Kristina's Feed
Apr 29, 2015

Special Report: Banned from Medicare, still billing Medicaid

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A doctor who took kickbacks from a Pennsylvania hospice involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud. An Ohio psychiatrist who billed for treating no-show patients. A Georgia optometrist who claimed he conducted 177 eye exams in one day.

Their transgressions vary. What these doctors have in common is that each was paid by a state Medicaid health insurance program after being kicked out of another state’s Medicaid system or the federal Medicare program.

Apr 29, 2015

Figuring out who can bill Medicare and Medicaid, and who can’t

By M.B. Pell and Kristina Cooke

(Reuters) – To determine how many healthcare providers were banned from Medicare or a state Medicaid program while still allowed to bill Medicaid in another state, Reuters compared states’ lists of approved providers against lists of providers terminated by other states or Medicare on a specific date in 2014.

In response to open-records requests, all states and the District of Columbia supplied approved-provider lists. Only 23 states supplied terminated-provider lists, as did the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers Medicare, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

Apr 29, 2015

Banned from Medicare, still billing Medicaid

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 (Reuters) – A doctor who
took kickbacks from a Pennsylvania hospice involved in a
multimillion-dollar fraud. An Ohio psychiatrist who billed for
treating no-show patients. A Georgia optometrist who claimed he
conducted 177 eye exams in one day.

Their transgressions vary. What these doctors have in common
is that each was paid by a state Medicaid health insurance
program after being kicked out of another state’s Medicaid
system or the federal Medicare program.

Apr 21, 2015

California advances bill to help immigrant crime victims gain visas

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Undocumented immigrants in California who are violent crime victims would have the same chance to apply for a special U.S. visa regardless of where in the state the crime occurred, under a bill that passed a state Senate committee on Tuesday.

The federal government grants visas to undocumented immigrants who help law enforcement try to catch criminals. The so-called U-visa allows the recipient to live and work in the United States for four years, but to apply, a victim must first ask local law enforcement to verify their cooperation.

Dec 11, 2014

Exclusive: Campaign contributions under scrutiny in California police probe

By Dan Levine and Kristina Cooke

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – An investigator appointed by a U.S. federal judge is examining whether campaign contributions affected how the city of Oakland, California, chose its lawyers for police disciplinary cases, according to a source briefed on the probe.

The investigation started after an arbitrator reinstated an Oakland police officer who was heavily criticized for firing tear gas at a crowd of protesters during Occupy protests in 2011. That followed a series of other cases in which arbitrators overruled disciplinary actions for Oakland police.

Oct 21, 2014

Special Report: U.S. visa program for crime victims is hit-or-miss prospect

By Dan Levine and Kristina Cooke

(Reuters) – It was the week of Chinese New Year, and Jian Zhen Huang was climbing her sister’s doorstep in Brooklyn with cups and other supplies for the celebration inside. Suddenly, a young man grabbed her, punched her in the face several times, knocked her down to the pavement and stole her phone.

The housewife spent that February 2013 night at a hospital and left with her head wrapped in gauze, staples in her scalp and black circles around her eyes – “like a panda,” her husband said in an affidavit. Headaches and sleepless nights persisted for months.

Jan 19, 2014

Latvians pass books along human chain to kick off culture capital year

RIGA, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Latvians of all ages formed a human
chain in the freezing cold this weekend to pass books from the
old national library to a new one two km (1.2 miles) away as
part of festivities to celebrate Riga as Europe’s culture
capital for 2014.

Some 14,000 people, including children and the elderly,
stood in temperatures of minus 12 degrees C (10 F) on Saturday
to pass some 2,000 books hand to hand to a new library designed
by Latvian-born U.S. architect Gunnar Birkerts.

Aug 5, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. directs agents to cover up programme used to investigate Americans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

Aug 5, 2013

Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

Jul 12, 2013

Analysis: 911 calls highlight emergency response challenges in Asiana crash

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tapes of 911 emergency calls made moments after an Asiana Airlines jet crashed at San Francisco airport last Saturday reveal panic and confusion, and highlight some possible problems as emergency services raced to the scene.

The crash of the Boeing 777 killed two and injured more than 180. The first police and fire personnel arrived at the crash scene in about two minutes, and local officials said brave rescue efforts and effective triage of the many wounded likely saved lives.

    • About Kristina

      "Kristina Cooke is an investigative reporter based in San Francisco. Before joining Reuters, she worked at CNN International and The Economist's "World In" journal. She studied International Relations and History at the London School of Economics and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Write to Kristina: kristina.cooke@thomsonreuters.com Follow her on Twitter: @kristinacooke"
      Joined Reuters:
      2005
      Languages:
      English, German, Spanish, Japanese
      Awards:
      Deadline Club, 2010
      Front Page Award, 2011
      New York Press Club, 2013
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