Audit cites lack of due diligence in Medicaid provider approvals; Bill introduced to remove SSNs from Medicare cards;

News From Around the Web

> Weaknesses in procedures used to approve Medicaid providers leave the program "wide open for fraud," according to state auditors in North Carolina. In a recent report, they noted insufficient evidence supporting approval of providers whose applications raised questions during background checks, Carolina Journal reported. Article

> Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced legislation to remove social security numbers from Medicare identification cards and instead place a chip inside them to store beneficiaries' information electronically. The proposed change is intended to thwart identity theft, The Hill reported. Article

> The Department of Justice added new charges to its case against FedEx involving prescription drug delivery for illegal on-line pharmacies, the Wall Street Journal reported. A new indictment accuses the company of conspiracy to launder money. Article (subscription required)

Health Insurance News

> What do a $1,600 custom-made diaper rash treatment, $8,500 scar-reduction cream and a $2,300 pain-relieving salve all have in common? Their price tag, and more often than not, healthcare insurers are left to pick up the expensive bill for compounded medicines, reports the New York Times. Article

> Over the years, insurers have tried--with varying degrees of success--to rein in prices and moderate the costs of prescription drugs. But to ensure consumers can afford specialty tier drugs, a new issue brief from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation recommends payers team up with state and federal regulators to combat the soaring prices. Article

And finally…Beauty pageant contestant arrested for insurance fraud. Article