Scientists develop nonaddictive opioids; Feds seek solutions for Medicare appeals backlog;

News From Around the Web

> Scientists are developing new medicines that relieve chronic pain without addiction risk, raising both hope and skepticism among drug abuse fighters. Effectively replacing commonly abused drugs such as oxycontin could be a "game-changer," according to The Courier-Journal. Article

> The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals issued a request for information seeking solutions for a growing number of hearing requests and the backlog of pending administrative law judge appeals, JD Supra Business Advisor reported. Article

> The next U.S. Attorney General will be challenged to find the right balance between "vigorous enforcement and understanding the burden encountered by healthcare providers in responding to often broad and prolonged [fraud] investigations," The Tennessean reported. Article

> A Michigan doctor has pled guilty to what federal authorities call a $19 million fraud scheme, according to the Associated Press. All told, four physicians and one assistant allegedly referred Medicare beneficiaries for home health care that wasn't medically necessary, then submitted false claims for reimbursement. Article

Health Insurance News

> Some hospitals and medical groups are starting to make insured patients pay out-of-pocket costs up front. Article

> President Barack Obama denied charges that he misled Americans about the health care reform law in order to get it passed. Article

And Finally... An ex-cop was charged with fraud after allegedly coaching people on how to pass lie detector tests. Article