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Wisconsin 183 articles

FDA raises concerns about herbal supplement kratom

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Advisory due to its growing concerns about the risks associated with the use of the herbal supplement kratom, and is calling on those who believe in the potential medical benefits of the herb to conduct research on kratom so that its risks and benefits can be better understood. Kratom is a plant indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It has grown in popularity in the U.S., and is often marketed as a “safe” treatment for a variety of conditions. The FDA said it knows people are using kratom ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Epic Systems, Alleging Fraudulent Double Billing

A whistleblower suing Verona, Wisconsin-based Epic Systems alleges the medical IT company’s software defaults to double-billing Medicare and Medicaid for anesthesia services, costing U.S. taxpayers to overpay by hundreds of millions of dollars. According to Law 360, Geraldine Petrowski, an employee of Raleigh, North Carolina-based WakeMed Health between 2008 and 2014, filed the False Claims complaint against Epic under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act after her experiences with implementing Epic’s billing system raised “major concerns” about overbilling the government. Ms. Petrowski’s whistleblower complaint contends that Epic’s billing software defaults to charging Medicare and Medicaid for actual time ... Read More

Whistleblower Law Repeal Makes Wisconsin Fraud-Friendly State

Wisconsin’s whistleblower law protecting taxpayer-funded state agencies and programs from fraud was quietly repealed by Governor Scott Walker in the 2015-17 state budget – a move that is costing the state’s taxpayers millions of dollars. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Walker’s repeal of the state’s False Claims Act has already cost Wisconsin taxpayers an estimated $11 million in settlement money from companies that have defrauded the Medicaid program. That’s $11 million out of taxpayers’ pockets and into the bank accounts of corporate cheats. The $11 million estimate “was produced by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism using methodology ... Read More

Produce packer’s recall spurs chain reaction of recalls

Dozens of vegetable products are being pulled from grocery store shelves across the country after California-based Mann Packing announced it was recalling several of its products due to concerns that the vegetables had been contaminated with listeria, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with compromised immune systems. It can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Mann Packaging’s recall spurred a chain of recalls from other companies who carry or use Mann Packaging’s produce products. Meijer, a Midwestern chain similar to Walmart, recalled nearly 20 different ... Read More

Milwaukee Man Crushed while Operating Crane

A Milwaukee man has died after being crushed while operating a remote-controlled crane. Monday, Oct. 16, Kelvis Price, 42, was using a remote-controlled magnetic crane to lift a massive steel plate overhead, CBS58 News reports. When one of the magnets failed, the steel plate fell on top of Price, crushing him. When emergency responders arrived on scene, they found Price lying on his back with the steel plate covering him from the waist down. The remote control used to move the crane was worn on a strap hanging off Price’s shoulder. The workers were unable to remove the large piece ... Read More

Worker Suffers Arm Amputation at Wisconsin Food Plant

A Wisconsin woman suffered an arm amputation in an industrial accident at a food manufacturing plant in Random Lake, Wisconsin, Monday, Oct.9. The Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Dispatch Center received an emergency call from the Lakeside Foods plant at 9:45 a.m. that a 30-year-old female worker had her arm severed below the elbow. According to the Sheboygan Press, the dispatch center talked personnel at the scene of the accident through life-saving procedures until first responders arrived at the scene. The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Random Lake First Responders and EMS crew from Random Lake Ambulance and Orange ... Read More

Petland pups spreading drug-resistant infection to humans

Puppies sold by the national pet store chain Petland have been linked to an antibiotic-resistant strain of infections in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “We know that Campylobacter is common in dogs, that’s not new to us,” said CDC veterinarian Dr. Mark Laughlin. “But an outbreak of human illness due to contact with dogs is quite unique.” Dogs carry the bacteria that causes Campylobacter infections, but not all who carry the germ experience symptoms such as diarrhea. The bacteria can be spread through dog poop, when someone is touching, feeding or cleaning up after their pup. ... Read More

Black & Decker Manufacturer Fined For Failure To Recall Dangerous Coffeemaker Carafes

A federal court has ordered the company that produces Black & Decker brand products to pay nearly $2 million in civil penalties for its failure to report dangerously defective SpaceMaker coffee carafes and for continuing to distribute the defective glass carafes after they were recalled. In addition to $1.9 million in civil penalties, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley ordered a permanent injunction against Spectrum Brands Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, for its violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act related to its handling of the defective Black & Decker carafes. The injunction requires Spectrum to report to the court every ... Read More

Community supports little girl with alopecia

There are many reasons people suffer from hair loss. They all face both the emotional consequences as well as the high cost of treatments or wigs. Some experience hereditary hair loss which is often associated with age and known as pattern hair loss. This affects both men and women. Some suffer hair loss as a result of toxic drugs, such as during chemotherapy. This is usually expected to be a short term side effect. But for some, such as a growing number of those who have used chemotherapy drug Taxotere, they have found that their hair did not grow back ... Read More

Alaska Settles False Claims Allegations With U.S. Over SNAP Funds

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (ADHSS) has agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $2.5 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that it cheated the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by submitting claims for performance bonuses it did not earn. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, ADHSS contracted with Julie Osnes Consulting LLC (Osnes Consulting) to provide advice and recommendations on how to lower its SNAP quality control error rate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the SNAP program, pays performance bonuses to states that report the lowest and the most improved error ... Read More