ER Bill Surprise!

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New data suggests that EmCare, now one of the nation’s largest physician-staffing companies for emergency rooms, is showing a disturbing pattern. In the case of a small Spokane, Washington hospital, the number of patients coded as having billing for the most complex, expensive level of care quadrupled after the hospital contracted for services through EmCare…. Read more »

The Dirty Little Secret about Big Pharma

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As the New York Times reports, when Big Pharma companies are under fire for skyrocketing drug prices, they would like you to believe that prices have to be so high to support research and development (R&D). But is that the truth? Questions: 1. What did the authors of the new study find that the 18… Read more »

Promises Kept? Buy American, Hire Americans?

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According to Lydia O’Neal with the International Business Times, President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order urging the U.S. to “buy American,” in part by encouraging the Departments of Commerce and State to prioritize American firms when they dole out lucrative contracts. Unfortunately, a report released last week found, that the direction may not… Read more »

Private Debt Collectors used by the IRS. What could go wrong?

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According to Slate, last year, Congress authorized the Internal Revenue Service to use private debt collectors to go after unpaid tax liabilities—and this month, if you are one of the unfortunate, you may have already had the pleasure first-hand. Questions: 1. What is the pleasure that this article is referring to? 2. Has this been… Read more »

So you want privacy?

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The privacy protections, approved in the final days of the Obama administration, would have required ISPs to get permission from customers before collecting and sharing their data. However, President Trump signed off on a repeal of the Internet privacy protections before they were able to take effect — despite an outcry from consumer groups and… Read more »

Time to Cash In

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Miss Kindergarten is in the million-dollar club. So are Lovin Lit, the Moffatt Girls and about a dozen other teacher-entrepreneurs who are spinning reading, math, science and social studies into gold by selling their lesson plans online to fellow teachers around the world. Questions: 1. What types of things do these websites offer? 2. What… Read more »

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

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United Airlines, the Chicago-based giant at the center of a public relations storm for its forcible removal of a passenger from a weekend flight, has spent more than $41 million during the past decade to lobby the federal government, often battling consumer-friendly causes. Questions: 1. What were some of these consumer-friendly causes that United lobbied… Read more »

March Madness at Uber

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Uber experienced the worst month it has had during its eight-year history in March 2017. There were car crashes, the company president quit, and an entire country turned its back on the app. Questions: 1. Which country forced Uber to withdraw and why? 2. Which company is Uber accused of stealing from and what did… Read more »

Where equal work does not equate to equal pay?

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According to the Associated Press and USA Today, government investigators looking into how Google pays its employees have accused the tech giant of shortchanging women doing similar work to men. Questions: 1. What are some of the claims? 2. Which branch of government filed the lawsuit? 3. Google has said it has turned over some… Read more »

Detainees for Profit

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Libre, a for-profit company whose name means “free” in Spanish, is charging immigrants who sign contracts $420 per month for their freedom while wearing the company’s GPS devices. The company is now subject to a number of lawsuits and allegations of fraud by immigrants. Questions: 1. Do you think a company should be allowed to… Read more »