The federal government does little to stop schemers from stealing from Medicare Part D, the program that provides prescription drugs to more than 36 million seniors and disabled people. More »
The failure to track doctors who shun cheaper generics racks up huge costs for taxpayers in Medicare Part D, which fills one of every four U.S. prescriptions. More »
Prescription data obtained by ProPublica shows widespread use of antipsychotics, narcotics and other drugs dangerous for older adults, but Medicare officials say it's not their job to look for unsafe prescribing or weed out doctors with troubled backgrounds. More »
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Some Medicare beneficiaries are being prescribed opioids by 10 or more doctors, or are filling prescriptions for more than 1,000 pills a month. Hundreds of doctors appear to be prescribing indiscriminately, says the inspector general of Health and Human Services.
In 2014, the government said health providers would have to enroll in Medicare in order to prescribe drugs to seniors and disabled beneficiaries. Delay after delay has pushed back the requirement until 2019. It’s been “much more challenging” than anticipated, an official concedes.
Forty-one health providers prescribed more than $5 million in drugs in 2011. Last year, that jumped to 514. “The trends in this space are troubling and don’t show any signs of abating,” a federal official said.
Use this tool to compare how your doctor prescribes medications in Medicare's drug program with other doctors in the same specialty and state. Our data includes information on drug costs and prescriptions for risky drugs.
The onetime top prescriber of mental health drugs in Florida’s Medicaid program is awaiting sentencing on federal fraud charges long after he was flagged for his questionable prescribing practices.
In recent months there has been an increasing emphasis on health providers and the agencies that oversee them to stem access to widely abused prescription drugs.
Some readers are using a ProPublica database to search for doctors who freely prescribe opioid painkillers, raising questions.
As presidential candidates focus more on drug prices, new data from the website Iodine shows that generics scored highest among users in three popular drug categories. ProPublica has teamed up with Iodine to add user reviews to our Prescriber Checkup tool.
Medicare has increased oversight of its prescription drug program but many holes remain, allowing fraud and abuse to proliferate. Questionable practices were found at 1,400 pharmacies, which collectively billed Medicare $2.3 billion in 2014.
Congress wouldn’t allow Medicare to pay for benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Ativan until 2013. Now, the medications are among the most prescribed in its drug program.
The move follows a ProPublica investigation showing that Medicare did little to find dangerous prescribing by doctors to seniors and the disabled. It is also part of the government’s new push to bring transparency to taxpayer-supported medical care.
Despite warnings about abuse, Medicare covered more prescriptions for potent controlled substances in 2012 than it did in 2011. The program's top prescribers often have faced disciplinary action or criminal charges related to their medical practices.
For years, Dr. Michael Reinstein prescribed the powerful drug clozapine more than any other doctor in Medicare or Medicaid. His patterns were the subject of two ProPublica articles and he faces a federal civil lawsuit alleging health care fraud.
The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds Medicare spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 for HIV drugs there’s little evidence patients needed. A 77-year-old woman with no record of HIV got $33,500 of medication.
Two secretaries in a doctor’s office have pleaded guilty and a pharmacy owner faces charges in a scam that Medicare allowed to thrive for more than two years.
Medicare gives itself the power to ban physicians if they prescribe medications in abusive ways. The action follows a series of articles by ProPublica documenting inappropriate prescribing, waste and fraud in its popular drug program.
Two new reports from the CDC show the dangers of overprescribing narcotics and antibiotics. Is there a way for doctors and consumers to make better decisions?
A new report finds that more than half of insurance companies in Medicare’s drug program haven’t reported fraud cases to the government. The findings echo an earlier ProPublica investigation that found fraud flourishing in the program.
Medicare will soon begin to release data about how much it pays doctors. The details are still unknown, but three recent projects offer some clues.
As Medicare considers banning doctors who pose a “threat to the health or safety” of patients, it plans to consider an array of factors.
Action follows ProPublica’s investigative series detailing inappropriate and wasteful prescribing, fraud in the nation’s biggest prescription drug program.
The long list of medications on Joyce Heap’s insurance forms didn’t look right. It turns out they weren’t — and Medicare didn’t seem to care.
Action comes after ProPublica uses the government’s own data to find patterns of dangerous prescribing, waste and potential fraud in Medicare Part D.
They ask federal officials to take a hard look at Medicare’s popular prescription drug program after ProPublica reports about fraud and waste that have cost taxpayers billions.
The federal government does little to stop schemers from stealing from Medicare Part D, the program that provides prescription drugs to more than 36 million seniors and disabled people.
Steve Engelberg talks with Charlie Ornstein and Tracy Weber about the latest piece in their yearlong investigation of Medicare Part D, finding that a small sliver of prescribers is costing the system $300 million.
With billions in potential savings for Medicare at stake, we asked drug experts and practitioners alike why more doctors don’t recommend generics when they can.
Ask reporters Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber about their latest investigation into how Medicare wastes billions.
The failure to track doctors who shun cheaper generics racks up huge costs for taxpayers in Medicare Part D, which fills one of every four U.S. prescriptions.
Patients currently have to rely on trust that their doctors prescribe them the right drugs. Our new tool, Prescriber Checkup, for the first time allows patients to see how health care providers stack up with peers.
An update on the new events since we published our Prescriber Checkup investigation.
Citing a ProPublica investigation, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley said that if Medicaid and Medicare don’t share information on bad doctors, patients could be at risk.
As we continue our investigation into the lack of oversight of the drugs prescribed in Medicare’s Part D program, senior reporters Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber sat down with Steve Engelberg to talk about the project and their latest findings.
Under pressure, Medicare's director tells a Senate panel the agency will intensify the search for abusive prescribing patterns and undertake other reforms.
Pay-to-prescribe is illegal, but doctors say they haven’t been influenced by the money they get for promoting drugs they also prescribe to large numbers of their patients.
Massage therapists, athletic trainers, interpreters and others who aren’t allowed to write prescriptions apparently issued at least 417,000 under Medicare.
Echoing a ProPublica investigation, a report finds hundreds of doctors with questionable and potentially dangerous prescribing patterns. In a response, Medicare says it will step up monitoring and review the list for fraud or abuse.
ProPublica obtained Medicare Part D data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Freedom of Information Act. Here follows more information about the data and how we analyzed it.
Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program now serves more than 35 million people, but the names of prescribers and the drugs they choose have never previously been public. Use this tool to find and compare doctors and other top prescribers in 2010.
Frequently asked questions about our Prescriber Checkup news application.
Prescription data obtained by ProPublica show wide use of antipsychotics, narcotics and other drugs dangerous for older adults, but Medicare officials say it's not their job to look for unsafe prescribing or weed out doctors with troubled backgrounds.
The release of Medicare Part D records changes the conversation about how practitioners prescribe drugs -- and indicates the government could do more to ensure they do so safely.
1.7 million health providers wrote prescriptions under Medicare Part D in 2010. Were you one of them? We want to hear from you.
Former government officials, analysts and researchers say Medicare could improve oversight of its Part D drug benefit with these steps.
1.7 million health providers wrote prescriptions under Medicare Part D in 2010. Is your doctor one of them? Tell us what you think.