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UM medical school pays $2.2M settlement

The University of Miami agreed in December to pay $2.2 million in a settlement on allegations that it overcharged Medicare patients for services given at Jackson Memorial Hospital, The Miami Herald reported in December.

Between June 1, 1995, and May 31, 1996, physicians working at UM’s teaching hospital allegedly billed the Medicare Part B Program for critical care services in situations where patients were not critically ill or when such services were not provided.

These allegations were based on an audit investigation of 100 patient files conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The department also reviewed additional claims related to care provided between 1997 through 1999. At the time the alleged overbilling occurred, Donna E. Shalala, now UM’s president, headed the department.

Claims submitted by UM failed to provide adequate documentation or were incorrectly coded.

R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced the civil settlement between the United States and UM. He also commended the efforts of the Office of Audit Services.

Throughout the investigation and settlement, the university did not admit to any wrongdoing.

ELSEWhere

Study examines link between brain, diabetes

By Tyler Duensing // Daily Nebraskan (U. Nebraska)

(U-WIRE) LINCOLN, Neb. – The University of Nebraska Medical Center continues to break ground in understanding diabetes.

A new UNMC study, published in the most recent edition of Brain Research, focused on how diabetes affects regions of the brain, specifically receptors called N-Methyl-D-aspartate. The research could help explain why diabetes has adverse effects on parts of the brain that regulate bodily functions.

The study was conducted on rats with Type 1 diabetes.

The study was the first of its kind, looking at how diabetes functions on brain receptors, said LeDon Bean, a UNMC graduate student in pharmacology and experimental neuroscience and the first author of the study.

Also discovered in the study was the potential that diabetes affects areas of the brain involved in learning and memory.

ETC.

Positions are available for the LINK Executive Board for Spring 2007. Applications are available in UC 240 and are due on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

January 19, 2007

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