Thursday, October 4, 2012

Arrests for Billing Unnecessary Services

Well, this is interesting:
Nearly 100 people have been arrested in a series of raids targeting health care fraud on a massive scale. Doctors, nurses, even top hospital administrators in eight cities in seven states were arrested in connection with separate scams totaling $430 million -- nearly a half billion dollars in pilfering. All kinds of fraud are alleged, much of it involving false billing for services that were unnecessary, or never even rendered.
Billing Medicare for medically unnecessary services is a scam warranting prosecution.  Billing Medicaid similarly must be, too.

Where does that leave doctors and hospitals who bill Medicaid for circumcision of newborns who do not need surgery?

Monday, September 24, 2012

AAP Shifts Stance on Male Castration

Following a review of recent medical studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued the following statement:

Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male castration outweigh the risks, and the benefits of newborn male castration justify access to this procedure for those families who choose it.
Research published in the journal Cell Biology has found significantly longer lifespans for males who have undergone the well-established surgical procedure of castration-- as much as 20 years longer.

Activists are upset at what they call a "failure to consider the ethics of non-therapeutic surgery on newborns."  The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, notes that their new policy is not a recommendation of newborn male castration, and that the decision rests with parents:

Parents should weigh the health benefits and risks in light of their own religious, cultural, and personal preferences, as the medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families.
This policy is the latest to generate public outrage following the Academy's May 2010 policy supporting a form of Female Genital Cutting and their August 2012 policy on newborn circumcision, which prompted hundreds of activists to "Wash Your Hands Clean of the AAP."  The AAP has since withdrawn its statement on Female Genital Cutting.