Inquiries

Out-of-network billing  surprises

Out-of-network billing surprises

Patients get charged for unexpected services not covered by their insurance

MARYLOU SUDDERS, the state’s secretary of health and human services, was going through some paperwork for her late sister when she came across a bill from a doctor for thousands of dollars that wasn’t covered by insurance. Sudders says the bill included charges for services that would have normally been paid by her sister’s insurer(...)

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Unpaid internships  – hard work,  questionable legality

Unpaid internships – hard work, questionable legality

For-profit companies still skirt Mass. requirements for intern pay

BOSTON-BASED ARGOPOINT placed an ad on Craigslist in February seeking a marketing intern of whom a lot seems to be expected. The ad specified nine required qualifications, including a strong academic background, excellent verbal and written communication skills, high attention to detail, strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, and demonstrated leadership experience. The ad also listed(...)

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Tea Party Ship loses $3.6m

Tea Party Ship loses $3.6m

In 3d year, museum boosts revenue but losses continue

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY Ships and Museum boosted revenue in its third year of operation, but continued to lose money, nearly $3.6 million. Damaged by fire in 2001, the museum commemorating the 1773 tax rebellion against the British by the Sons of Liberty reopened in 2012 with the help of an $18 million loan from(...)

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Bridj revs up

Bridj revs up

Private bus company looks to supplement, not replace, MBTA service

AS THE MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board mulls axing late-night buses and trains to save money, the chances of some sort of wee-hours bus service surviving may rest with a start-up called Bridj. Matthew George, Bridj’s 25-year-old founder and CEO, sees his two-year-old bus company not as a competitor to the MBTA, but as a(...)

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Bump sees physical education inequality

Bump sees physical education inequality

State auditor says there's a link between obesity and lack of PE resources

STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP says a 2014 audit her office conducted of the state’s child obesity programs turned up income correlations that are strikingly similar to what CommonWealth uncovered in its report in the fall issue on high school sports (“Rich-poor divide in high school sports”). CommonWealth found that sports participation in high schools across(...)

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Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

State collects information but lacks analysis for root causes

NEW STATE DATA suggest falls are a major problem at assisted living facilities across Massachusetts, with roughly two of every five residents ending up down on the floor over the course of a year. Falls among elders are a serious public health problem. Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for(...)

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An exit sweetener

An exit sweetener

Ousted DCR commissioner cashes in on way out the door

CAROL SANCHEZ, the former commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, pocketed $8,200 for doing nothing after she was apparently pushed out the door in early November. Sanchez served seven months as commissioner before abruptly announcing her departure, prompting speculation of bad blood between Sanchez and her boss, Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy(...)

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Don’t tax my yogurt

Don’t tax my yogurt

New Roche Bros. store taxes items by where they're bought, not what they are

FOR MANY, the new Roche Bros. supermarket in the old Filene’s building at Boston’s Downtown Crossing is manna from heaven. There is a large full-service grocery store in the old Filene’s Basement, and at street level, Roche Bros. has opened a ready-to-eat section for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring a salad bar, a hot food(...)

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Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Colleges look for innovative ways to stem distance learning cheating

AS COLLEGES OFFER more and more courses online, school officials are scrambling to come up with innovative ways to prevent cheating by students taking tests and other assessments remotely. It’s often a game of cat and mouse. One undergraduate student at Northeastern University says he took an online marketing course from a professor who tried(...)

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State down to one elder ombudsman

State down to one elder ombudsman

Single employee serves more than 14,000 assisted living residents

THE MASSACHUSETTS ELDER AFFAIRS office, which had been using two ombudsmen to respond to complaints from the 14,000 people in the state’s 237 assisted living facilities, is now down to one. One ombudsman took a buyout offered by the Baker administration this summer and Elder Affairs is not currently planning to fill the vacancy because of(...)

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