Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "Abuse" ...

  • The Medicare Advantage Money Grab

    This is the first comprehensive effort by a media organization to analyze how government pays for Medicare Advantage, which costs taxpayers some $150 billion a year as it grows explosively. We found that rather than slow health-care spending, as intended, Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly have sharply driven up treatment costs in some parts of the United States—larding on tens of billions of dollars in overcharges and other suspect billings over the past five years alone. The findings are based on an analysis of Medicare Advantage enrollment and billing data as well as thousands of pages of government audits, research papers and other documents, and scores of interviews with industry executives. Our review revealed how an obscure billing formula called a “risk score,” that is supposed to pay Medicare Advantage plans more for sicker patients and less for healthy ones, has been widely abused to inflate Medicare costs.

    Tags: Medicare advantage; elder abuse; corruption; billing

    By Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin, and Chris Zubak-Skees

    NBC News

    2014

  • Medicare Unmasked

    The "Medicare Unmasked” series examined the $600 billion Medicare program, stemming from The Wall Street Journal’s legal and journalistic efforts to prod the government to publicly release doctor-billing data that had been kept secret for decades. A team of Journal reporters created numerous programs to analyze the government numbers, using them to spin out articles that uncovered medical abuses that cost taxpayers. The series had big impact. The CEO of a large laboratory resigned under pressure soon after the Journal revealed it used a controversial medical practice. The Journal also broke news of an FBI investigation into a medical practice the newspaper had identified as collecting far more from Medicare for a single procedure than any other medical provider. And an ousted Walgreen executive sued the drugstore giant alleging widespread Medicare-related abuses there, citing a Journal article that revealed a $1 billion forecasting error in Walgreen’s Medicare business. The Journal has been widely recognized for its Medicare efforts. Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times Public Editor, praised the Journal for its “time, expense and persistence” in pursuing the once-secret Medicare data, calling it a “cornerstone of investigative reporting."

    Tags: Medicare; fraud

    By Tom McGinty

    Wall Street Journal (New York)

    2014

  • UK Parliamenary Paedophiles

    This entry consists of a series of feature articles published in the daily Morning Star, UK and on-line version. They form a campaign to reveal the extent of an official Establishment cover-up of the activities of UK Parliamentary MP's involved in widespread pedophile abuse of vulnerable children. The allegations and supporting evidence stretches back decades and includes actions taken by UK Secret Intelligence Services, The Metropolitan Police, and other regional forces, the Home Office and other state institutions. The campaign tracks individual cases and high profile government Ministers of State many of whom are now deceased. Children were taken from children's homes where they were being looked after by social services staff and transported to hotels and guest houses where they were drugged and sexually abused, orally and anally raped and forced to perform sexual acts on older men.

    Tags: Sexual abuse; UK Secret Intelligence; Pedophiles

    By Steven Walker

    The Morning Star

    2014

  • Tapping into Controversial Back Surgeries

    Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgeries in America, but there are concerns that some doctors are performing it unnecessarily. The procedure joins two or more adjacent vertebrae, often with metal rods and screws, and can result in paralysis or life-threatening complications. For this six month investigation, we built a database from previously unreleased government records. It showed for the first time how many spinal fusions each surgeon in the country performed on Medicare patients, under the billing codes used most commonly for "degenerative" conditions that cause back pain. Half a dozen experts on medical billing and spine surgery told us that focusing on these codes would be the most effective way to identify abuse. We exposed that a small group of doctors performed far more of these lucrative but potentially dangerous procedures than their peers. Some of them were also banned or suspended from hospitals or settled lawsuits alleging unnecessary surgeries. Our findings were so alarming to the president of a top neurosurgery society that he called on authorities to look into these doctors. We also put the database online, made it easily searchable by patients, and provided guidance from experts on how to interpret it.

    Tags: Surgery; health; Medicare

    By Ben Eisler

    CBS News

    2014

  • Cleveland Captives Rescued

    CBS had exclusive information breaking news in this high profile case including the captor’s suicide note and its contents, that one of the women was forced to deliver the other woman’s baby impregnated by the captor, and resuscitated the baby when it was born not breathing, and how the women were chained and beaten repeatedly and what they said to police at time of rescue and other details about their ordeal. Our exclusive CBS reports were quoted extensively by other national media organizations.

    Tags: Suicide; rape; sexual abuse

    By Scott Pelley

    CBS News

    2013

  • Letter Confirms St. John's Abbey Knew About Clergy Two Years Before Releasing Names to Public

    St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., released a list of 18 monks who sexually abused children on December 9, 2013. The St. John’s Abbey said the list was unveiled to achieve transparency. Through a letter obtained by UTVS News, we revealed that the St. John's Abbey knew about credible allegations of sexual abuse by Father Dominic Keller in July 2011, more than two years before Keller's name was made public by the St. John's Abbey on Dec. 9, 2013. Moreover, we found only 3 of the 18 names were new to the public. This story, done on a 48-hour deadline by UTVS News Reporter Nick Minock at St. Cloud State University, gives a voice to victims and informs viewers that at least two monks, who are credibly accused of sexually abusing minors at St. John's Abbey, still work in Minnesota parishes.

    Tags: St. John's Abbey; Dominic Keller;

    By Nick Minock

    USTVS

    2013

  • Moms: Hospital Killed Our Kids

    The outside of the Kentucky Children's Hospital is all colorful paintings and smiling photos, but inside there's a dark secret. Connor Wilson was the first to die, on August 30, at six months old. His parents, while heartbroken, didn't think anything was amiss until another baby in the same ward, Rayshawn Lewis-Smith, died. Then they found out Waylon Rainey, also on the cardiac surgery floor, coded and was on life support and a fourth baby, Jaxon Russell needed a second surgery at another hospital to fix a heart surgery he'd had a Kentucky Children's. All of these events happened within eight weeks, after which the hospital closed its cardiac surgery program and placed its chief surgeon on leave. When the parents asked the hospital questions, the hospital wouldn't answer them. When a local reporter started asking questions, the hospital sued her. When the state Attorney General asked these same basic questions - how many pediatric heart surgeries they did, their mortality rates - the hospital refused to hand over the data. When the AG ruled they were in violation of state law by not releasing their data, the hospital appealed the ruling. Now the hospital says they plan to re-open their pediatric cardiac surgery program, and these parents are up in arms. How could the hospital possibly open back up with this kind of track record, without even releasing the most basic safety data, which many other hospitals release all the time? And why haven't state or federal regulators rushed in to stop the program from re-opening - they haven't even opened an investigation. Elizabeth Cohen investigates.

    Tags: Kentucky Children's Hospital; child abuse; cardiac surgery

    By Elizabeth Cohen

    CNN

    2013

  • Hooked: Canada's Pill Problem

    Which Canadians pop the most pills? What's the correlation between prescription, abuse and deaths connected to potent opioids? What happens when you crack down on one widely abuse opioid - but only one? We created an original database tracking opioid prescriptions across provinces and compared that with data on abuse and opioid-related deaths. We spoke with people who've lost loved ones to opioid use, to the companies manufacturing these drugs and the policy-makers trying to combat their abuse. Our data shed new light on the topic and gave health ministers something new on which to act.

    Tags: Canada; pharmaceuticals; opioids; pills; database; prescriptions; policy-makers; drugs; abuse

    By Anna Mehler Paperny; Leslie Young

    Global TV News (Toronto)

    2013

  • APTN Investigates: Abuse of Process

    This story is about the exploitation of vulnerable individuals - Aboriginal survivors of government Indian Residential School - by the very people who were supposed to be advocating on their behalf. In this story, the latest in a series of feature and news stories, we learn about a thug employed by a lawyer who uses strong-arm tactics to enroll news clients into his lawyer's firm and to extort money from the survivors.

    Tags: lawyers

    By Kathleen Martens; Paul Barnsley

    APTN

    2013

  • DCS Under Fire

    DCS Under Fire is a collection of stories representing WREG’s coverage of problems at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Our team began an in-depth investigation into the child welfare agency more than a year ago. The very agency charged with protecting the state’s most vulnerable had kids dying on its watch. We exposed unexplained deaths, questionable actions by case workers as well as failed technology and policies. Our continuous coverage raised concerns from parents, advocates and lawmakers. Since the start of our investigation, and later a court battle for access to public records, DCS has overhauled its staff and changed a number of policies and procedures to better protect children in its care.

    Tags: Department of Children Services; Welfare; Death; Abuse

    By Zaneta Lowe

    WREG-TV (Memphis, Tenn.)

    2013