Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

Online pharmacy:fesmag.com/tem

Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic

 
 
 
KTRS News

KTRS News

Suspects Arrested in Park Hills Double Homicide

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 09:38 Published in Local News
PARK HILLS, Mo. (AP) - Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the deaths of a rural eastern Missouri couple following a fire at their home.
The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Mo. reports that formal charges have not been filed against the four suspects. They range in age from 18 to 24 and all are from Iron County. Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive.
The fire broke out before dawn Monday in a rural area near Park Hills in St. Francois County, killing 50-year-old Stanley Halter and his 46-year-old wife, Tammy.
Both of the victims' bodies were found inside their home. Their children had spent the night with a relative.  
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock declined to give any further details about the arrests.
   MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Flailing away with two knives, a 16-year-old boy with a "blank expression" stabbed and slashed 19 students and a police officer in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday before an assistant principal tackled him.
   At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy who was on a ventilator after a knife pierced his liver, missing his heart and aorta by only millimeters, doctors said.
   The rampage — which came after years in which U.S. schools have geared much of their emergency planning toward mass shootings, not stabbings — set off a screaming stampede, left blood on the floor and walls, and brought teachers rushing to help the victims.
   The motive was under investigation.
   The suspect, whose name was not immediately released by police, was taken into custody and treated for a minor hand wound. Late in the afternoon, he was brought into court in shackles and a hospital gown to face charges.
   While several bloody stabbing rampages at schools in China have made headlines in the past few years, large-scale knife attacks are almost unheard of in the U.S.
   The attack unfolded in the morning just minutes before the start of classes at 1,200-student Franklin Regional High School, in an upper-middle-class area 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. It was over in a matter of minutes.
   Witnesses said the boy at first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly, then got up and ran wildly down the hall, slashing other students.
   Nate Moore, 15, said he saw the first attack and was going to try to break it up when the boy got up and slashed his face, requiring 11 stitches.
   "It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead," he said.
   The attacker "had the same expression on his face that he has every day, which was the freakiest part," Moore said. "He wasn't saying anything. He didn't have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression."
   Doctors said they expect all the victims to survive, despite large and deep abdominal puncture wounds in some cases. The wounded police officer — who was regularly assigned to the campus — was treated and released.
   Authorities credited an assistant principal with subduing the assailant. They gave no details, but students identified the educator as Sam King and told local news organizations that they saw him tackle the boy after the youngster stabbed the campus officer.
   King's son told The Associated Press that his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities have said he did not suffer any knife wounds.
   "He says he's OK. He's a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he's OK," Zack King said. He added: "I'm proud of him."
   As for what set off the attack, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said investigators were looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn't specify whether the suspect received or made the call.
   Mia Meixner, 16, said the initial assault touched off a "stampede of kids" yelling, "Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!"
   Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy and quiet boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they saw no indication before the attack that he might be violent.
   "He was never mean to anyone, and I never saw people be mean to him," Meixner said. "I never saw him with a particular group of friends."
   During the attack, the boy had a "blank look," she said. "He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning."
   Michael Float, 18, said he had just gotten to school when he saw "blood all over the floor" and smeared on the wall near the main entrance. Then he saw a wounded student.
   "He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, 'Help! Help!'" Float said. "He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down."
   Float said he saw a teacher applying pressure to the wound of another student.
   Someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the stabbings, the police chief said. Although that created chaos, Seefeld said, it emptied out the school more quickly, and "that was a good thing that that was done."
   Also, a girl with "an amazing amount of composure" applied pressure to a schoolmate's wounds and probably kept the victim from bleeding to death, said Dr. Mark Rubino at Forbes Regional Medical Center.
   Public safety and school officials said an emergency plan worked as well as could be expected. The district conducted an emergency exercise three months ago and a full-scale drill about a year ago.
   "We haven't lost a life and I think that's what we have to keep in mind," said county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.

 

MEDICARE DATABASE REVEALS TOP-PAID DOCTORS

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 09:28 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.

Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

Topping Medicare's list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., made headlines last year after news broke that the lawmaker used the doctor's personal jet for trips to the Dominican Republic.

Medicare paid Melgen $20.8 million. His lawyer said the doctor's billing conformed with Medicare rules and is a reflection of high drug costs.

AP's analysis found that a small sliver of the more than 825,000 individual physicians in Medicare's claims data base - just 344 physicians - took in top dollar, at least $3 million apiece for a total of nearly $1.5 billion.

AP picked the $3 million threshold because that was the figure used by the Health and Human Services inspector general in an audit last year that recommended Medicare automatically scrutinize total billings above a set level. Medicare says it's working on that recommendation.

About 1 in 4 of the top-paid doctors - 87 of them - practice in Florida, a state known both for high Medicare spending and widespread fraud. Rounding out the top five states were California with 38 doctors in the top group, New Jersey with 27, Texas with 23, and New York with 18.

In the $3 million-plus club, 151 ophthalmologists - eye specialists - accounted for nearly $658 million in Medicare payments, leading other disciplines. Cancer doctors rounded out the top four specialty groups, accounting for a combined total of more than $477 million in payments.

The high number of ophthalmologists in the top tier may reflect the doctors' choice of medications to treat patients with eye problems. Studies have shown that Lucentis, a pricey drug specially formulated for treating macular degeneration, works no better than a much cheaper one, Avastin. But lower-cost Avastin must be specially prepared for use in the eye, and problems with sterility have led many doctors to stick with Lucentis.

Overall, Medicare paid individual physicians nearly $64 billion in 2012.

The median payment - the point at which half the amounts are higher and half are lower - was $30,265.

AP's analysis focused on individual physicians, excluding about 55,000 organizations that also appear in the database, such as ambulance services. None of those entities was paid $3 million or more.

The Medicare claims database is considered the richest trove of information on doctors, surpassing what major insurance companies have in their files. Although Medicare is financed by taxpayers, the data have been off limits to the public for decades. Physician organizations went to court to block its release, arguing it would amount to an invasion of doctors' privacy.

Employers, insurers, consumer groups and media organizations pressed for release. Together with other sources of information, they argued that the data could help guide patients to doctors who provide quality, cost-effective care. A federal judge last year lifted the main legal obstacle to release, and the Obama administration recently informed the American Medical Association it would open up the claims data.

"It will allow us to start putting the pieces together," said Dianne Munevar, a top researcher at the health care data firm Avalare Health. "That is the basis of what payment delivery reform is about."

Doctors' decision-making patterns are of intense interest to researchers who study what drives the nation's $2.8-trillion-a-year health care system. Within the system, physicians act as the main representatives of patients, and their decisions about how to treat determine spending.

"Currently, consumers have limited information about how physicians and other health care professionals practice medicine," said HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "This data will help fill that gap."

The American Medical Association, which has long opposed release of the Medicare database, is warning it will do more harm than good.

The AMA says the files may contain inaccurate information. And even if the payment amounts are correct, the AMA says they do not provide meaningful insights into the quality of care.

"We believe that the broad data dump ... has significant shortcomings regarding the accuracy and value of the medical services rendered by physicians," AMA president Ardis Dee Hoven said. "Releasing the data without context will likely lead to inaccuracies, misinterpretations, false conclusions and other unintended consequences."

The AMA had asked the government to allow individual doctors to review their information prior to its release.

Over time, as researchers learn to mine the Medicare data, it could change the way medicine is practiced in the U.S. Doctor ratings, often based on the opinions of other physicians, would be driven by hard data, like statistics on baseball players. Consumers could become better educated about the doctors in their communities.

For example, if your father is about to undergo heart bypass, you could find out how many operations his surgeon has done in the last year. Research shows that for many procedures, patients are better off going to a surgeon who performs them frequently.

The data could also be used to spot fraud, such as doctors billing for seeing more patients in a day than their office could reasonably be expected to care for.

Medical practice would have to change to accommodate big data. Acting as intermediaries for employers and government programs, insurers could use the Medicare numbers to demand that low-performing doctors measure up. If the data indicated a particular doctor's diabetic patients were having unusually high rates of complications, that doctor might face questions.

Such oversight would probably accelerate trends toward large medical groups and doctors working as employees instead of in small practices.

Melgen, the top-paid physician in 2012, has already come under scrutiny. In addition to allowing the use of his jet, the eye specialist was the top political donor for Menendez as the New Jersey Democrat sought re-election to the Senate that year.

Menendez's relationship with Melgen prompted Senate Ethics and Justice Department investigations. Menendez reimbursed Melgen more than $70,000 for plane trips.

The issue exploded in late January 2013, after the FBI conducted a search of Melgen's West Palm Beach offices. Agents carted away evidence, but law enforcement officials have refused to say why. Authorities declined to comment on the open investigation.

---

Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy in Miami and Marilynn Marchione contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
PROMISE OF PRICE CUT ON HOSPITAL BILLS IS IN LIMBO

PROMISE OF PRICE CUT ON HOSPITAL BILLS IS IN LIMBO

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Huge list prices charged by hospitals are drawing increased attention, but a federal law meant to limit what the most financially vulnerable patients can be bill...

OBAMA: PROGRESS MADE ON DISABILITY CLAIMS BACKLOG

OBAMA: PROGRESS MADE ON DISABILITY CLAIMS BACKLOG

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- President Barack Obama assured disabled veterans Saturday that his administration is making progress on reducing a backlog of disability claims and said the n...

A BREAK FOR SMOKERS? GLITCH MAY LIMIT PENALTIES

A BREAK FOR SMOKERS? GLITCH MAY LIMIT PENALTIES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some smokers trying to get coverage next year under President Barack Obama's health care law may get a break from tobacco-use penalties that could have made thei...

MARIJUANA'S MARCH TOWARD MAINSTREAM CONFOUNDS FEDS

MARIJUANA'S MARCH TOWARD MAINSTREAM CONFOUNDS FEDS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It took 50 years for American attitudes about marijuana to zigzag from the paranoia of "Reefer Madness" to the excesses of Woodstock back to the hard line of "Ju...

"Stomach flu" on the rise in St. Louis area

   Doctors say the flu shot has been very affective against this year's H1N1 flu strain.  And since the flu season doesn't peak in St. Louis until February, they'...

STUDY SHOWS DECLINING LIFE SPAN FOR SOME US WOMEN

STUDY SHOWS DECLINING LIFE SPAN FOR SOME US WOMEN

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling, a disturbing trend that experts can't explain. The lat...

BELGIUM SET TO EXTEND RIGHT-TO-DIE LAW TO CHILDREN

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Belgium, one of the very few countries where euthanasia is legal, is expected to take the unprecedented step this week of abolishing age restrictions on who can...

J&J LAUNCHES NEW CAP TO CURB TYLENOL OVERDOSES

J&J LAUNCHES NEW CAP TO CURB TYLENOL OVERDOSES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bottles of Tylenol sold in the U.S. will soon bear red warnings alerting users to the potentially fatal risks of taking too much of the popular pain reliever. Th...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved