MONEY

Boy, 9, Falls Off Bike, Needs Stitches; ER Bills $18,933

After Kid’s Minor Bike Accident, Major Bill Sets Legal Wheels in Motion Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News November 25, 2020 Adam Woodrum was out for a bike ride with his wife and kids on July 19 when his then 9-year-old son, Robert, crashed. “He cut himself pretty bad, and I could tell right away he needed stitches,” said Woodrum. Because they were on bikes, he called the fire department in Carson City, Nevada. “They were great,” said Woodrum. “They...

Hospital Profits Soar While Millions Face Economic Hardship

"Unpayable charges are a calamity for our patients, too many of whom ... become burdened by devastating debt, hounded by bill collectors or driven into bankruptcy." Nov 22, 2020 Salon – Hospitals in the United States charge patients as much as 1,800% more than their costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study. The 100 most expensive hospitals in the United States charge between $1,129 and $1,808 for every $100 of their costs, according...

Biden’s Medicare Agenda Could Bankrupt US Hospitals

Biden plan to lower Medicare eligibility age to 60 faces hostility from hospitals Older patients with private health insurance are the bread and butter of many U.S. hospitals  Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News | November 11, 2020 Of his many plans to expand insurance coverage, Joe Biden’s simplest strategy is lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60. But the plan is sure to face long odds, even if the Democrats can snag control of the Senate...

COVID Care Is Free, If You Know This

Hospital bills for uninsured COVID patients are covered, but no one tells them | "Asking questions about insurance coverage is often referred to as a 'wallet biopsy,' and can result in fines for hospitals or even being temporarily banned from receiving Medicare payments." Nashville Public Radio – When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old...

Anthem Revenue Up 16%, Tops $30B For Quarter

Anthem tops 3Q forecasts | Oct 28, 2020 | Indianapolis (AP) – Anthem delivered a better-than-expected third quarter even though a jump in benefit expenses and other costs contributed to an 81% drop in the health insurer's net income. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield coverage provider also said Wednesday that it was leaving its 2020 earnings forecast unchanged, as insurers continue to deal with uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anthem covers more than 42 million people...

California Collects $100M From Shuttered Restaurants

Fed up: Restaurants seek state booze, health fee refund | Oct 26, 2020 | Los Angeles (AP) – California's financially battered restaurants filed government claims Monday to recover more than $100 million in fees for liquor and health permits and tourism charges that they say were assessed even though their businesses were shuttered or only partially operating under long-running coronavirus orders. Few industries have been hit as hard during the pandemic as restaurants, which in California were...

Wells Fargo CEO: Blacks Are Simply Not Qualified For Top Bank Jobs

“There is a very limited pool of Black talent.” Sep 23, 2020 |  AP, NEW YORK - Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf apologized Wednesday for comments he made about the difficulty of finding qualified Black executives. Scharf said that “there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from” in corporate America. The memo to employees was written in June, but became public this week. The comments and similar statements made in a Zoom meeting, reported by...

4 Years For Scammer Who Duped Florida Medicare Recipients

Land O’ Lakes man sentenced to four years in prison, ordered to pay $3.42M in restitution for fraud Sep 8, 2020 Tampa Bay Business Journal – A Land O' Lakes man has been sentenced to four years in prison for his part in a health care fraud scheme that targeted Medicare-aged residents. Samuel Friedman, 45, of Land O’ Lakes, has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for health care fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office...

COVID-19 Scams Target Your Credit Card Info

Scam Alert: Things a COVID Contact Tracer Wouldn’t Say Julie Appleby, Aug 20, 2020 Kaiser Health News – State officials and federal agencies warn there’s a new phone scam circulating: Some callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers try to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims. The grifters apparently are taking advantage of a genuine public health intervention that’s crucial to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus: contact tracing. In one such scheme, detailed in...

Florida Man Spent $689,417 In Virus Funds On 40-foot Catamaran

Sep 03, 2020 MIAMI (AP) – A Florida business owner who received more than $2 million in coronavirus relief funds used about a third of that money to buy a new boat, authorities said. Casey David Crowther, 35, of Fort Myers, was arrested Wednesday on a federal charge of making a false statement to a lending institution, according to court records. If convicted, Crowther faces up to 30 years in federal prison. Crowther applied for a loan...

Census Skips Cost States Billions In Healthcare Funding

Aug 25, 2020 Modern Healthcare – For each person that went uncounted in the 2010 Census, Vermont lost more than $2,300 in 2015 federal grants for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, foster care and adoption assistance, and child care for low-income families. It's a similar story for 36 other states. In 2017 alone, census data helped direct $1.1 trillion in Medicaid and CHIP spending, according to the Counting for Dollars initiative at the George...

How Long Until The US Economy Is Back To Normal?

New index shows we have a long way to go Aug 24, 2020 CNN – We're coming up on six months since Covid-19 turned the world upside down. We are adjusting, but few things feel normal. Certainly not in our daily lives. Most of us are wearing masks and social distancing, while our favorite sports teams play in empty stadiums and arenas. Our work lives are hardly typical, either. Lots of us are unemployed, and many of...

Disgraced Televangelist Hawked Fake Virus Cure, Gets $1M PPP Loan

"Given the ongoing fraud issues surrounding the product he was selling ... it would be realistic to think that would lead to further investigation of his PPP loans." Jim Bakker gets PPP loans in the $1 million range during legal fight on fraud claims Aug 24, 2020 Associated Press – When the U.S. government extended pandemic hardship loans to thousands of religious institutions, Jim Bakker and Morningside USA, his ministry in Blue Eye, Missouri, were among the most...

Chicago Hospital Spends $66 Mil. To Treat 38 Covid-19 Patients

"Funding is so needed to address the south side of Chicago’s several health issues and violence."  Fox News – Large amounts of taxpayer funding being used for the coronavirus response as opposed to Chicago’s neglected neighborhoods, said pastor and community activist Corey Brooks: “Spending $66 million and $1.7 million for a patient is a very unfortunate thing, especially when we have areas on the south side and west side of Chicago that are impoverished and dealing...

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