to call for a “Year of Action” on poverty, but Blunt calls the focus on income inequality “more of the same.”

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Medicaid Fraud
5:23 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Mo. Medicaid Fraud Unit Recovers $47 Million In 2013

An extreme closeup of U.S. currency.
(via Flickr/kevindooley)

The state of Missouri recovered more than $47 million in fraudulent claims made by Medicaid providers in 2013.

That's about an average year for Attorney General Chris Koster's Medicaid Fraud Unit. The office has recovered as much as $100 million, and as little as $20 million, in a year.

Koster, a Democrat, says those wide variations are triggered by how much money Missouri receives from national settlements. But even though more national settlements means more money for the state's coffers, he says the fraud that concerns him the most is conducted by the smaller providers.

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Health Care Economy
10:06 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Getting Ahead By Starting Over: Training To Be A Medical Assistant

Hollee Brooks aims to improve her life and the life of her children.
Credit Robert Joiner/St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

Following years of dead-end jobs in the fast-food industry, Hollee Brooks decided to trade her restaurant uniform for scrubs, and train to become a medical technician. If she makes it through nine months of training and gets state certification and some experience, she'll earn considerably higher wages and enjoy employment benefits that usually elude those who flip hamburgers for a living. 

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Healthcare
6:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

St. Louis Safety-Net Healthcare Provider ConnectCare To Close All Services

A doctor's stethoscope
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

The St. Louis-based safety-net healthcare provider ConnectCare will close its remaining facilities at the end of next week.

The Smiley Urgent Care Center, along with ConnectCare’s radiology, pharmacy, laboratory and preventative services will all close on Nov. 15.

The nonprofit organization, which served patients regardless of their ability to pay, had already discontinued outpatient specialty care and transportation services last month.

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Affordable Care Act
12:42 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Blunt Says Sebelius Should Testify On ACA Website Glitches

Screen grab of Healthcare.gov

Updated on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with details from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog post. 

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should testify before a House committee on technical glitches surrounding Healthcare.Gov.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Sebelius asking her to testify this week. She has yet to publicly respond to the request.    

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Health Care
4:55 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

With Opening Of Missouri's Health Care Exchange, Beware Of Scammers

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

State authorities and medical professionals are warning the public to beware of con artists seeking to take advantage of the opening of Missouri’s federally-run health care exchange next week.

Dave Dillon with the Missouri Hospital Association says scammers posing as government or health care workers may try to steal people’s identities or get their banking information while pretending to provide their victims with heath insurance.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:03 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Answering Questions About The Affordable Care Act

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Sign-up for major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, begins October 1st.

With less than three months before marketplace exchanges for health insurance go online, many questions remain about who is eligible, what the requirements are and what kind of penalties people and businesses may face if they or their employees continue to be uninsured come January 2014.

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Health care
12:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

University of Missouri System To Offer Health Care Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

The University of Missouri curators have expanded health care benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.
(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

This story will be updated. Corrected at 12:30 p.m. to reflect when the vote was taken.


Employees of the University of Missouri system will now be able to include their same-sex partner on their medical, dental and retirement plans.


The system's Board of Curators approved the benefit changes yesterday, the conclusion of an effort that began in 2011.  A couple would have to be living together for at least a year in order to be eligible.

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Health Care / Medicare
6:06 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Here's What St. Louis Regional Hospitals Charge For 100 Most Common Procedures

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

For the first time, the federal government has released the prices that hospitals charge for the 100 most common inpatient procedures.

The prices for a given procedure can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

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Health
4:31 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain On Hospital Bills

Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
HHS

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:28 am

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare.

So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

In a first, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made those figures from more than 3,000 hospitals public Wednesday.

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