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June 2013 Archives

FDA Investigating Deaths Following Injections of Zyprexa

The FDA announced this week that it is investigating the deaths of two patients who died several days after receiving intramuscular injections of the long-acting antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate). According to the investigation, both patients received appropriate doses of the drug, and both were found to have "very high olanzapine blood levels after death." High doses of olanzapine can cause delirium, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, and impaired levels of consciousness ranging from sedation to coma. The FDA has not yet determined if the drug is the cause of the fatalities. Zyprexa Relprevv is used for treating patients with schizophrenia.

Is Double-billing a Kind of Patient Harassment?

The source listed at the end of this post provides another example of medical billing abuse by health care providers, medical billing services, and health insurance companies. Under Connecticut law, it is illegal for any "health care provider to request payment" from a person who has health insurance, other than a copayment or deductible, for medical services covered under a managed care plan. (See Connecticut General Statutes Section 20-7f.) Unfortunately, this statute is largely ignored by medical providers and their billing services, to the detriment of patients. This practice is often called "balance billing" in the medical billing industry.