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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states, including one in the St. Louis area, have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.  

   The Justice Department announced the settlement Tuesday over kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.  

   Des Peres Hospital in west St. Louis County has agreed to pay $900,000 to satisfy its part of the settlement. 

IL Pension committee to meet in Springfield next week

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 03:25 Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers tasked with pension reform will meet in Springfield on the day before a special legislative session is convened.

   Senate Democrats say the 10-member committee will meet Monday. The House and Senate are scheduled to convene Tuesday to consider Gov. Pat Quinn's amendatory veto on concealed carry legislation.

   While Quinn originally called the Legislature back July 9 to deal with pensions, it is unlikely the issue will be voted on by that deadline.

   Committee members met last week in a grueling five-hour public session where little was resolved. They are scheduled to meet again Wednesday.  Members say they are hopeful progress is being made, but legislation has yet to be drafted.

   Illinois' worst-in-the-nation unfunded pension liability hovers around $100 billion.

 

MO company expects horse slaughter approval

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 03:12 Published in Local News

   A Missouri company expects to get the go ahead to slaughter horses after an Iowa company garnered federal approval yesterday.  USDA officials say Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Missouri could get permission later this week.

   The facility 75 miles north of Kansas City has the current capacity to slaughter 30 horses a week.  

   In 2005, the U.S. Congress effectively ban horse slaughter when it eliminated funding for USDA inspections.  The funding prohibition expired in 2011, effectively lifting the ban.

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