Industry News
News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/25/2020

Frank Purpera Jr., a doctor from Blacksburg, Va., was sentenced to 90 months in prison and was ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution after being convicted of one count of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, two counts of obstruction of justice and 56 counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance. Court evidence showed Purpera unlawfully wrote Percocet and Adderall prescriptions in his wife's name without legitimate medical reason and then falsified medical records to justify fraudulent claims to Medicare and Anthem.

Full Story:
Department of Justice
9/25/2020

Vivian Letizia, a dentist from New York, was arrested and charged with illegally prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and solely for her own personal consumption. Authorities said Letizia wrote prescriptions for oxycodone for four people but filled the prescriptions for herself at pharmacies, and also ordered 2,800 oxycodone tablets sent to her dental practice for her personal use.

9/25/2020

President Donald Trump signed two executive orders as part of his America First Healthcare Plan calling for coverage of preexisting conditions and directing HHS to work with lawmakers on legislation to protect patients from unexpected out-of-network medical bills. Trump also said the administration would be sending $200 to each of 33 million Medicare beneficiaries to help them pay for prescription drugs.

9/25/2020

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in the US crossed the 7 million mark Thursday, accounting for 20% of the global total, as new infections continue to rise in the Midwest. The milestone comes just days after the country's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 200,000, and the latest data reveal that more than 700 people die in the US from COVID-19 each day, while half of US states reported an increase in new cases this month.

Full Story:
Reuters
9/25/2020

The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication this week calling on makers of benzodiazepines to update boxed warning with language about risks associated with the drugs. The action was based on postmarketing data, a literature review and an evaluation of 104 reported adverse events.

Full Story:
Regulatory Focus
9/25/2020

The CDC will send $200 million to 64 jurisdictions to help with preparations for distribution and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon one becomes available. The amount distributed will depend on the size of the area's population.

Full Story:
Healthcare Finance
9/25/2020

Thomson Reuters is designating Oct. 9 of each year as a mental health day, which will be a paid day off for all employees eligible for company holidays. Employees also have access to the Headspace daily meditation and mindfullness app.

More Summaries:
Thomson Reuters
9/25/2020

Data from almost 5,000 adults with type 2 diabetes found those who exercised the most had a 32% lower risk of early death, when compared with those who did not exercise at all, researchers reported at a virtual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. A moderate amount of exercise was linked to a 25% lower risk of death.

Full Story:
HealthDay News
9/25/2020

It's never a good idea to mix personal and business finances, advises columnist Nellie Akalp. The reasons these boundaries exist allow entrepreneurs to properly claim business expenses, to easily prove how federal disaster relief funding has been spent, and to create a corporate veil that protects personal assets from any liabilities the business incurs.

Full Story:
Small Business Trends
9/25/2020

Health savings accounts are expected to change in the next few years in response to a trend toward holistic planning and financial wellness, according to the Cerulli Edge - U.S. Retirement Edition. Studies have suggested HSAs are not resonating with people and are misunderstood by workers.