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FLORIDA DOCTOR FILES SUIT AGAINST AETNA

In the latest battle over getting paid for emergency room treatment, a Pompano Beach orthopedic surgeon is leading a federal lawsuit alleging that Aetna and three other health insurers are engaged in a criminal conspiracy to pay only a fraction of doctors’ charges.Peter Merkle and his attorneys are asking U.S. District …

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FRAUD RED ALERT

his is to inform you that Medicare is aware of an organized group who is representing themselves as either a Medicare Fraud Investigator; or a Medicare employee from the enrollment, claims or audit units. These callers tell the physician, or office personnel, that the Medicare computer system has had a malfunction and …

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PRESIDENT BUSH NOMINATES NEW HHS SECRETARY

This morning President Bush nominated EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt to replace Tommy Thompson as Health and Human Services secretary. Before joining the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2003, Leavitt, 53, was governor of Utah for 11 years. Michael O. Leavitt was sworn in as the 10th Administrator of the …

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MEDICARE BOOSTS PAYMENTS FOR DOCTORS, HOSPITALS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. physicians and hospitals that provide outpatient services will receive higher payments next year from the Medicare health insurance program, government officials announced on Wednesday.Shares of outpatient care providers, such as United Surgical Partners International Inc., AmSurg Corp….

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TIGHTENING THE LEASH: MANAGED CARE HASSLE FACTORS GETTING BIGGER

If doctors seeking coverage for patients think they’re detecting a resurgence of the managed care “hassle factor,” their instincts may be right.Insurance executives argue that any bureaucratic bridles placed on physicians are tolerable — and comfortably loose compared with those of a decade ago…

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THOMPSON DECLARES HIS INDEPENDENCE

WASHINGTON — Any question about why Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson might not have been a good fit in President Bush’s second-term Cabinet was answered in his moment of resignation.Thompson, 63, displayed the independent streak that has characterized his tenure when he issued a blunt warning …

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THE END OF PRIMARY CARE

The patient shivered as she waited for the doctor to climb the stairs to the second floor. She was 6 years old, and a fever had kept her home for the past few days. Her mother, half of a working couple with four other children, called the doctor that afternoon. The child listened as her mother’s voice grew closer..

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