MIAMI - A new report shows crooks are taking advantage of
lax oversight in Medicare Part D's prescription drug program.
The report says scam artists are using false identification
numbers to obtain highly addictive drugs including oxycodone,
Ritalin, and methadone.
The report released by federal health officials says Medicare
officials aren't adequately confirming that prescriptions paid by
their health insurance contractors are actually written by doctors.
Medicare paid $20.6 million for 228,000 Schedule II drugs with
invalid prescriber IDs in 2007. Schedule II drugs include
heavy-duty painkillers and stimulants.
The agency says it will now require all contractors to use a
valid prescriber number.
MIAMI - A new report shows crooks are taking advantage of
LOS ANGELES - It's not definitive proof of harm, but new research raises concern about diet soda. It suggests that people who drink it every day have higher risks for stroke and heart attack than those who drink no soda of any kind at all.
The findings come from a federally funded study of about 2,500 adults in the New York City area.
Doctors have no explanation for why diet soda might be risky. It could be that people who drink lots of it also fail to exercise, weigh more or have other risk factors like high blood pressure and smoking. However, the researchers took these factors into account and found the trend remained.
What to do? Drink water, the experts suggest.
The study was discussed Wednesday at an American Stroke Association conference in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES - Doctors are reporting an alarming rise in
strokes among young and middle-aged Americans even as the disease
declines among older people.
They think the obesity epidemic may be starting to shift the age
burden of strokes, which still take their greatest toll on the
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention compared a nationwide sample of stroke hospitalizations
during 1994 and 1995 to those in 2006 and 2007.
The sharpest rise in stroke hospitalizations was 51 percent
among men under 35, including teenage boys. Strokes also rose among
females in this age group by 17 percent.
The study was discussed Wednesday at an American Stroke
Association conference in Los Angeles.
Three deaths -- one in New York, and two in Florida -- are raising the spotlight on keyless ignition, after drivers who left engines running in attached garages died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their sleep.
Mary Rivera of New York survived the carbon monoxide poisoning that killed her longtime partner, Ernie Codelia.
The former school superintendent and college professor says the permanent brain damage she now suffers was caused by the keyless ignition feature on her 2008 Lexus.
Rivera's lawyer, Noah Kushlefsky, says the feature lacks adequate warning and didn't stop Rivera from inadvertently leaving her car running, even though the fob was separated from the car by both distance and time.
"The engine should shut off after a specific period of time of inactivity," Kushlefsky said. "It's a problem that's only going to be magnified as more cars end up on the road with keyless start."
Toyota said it sympathizes with the families of anyone injured as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.
The company didn't comment on the lawsuits filed in the Rivera incident, but did offer a statement on its keyless technology:
"Toyota's electronic key system fully complies with applicable federal motor vehicle standards and provides multiple layers of visual and auditory warnings to alert occupants that the vehicle is running when the driver exits with the key fob. Electronic key systems such as Toyota's are neither new nor unique within the automobile industry."
According to Edmunds.com, electronic key systems are featured on more than 150 2010 model year vehicles.
Automakers offer various iterations of keyless ignition.
As of last year the feature was offered in nearly 150 models, ranging from high-end to bargain models.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now considering tighter restrictions which would standardize keyless ignition technology due to concerns of carbon monoxide poisoning, vehicle roll-away thefts and shutting off moving vehicles in an emergency.
Steelers and Packers fans have a lot riding on the game this weekend.
A new study suggests the emotional stress of the Super Bowl could be deadly.
Researchers studied heart attack rates in Los Angeles County after the Rams lost the 1980 Super Bowl.
"There was a 15% increase in cardiac death among men, there was also a 27% increase in cardiac death among women," notes Dr. Robert A. Kloner.
Experts say fans can have an intense connection to their favorite team, leading to surges in adrenaline during big plays and big disappointments.
"This can increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, increase the vigor with which the heart contracts," Dr. Kloner explains.
It turns out losing can be a real heart breaker.
"It's actually a phenomenon that's pretty well known among cardiologists that any type of stressful event can precipitate an increase in cardiovascular events," says cardiologist Dr. Joon Lee.
Dr. Lee is not only a cardiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he's also a Steelers fan.
He says advances in heart attack treatment and prevention since the Rams loss may dampen the apparent physical impact of a Super Bowl defeat.
However, Dr. Lee says this game could be an exception.
"Considering how legendary the fan base is for both teams, in a sense, if there is such an effect it might be maximized for this Super Bowl," he warns.
The study also found a decrease in heart attacks in Los Angeles after the Raiders won the 1984 Super Bowl, but that finding wasn't as strong.
Experts say people with known heart conditions may want to take it easy during the game, and if they start to experience symptoms of a heart attack, turn the TV off!
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