Alleged Patient Safety Kickbacks Lead To $1 Million Settlement
The US Justice Department claimed patient safety celebrity Dr Chuck Denham solicited payments from a drug company to win a prestigious National Quality Forum endorsement for its product
Dr. Chuck Denham, once a leading voice for patient safety, will pay $1 million to settle civil allegations that he took kickbacks to promote a drug company's product in national health quality guidelines, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Denham, a patient safety consultant from Laguna Beach, Calif., had allegedly solicited and accepted monthly payments from CareFusion Corp., maker of the antiseptic ChloraPrep, while serving as co-chairman of a National Quality Forum committee in 2009 and 2010.
The nonprofit quality forum in Washington, D.C., reviews evidence and makes recommendations on best practices that are considered the gold-standard by health care providers nationwide.
ProPublica previously reported that Denham hadn't disclosed the payments to the panel of experts he was leading for the forum, and that other members of the Safe Practices Committee had not intended to endorse ChloraPrep. But Denham had advocated for the drug during the group's meetings.
The committee's final report recommended the product's formulation to prevent infections, ProPublica found.
"Kickback schemes undermine the integrity of medical decisions, subvert the health marketplace and waste taxpayer dollars," said Benjamin C. Mizer, acting assistant attorney for the Justice Department's civil division, in a news release announcing the settlement.
According to the Justice Department, the kickbacks to Denham caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims for ChloraPrep to the government's health care programs. As part of the settlement, Denham will be excluded from participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
"Quality and patient safety must drive all medical recommendations," said Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. "Doctors that put profits ahead of this core value must be held accountable."
Neither CareFusion nor Denham, who runs the consulting company Health Care Concepts and the research organization Texas Medical Institute of Technology, returned calls for comment.
Denham did not admit to wrongdoing as part of the settlement. He previously denied any wrongdoing, saying his company had legitimate contracts for $11.6 million starting in 2008 with Cardinal Health, the parent company of CareFusion.
Denham had enjoyed star status in the patient safety world until January 2014, when the Justice Department first alleged an improper relationship involving his work with CareFusion. He was beloved by patient advocates, a regular on the conference speaking circuit and produced a documentary with actor Dennis Quaid, whose newborn twins had suffered a medication error.
After the kickback allegations, he was removed as editor of the Journal of Patient Safety, where an expert review found conflicts of interest. Denham's downfall has been called the patient safety movement's first scandal.


What Mobile Carriers Are Really Saying in Their Ads
Digging into the fine print and details behind four recent ads in the US
The mobile phone world is a murky place. There’s the barrage of monthly charges, a baffling array of conditions, and techy terms that are truly confusing. For example, do you know the difference between a line and a phone? Because there is one. 
In the spirit of National Consumer Protection Week, we thought we’d try to help sort it all out by breaking down some recent ads from the top four mobile carriers and detailing their teeny tiny fine print that you may or may not catch as it rolls by in nanoseconds in the commercials. Our analysis is two-fold: What the ad says and the reality of that message.



What the ad says: Verizon and AT&T customers can switch to Sprint and their new mobile carrier will “cut your bill in half.”
The reality: Sprint will only cut your rate plan in half, which is the service costs of the bill. Additionally, the deal does not include the cost of actual phones that you must lease or buy from Sprint. Even Sprint’s CFO Joe Enteneuer admitted its savings promise amounts to “… probably getting a 20 percent sort of net discount.”


What the ad says: “Now, get three lines for $120 a month with rollover data to share.”
The reality: In short, you will end up paying more than $120 a month. That’s because lines are not phones but rather access to a plan and the $120 does not include the monthly device payments you must make for each phone on the plan. So be ready to tack on that additional cost to your monthly bill.



What the ad says: “2 lines with 6GB for $100 monthly access”

The reality: Disclosing the cost for monthly line access while burying in the fine print that you will have to pay for phones to get that price — where have we seen this before? Just like with AT&T, Verizon makes you purchase phones through a monthly payment program in order to get the advertised line access rate. And what does that do? Say it with us: It increases your monthly bill.



What the ad says: “Keep your unused data up to a year.”
The reality: “Data Stash” is only available to T-Mobile customers who purchase 3GB or more of 4G LTE data. That’s what “Qualifying plan req’d” means. So smartphone users who don’t use much data reap no reward.
Click here for more of our coverage on smartphones. 


Nifty and Bank Nifty remain in an uptrend – Monday closing report

Bank Nifty will be weak only below 19,500 and Nifty below 8,860


We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty may be headed higher. The 50-share benchmark opened Monday at higher level than posted Saturday and hit its intra-day high after an hour of trading. After this, the index started moving lower. It occasionally dipped into the red as well. However, post 1.35pm, Nifty regained its strength and moved higher and reached almost the same level as the day’s high and closed near to it. The S&P BSE Sensex ended flat because it does not have cement stocks, which the Nifty has and cement stocks were rallying strongly today.
Sensex opened at 29,533 while Nifty opened at 8,954. The benchmarks hit their respective high at 29,576 and 8,972. The indices hit a low at 29,260 and 8,885. Sensex closed at 29,459 (up 98 points or 0.33%) while Nifty closed at 8,957 (up 55 points or 0.62%). Bank Nifty managed trading in the green for the entire session. It opened at 19,955 and moved between 19,751 and 20,066 and closed at 20,008 (up 317 points or 1.61%). NSE recorded a volume of 109.93 crore shares. India VIX fell 6.61% to close at 15.8475.
State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) increased retail selling price of petrol by Rs3.18 a litre at Delhi (including state levies), with a corresponding increase in other states. The diesel price was raised by Rs3.09 a litre.
Both the Houses of Parliament will take up the important legislative business of considering the bills to replace the ordinances promulgated during the inter-session period in the second week of the ongoing budget session beginning today.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) reportedly said that a relatively heavy general government debt burden and large budgetary subsidies could constrain its sovereign credit ratings on India. The rating agency said that India's budget for 2015-16 highlighted the government's commitment to keeping the fiscal deficit low.
Moody's said the credit profile still faces a constraint from the fiscal side, while the government has decided to focus more on growth than the fiscal consolidation. 
Indian manufacturing activity expanded at its slowest pace in five months in February as a slowdown in new orders dragged on overall output, a business survey showed today.
The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by Markit, fell for the second consecutive month, to 51.2 in February from 52.9 in January.
The finance ministry said that the union government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have signed an agreement on monetary policy framework, whereby the two sides have officially decided on inflation-targeting by the RBI. RBI will aim to reach retail inflation of 6% by January 2016 and further to around 4% by March next year.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry today sought imposition of import duty on cement in order to boost exports from the country. Cement stocks were strong today.
Coming back to Indian stock market, NCC (17.28%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week high today. Muthoot Finance (7.19%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock gave up its gains today after hitting its 52-week high on Saturday.
Axis Bank (5.64%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. Government, raising excise duty on cigarettes, pulled ITC (4.97%) lower. It was the top loser in the pack.
On Friday, US indices closed in the red. Except for SET Composite index of Thailand (0.31%), KLSE Composite (0.22%) and Taiwan Weighted (0.22%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Shanghai Composite (0.78%) was the top gainer.
The People's Bank of China on Saturday cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.35% and reduced the benchmark saving rate by a similar margin to 2.5%.
HSBC's final reading of China's manufacturing sector in February came in at 50.7, much higher than the flash reading of 50.1.
European indices were trading in the red while US Futures were trading marginally in the green.


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