Paying for Health Care

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2014

    Convicted Riverside CEO Tells His Side of the Story

    It's been two years since FBI agents burst into the Third Ward office of Riverside General Hospital's longtime CEO, Earnest Gibson III, and accused him conspiring to scam Medicare and Medicaid out of $158 million. Judge Lee Rosenthal ordered Gibson not to discuss Riverside business or speak to River ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    Riverside Hospital CEO Convicted of Fraud

    Earnest Gibson III, Riverside's General Hospital's CEO of more than 30 years, was convicted Monday of conspiring to buy and sell patients in a Medicare and Medicaid scam that siphoned $158 million from government coffers. Also convicted and awaiting sentencing are his son Earnest Gibson IV, Rivers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2014

    Riverside General Hospital Heads Await Fraud Verdict

    Arguments in the trial of Riverside General Hospital administrators accused of pilfering millions in a federal healthcare scam concluded Monday as the jury left to decide whether Earnest Gibson III, his son and two other defendants bought and sold patients by the head to cash in on Medicare and Medi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    Several Hospitals Make List for High Infection Rates

    The Centers for Disease Control said more than 1.5 million people get infections while they are in the hospital. As part of a program through the Affordable Care Act, hospitals that receive Medicare money will be hit with a penalty if they have too many people get sick while seeking treatment. A re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2014

    Free Hotline for Houston Area If You're Feeling Sick and Don't Know What to Do

    We've only known of nurse help lines as part of a fancy insurance plan. But did you know that thanks to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, there's a free non-emergency you can call? It's basically an advice and evaluation hotline staffed 24 hours a day, all week. "The Nurse Health Line ... More >>

  • Music

    March 13, 2014

    How Will Obamacare Affect Musicians?

    The Affordable Care Act could offer a path to health care for struggling artists.

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Cover Story: Obamacare Still Lacking For Some Local Musicians

    January 1, 2014 saw most of the final stages of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the health-care reform initiative known as both the official title of the Affordable Care Act and more derisively as Obamacare, start to be implemented. The individual mandate that requires every able per ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Louie Gohmert Rejects Obamacare, Personally

    There's a lurching feeling that comes when you realize you don't have any health insurance. You'll be walking along, a swing in your step, a grin on your face, when it hits you: Anything could happen. You just walked under a ladder. Fool! You just felt like you had to sneeze. It's pneumonia! That ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2014

    Obamacare is Moving Along, But One Guy Says He's Paying for Insurance He's Not Getting

    Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield has lovely hold music. Just ask Fred Rhodes. He and his wife have taken turns listening to it since they found out that, despite having enrolled and paid for their new health insurance in December, they still aren't in the system. With the advent of the Affordable Care ... More >>

  • News

    November 14, 2013

    The San Jose Clinic Is Here to Take Care of Those Left Behind by the Texas Health-Care Debate

    Even after the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Texans have no medical coverage. That is why the San Jose Clinic in Midtown still exists.

  • News

    July 25, 2013

    Getting Stuck: Uninsured Patients Slammed with Lawsuits by Not-for-Profit Hospital

    Memorial Hermann treats patients without insurance, tells them not to worry about the cost and then sues them for thousands of dollars.

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    Cover Story: Getting Stuck

    As Igancio Alaniz lay beneath his ancient white Buick, trying to get his car restarted one evening in January 2012, he heard a click as his car popped into gear. A split-second before more than 3,000 pounds of metal smashed over his chest, Alaniz realized he was about to be run over by his own car. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2013

    Advocacy Group: Will Abbott be Just Another Perry, Just With Worse Hair?

    Now that state Attorney General Greg Abbott has thrown his hat in the gubernatorial ring, the Texas Organizing Project, an advocacy group for low- and middle-income families, is worried that many families will still lack access to affordable health care. Abbott has "led the charge against the Affor ... More >>

  • News

    April 25, 2013

    Thieves' Bazaar: Medicare Fraud

    Hospitals, doctors and dealers have made Medicare the nation's sweetest crime. The feds are now trying to shutter the door.

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2013

    Texas Starts The Debate Whether To Take Obamacare's Medicaid Money

    Advocates of Medicaid expansion -- part of Obama's Affordable Care Act -- continue to ply Texas lawmakers with economic numbers, making the point that the expansion of the program is not a cost, but a benefit, to taxpayers. Like Sisyphus eternally pushing his boulder up the hill, advocates for Medi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2012

    Exposer of Fraudulent Texas Drug Protocol Named Whistleblower of the Year

    The man who exposed a drug maker's fraudulent marketing of an antipsychotic drug that is still given to Texas's foster care children has won the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund's Whistleblower of the Year Award. Allen Jones was forced out of his job at the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector G ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Let's Get Ahead Of Ourselves: Romney Wins, Dies, And Paul Ryan Takes Over? Introducing Paul Ryan's America

    For a moment, let's talk fantasy. Let's say Mitt Romney somehow overcomes all of his apparent weakness -- Bain Capital rapaciousness, tax-record speculation, rich-guy aloofness -- and somehow ekes past President Obama in November in one of the narrowest victories in recent American politics. Democra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2012

    6 Songs for LBJ Day... One's About His Dick

    Today is officially Lyndon Baines Johnson Day here in the state of Texas. The late 36th president's birthday was hallowed in his home state after he died in 1973 of a massive heart attack at the age of 64. He would have been 104 today. Johnson ascended to the presidency from the vice-presidency aft ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    Jack L. Baker: Radiologist To Pay $650,000 To Settle Kickback Case

    A man described by prosecutors as "a prominent Houston radiologist" has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle claims that he provided kickbacks to get physicians to refer business his way. Jack L. Baker of the Fairmount Diagnostic Center in Pasadena entered into the agreement today, settling claims file ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    Rick Perry Stands Tall Against Socialism, Obamacare and Godless Federal Dollars

    Governor Rick Perry has confirmed in a letter today to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he's no pal of socialism and as such, must reject two key measures of Obamacare - a state insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid. To embrace a state exchange would mean playing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2012

    Ike Odelugo: Concert Promoter Gets Six Years for Medicare Fraud

    Aghaegbuna "Ike" Odelugo of Sugar Land is a concert promoter, we're told, but that can be a rough business to make a buck in these days. Ripping off Medicare, however, can be a breeze -- until you get caught. Odelugo, 39, was sentenced to six years in federal prison today on health care fraud and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2012

    State Settles With Johnson & Johnson Over Risperdal: $158 Million

    A drug company accused of fraudulently promoting the antipsychotic Risperdal for use in Texas's Medicaid system has settled a state Attorney General's lawsuit for $158 million. The AG's office, one of several across the country to sue Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2011

    Money-Hungry MLB: Author Says the League is Treating Some Retirees Like Garbage

    David Clyde: $10k richer but still no MLB retirement benefits for the Houstonian​Specific Major League Baseball retirees are getting the shaft, according to the author of the controversial A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB and the Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve. The crux of Dou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    Jodi Leonore Latson: Quite the Alleged Medicare Defrauder

    Houston makes the fraud lineup.​If you're going to defraud the U.S. government, go big. It's not like they're going to miss a stray $62 million or so. Thus was the thinking of Houstonian Jodi Leonore Latson, 45, who -- unfortunately for her -- ended up as one of the bigger fish caught in a na ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2011

    Christina Clardy: West U Doctor, Two Others Convicted in $30 Million Medicaid Fraud

    Christina Clardy among those convicted.​Christina Clardy, a 61-year-old West U doctor, was convicted with two other people of running a massive Medicaid-and-money-laundering scam that somehow involved Nigerian tankers, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today. Kenneth Anokam, 56, and Niger ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    Doris Vinitski: Paid $1,000-Per-Patient Kickbacks To Recruit For Medicare Fraud

    Calling all "patients"​How lucrative can ripping off Medicare be? Lucrative enough that one scamster was offering up to $1,000 a patient to "recruiters" who sent customers her way. Doris Vinitski, 46, the owner of Onward Medical Supply, signed up the patients and then started billing Medicare ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    Planned Parenthood: Punched in the Uterus by Misguided Texas Senate

    More bad news for women who rely on Planned Parenthood.​A Texas Senate subcommittee wrangled the vulvas of Texas women into a chokehold yesterday with its latest assault on Planned Parenthood. Republican Senator Robert Deuell, who is a physician, introduced a bill to a three-member subcommitte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Bassey & Rose Essien: Father-Daughter Team With Million-Dollar Adult-Diaper Scam

    In this family, missy, we scam the government with adult diapers!!!​Keeping things in the family, passing knowledge from one generation to the next: It's a heartwarming American tradition, especially when it involves ripping off Medicaid for more than a million dollars with an adult-diaper sca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2011

    Lack Of Social Safety Net Tying Many Musicians To Day Jobs

    "I fantasize sometimes that my musical career would hit gold and help us escape these grim realities, but it's not something I really expect to happen." ​There are few issues in the current political climate more fraught with contention than whether or not the U.S. government will take a more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Patrick Ita: The Genius Who Combined Medicare and Katrina Fraud

    Like combining chocolate and peanut butter​In the Southern District of Texas, U.S. Attorneys often deal with two kinds of fraud: scams involving a) Medicare, or b) Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. It takes a special genius to combine the two, and apparently Patrick Ita is that man. Prosecutors un ... More >>

  • News

    December 2, 2010
  • Blogs

    December 2, 2010

    Ruth Netscher: Whistleblower Claims UT-Health Science Center Used Mental-Health Patients As Guinea Pigs

    Research done without consent, suit says​A former doctor and faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston claims that she was fired because she blew the whistle on other doctors who used mental health patients as research guinea pigs without proper or legal consent. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2010

    Sandra Thurman Patino: Motorized Wheelchair Scam FAIL, Loses $1M & A Cadillac To Feds

    The "Jazzy" model, no kidding​Sandra Thurman Patino, 46, had a pretty good deal going with a Medicare scam involving motorized wheelchairs, but now she's headed to federal prison for four years.Plus she's giving up the $1.1 million she had in the bank, and a Cadillac, to the feds.Patino was senten ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2010

    Local Group Leads Charge To Limit "Harmful Substances," a/k/a What Houston Is Known For

    ​If you like the idea of lower health care costs and are not one of the twisted few who are philosophically opposed to breathing cleaner air, there's a good chance you'll be excited to know that there's an effort underway to update the federal policies which govern toxic chemicals.Earlier today, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2009

    Conservatives Defend Whole Foods While Liberals Boycott

    Photo by That Other Paper​Irate progressives are calling for a boycott of Whole Foods after the health food store chain's founder John Mackey came out against Obama's efforts at reforming health care in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece last week. After stating his fears about socialized med ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2009

    Houston Is Epicenter Of Big Medicare-Fraud Sweep

    ​Houston is at the center of a big sweep against Medicare fraud announced today by the feds. A grand jury here issued indictments involving more than $16 million in fraud, and agents went out today and arrested 32 people in Houston, New York, Boston and Louisiana.Sayeth the feds: The Strike Force ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2009

    Methodist Hospital Gets Hit For Medicaid Fraud

    Usually when the Justice Department announces the settlement of a Medicaid-fraud case, it's a small-time operation dealing with wheelchairs or even adult diapers.Not today.Today they've nabbed a nearly-$10 million settlement out of Methodist Hospital here for defrauding the federal program.The US At ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2009

    Guilty Of Medicaid Fraud? Depends

    If you're going to try to defraud the government, please -- for your own self-esteem -- choose a more glamorous plan than one involving adult diapers.When the announcement came in from the US Attorney's Office headlined that a local company owner had been "INDICTED IN ADULT DIAPER FRAUD CASE," we co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2008

    Gloom And Doom For Uninsured Texas Children

    There are two solutions to help the population of uninsured children in Texas, according to a Houston pediatrician: Pray for change or move to Canada. That's overstating it a bit, but Dr. Ana Malinow, a pediatrician and co-founder of the advocacy group Healthcare for All Texas, tells Hair Balls that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2008

    Texas Continues To Shine At Being Uninsured

    Texas is at the top of the heap again – this time we are the most uninsured state, health care-wise, in the country. Woo hoo! Oh, snap, wait, that’s not a good thing, is it? The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today stating that the number of uninsured in America was down to just 15.3% in ... More >>

  • News

    June 6, 2002

    Con's Con

    A contained experiment in Medicaid finally gets uncovered

  • News

    November 22, 2001

    Letters, Week of November 22

    Fed Up with Feds, Still Reeling, Diabolical Docs

  • News

    October 11, 2001

    Paying the Price

    Hospital district officials wanted a simple one-sentence policy on immigrant health care. What they got instead was a criminal probe and plenty of politics.

  • News

    August 2, 2001

    Rx for Failure?

    MHMRA restricts Medicaid services at mental health clinic pharmacies

  • News

    April 27, 2000

    Methadone Meltdown

    Dr. Amos and Cecilia Ozumba ran Houston Maintenance Clinic for four years. Have they finally run it into the ground?

  • News

    April 20, 2000

    Warded Off

    She got into a suspect nursing home. And the probate system got most of her money.

  • News

    August 19, 1999

    Dangerous Deficits

    Mental health cuts may come back to haunt the public

  • Calendar

    April 30, 1998
  • News

    July 17, 1997

    Holistic Touch

    Some ex-patients credit the mind-body therapy of New Age healer JoAnne Mandel with saving their lives. Others say her compassion stopped at the bottom line.

  • News

    December 16, 1993

    Old and In The Way

    How slow turnings of tiny bureaucratic gears grind up real Texans

  • More >>