State Highlights: Accusations Of Fraud Or Abuse In Disabled, Rehabilitation Clinics In N.Y., Mich. And Calif.

The New York Times: New York State Lags On Firing Workers Who Abuse Disabled Patients
Two and a half years ago, The New York Times published an article about abusive employees who worked for the state, detailing how few employees were fired, even after the state recommended that they lose their jobs, because of weaknesses in the arbitration process, the permissive attitude of state officials and the aggressive stance of public sector labor unions -- particularly the Civil Service Employees Association. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo promised to change all this. But much has not changed (Hakim, 8/8).

USA Today/Detroit Free Press: Patients Reel Over Arrest Of Cancer Doctor
Patricia Sullivan was diagnosed with acute anemia and began iron infusions approximately eight years ago. Sometimes, the 78-year-old Michigan woman went weekly, other times, two or three times a week. ... Now that her physician, Dr. Farid Fata has been charged in a $35-million Medicare scheme and accused of ordering unnecessary hematology and oncology treatments and misdiagnosing healthy people with cancer, Sullivan is reeling from the shock -- and second-guessing her treatment (Meyer, 8/8).

Los Angeles Times: Bay Area Juvenile Hall Mistreats Youths With Disabilities, Suit Says
Advocacy groups filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Contra Costa County and its juvenile hall, alleging that youths with disabilities had been denied educational and other services and held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day -- in some cases for months. Los Angeles-based Public Counsel and Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates teamed with a private law firm to bring the suit ... Calls for comment to the offices of the county counsel and the county probation officer were not returned Thursday (Romney, 8/8).

Los Angeles Times: County Official Calls For Review Of Taxpayer-Funded Rehab Clinics
In response to a scathing report about a lack of government oversight and improper payments to taxpayer-funded rehabilitation clinics, a local official is calling for a review of Los Angeles County's authority over such contracts and its ability to end payments to clinics that are breaking the law. ... [A] report by CNN and the Center for Investigating Reporting in late July found rampant fraud in California’s substance-abuse programs for the poor (Mehta, 8/8).

Health News Florida: Unlicensed Pharmacies Selling Compounded Drug Online
An unlicensed pharmacy business based in Largo is using websites to sell performance-enhancing drugs for body-builders and controversial hormone treatments to extreme dieters in apparent violation of Florida laws. The Internet companies, which share an address, are U.S. Injectables LLC and U.S. Peptides LLC (Gentry and Lamendola, 8/8).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Area Health Care Costs Move Closer To Costs In Other Cities
Health care costs and quality in the Milwaukee area are roughly in line with the averages for 24 cities throughout the country, according to a study being released Friday. The study -- which analyzed 45.5 million insurance claims -- is the latest to find that health care costs in the Milwaukee area are moving closer to Midwest and national averages, after being above the norm for many years (Boulton, 8/9).

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