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What We're Reading: Medicare Lab Testing; CHIP Deadline; AMA Expands Diabetes Efforts


Medicare is alleging laboratories improperly billed the government for improper tests; time is running out for children receiving healthcare from CHIP; the AMA extends its diabetes prevention model to Maryland and other states.

Taxpayer Losses to Medicare for Suspect Lab Tests Run Into Millions

Medicare is alleging laboratories improperly billed the government for unnecessary urine, genetic, or heart disease tests, which is expected to cause hundreds of millions dollars in losses to taxpayers, an investigation by Kaiser Health News found. But repayment is unlikely since at least 6 of the clinical labs are stuck in bankruptcy court. Medicare and also private insurers are taking a harder look at these tests as their costs have risen to about $8.5 billion a year.

Time Running Out for Low-Income Children on CHIP

Lawmakers have yet to agree on renewing federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers millions of children from low-income families, reported The New York Times. Federal funding expired on Sept. 30. States are getting ready to send out notices advising families that their care will be cut off next year unless lawmakers can come to an agreement about CHIP, which historically has had bipartisan support.

AMA Expands Diabetes Prevention Efforts to Maryland, Other States

Maryland becomes the latest state to work with the American Medical Association (AMA) in a multi-state effort to reduce type 2 diabetes. The AMA is partnering with MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, reported the Associated Press. Besides Maryland, the AMA added Maine, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, joining California, Michigan, and South Carolina to its diabetes prevention model.

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