Minnesota doctors are again under the microscope of an influential U.S. senator from Iowa — this time because of concerns that expensive medications are being overprescribed at great cost to the publicly funded Medicaid and Medicare programs. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, notified federal authorities Wednesday that he found potential examples of overprescribing after requesting lists from states, including Minnesota, of doctors who issued the most prescriptions for antipsychotic and narcotic medications in 2008 and 2009.
Now, the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, chaired by Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, has asked the Government Accountability Office to look into the drugging of foster care children. The investigators will attempt to account for estimates in the hundreds of millions of dollars of possible fraud arising from prescriptions for drugs explicitly barred from Medicaid coverage. The GAO is collecting data from Oregon, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Texas, to search for patterns of abuse.
Surveys … have shown that as many as 12 percent of those who are serving in Iraq and 17 percent of those who are serving in Afghanistan are using some form of prescribed antidepressant or sleeping pills