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Daily Rounds: Faulty Medicare Fraud-Fighting; Mass. Research Money; Parkinson's-Solvent Link; Soy Diet 'Cruel & Unusual'

Problems persist with Medicare fraud contractors (AP via Boston Herald) - MIAMI — "Contractors paid tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to detect fraudulent Medicare claims are using inaccurate and inconsistent data that makes it extremely difficult to catch bogus bills submitted by crooks, according to an inspector general’s report released Monday." (Associated Press)

Mass. research funding at risk (Boston Globe) - WASHINGTON - "Massachusetts university and hospital officials, determined to prevent erosion of the research and development pillar of the state’s economy, have joined a lobbying slugfest over congressional efforts to slash hundreds of billions from the projected national debt. The state stands to lose more than $680 million in federal research funding in 2013, or nearly 9 percent of the approximately $7.7 billion it is now estimated to receive, if a bipartisan deficit reduction panel does not hammer out a deal by Nov. 23 and automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending are triggered." (boston.com)

Study links Parkinson's Disease to industrial solvent (BBC) - "An international study has linked an industrial solvent to Parkinson's disease.Researchers found a six-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's in individuals exposed in the workplace to trichloroethylene (TCE). Although many uses for TCE have been banned around the world, the chemical is still used as a degreasing agent. The research was based on analysis of 99 pairs of twins selected from US data records." (BBC)

Soy dies is cruel and unusual, Florida inmate claims (nytimes.com) - MIAMI — "One too many bouts of flatulence and cramping has led a Florida inmate to sue the Department of Corrections, arguing that the prison’s soy-based turkey dogs and sloppy Joes amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Florida prisons serve meals with 50 percent soy and 50 percent poultry three times a day, a mixture that costs half as much as using beef and pork, the Department of Corrections says." (nytimes.com)

Why doctors and patients talk around our growing waistlines (NPR) - "OK, so you're overweight. So are two-thirds of all Americans. Maybe you need a nudge to get going on a diet and exercise plan. Maybe you've thought about talking with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. Well, a number of studies suggest you're probably not getting the advice you need. Many patients say their doctors don't spend enough time, if any, talking with them about losing weight. But doctors often complain that when they do bring up the issue, nothing changes."(NPR)

This program aired on November 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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