Vital Signs newsletter: Top health stories this week

More than 20 Maine health providers were paid at least $1 million each from Medicare in 2012, according to a trove of government data released Wednesday that sheds unprecedented light on health care billing across the country. The data, off limits to the public for more than three decades, revealed individual physicians’ billing practices for the first time nationwide, including the number of visits and procedures and how much doctors were paid. Experts warned the data could be easily misconstrued.

Long-secret Medicare data reveals payments to Maine doctors

Other top health stories this week:

LePage vetoes Medicaid expansion, calls the effort ‘ruinous’ for Maine’s future

As expected, Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers and dramatically overhaul the administration of the program by outsourcing it to managed care organizations. Democrats called LePage’s veto “ideological” and urged Republican counterparts to join them in an override.

Jury orders drug company to pay $6 billion over cancer risk for diabetes drug

A U.S. jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. to pay $6 billion in damages over claims that it concealed cancer risks associated with its Actos diabetes drug. Eli Lilly and Co, Takeda’s co-defendant, was ordered to pay $3 billion in punitive damages.

From our bloggers:

Catching Health, Diane Atwood

When should you be concerned about heartburn?

If your symptoms are severe or you have to take over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week, you should see your doctor.

Jackie Conn, Sooner or Lighter

Body Types! What’s Yours?

Ever compare your body to a horse? Chances are you haven’t but horse breeds have distinctive body types and it helps us to understand ours.

From the source: 

How did Gov. LePage explain why he nixed a Medicaid expansion in Maine? Here’s his veto message to the Legislature.


Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.