But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.
The proportion of patients who were discharged alive from hospice care rose about 50 percent between 2002 and 2012 [...]
The average length of a stay in hospice care also jumped substantially over that time, in California and nationally, according to the analysis. Profit per patient quintupled, to $1,975, California records show.
This vast growth took place as the hospice “movement,” once led by religious and community organizations, was evolving into a $17 billion industry dominated by for-profit companies. Much of that is paid for by the U.S. government — roughly $15 billion of industry revenue came from Medicare last year.
Tess Lynch covers some hoaxes that attracted a great deal of attention this year. I missed this one (nj.com) from November:
BRIDGEWATER – The customers whose bill sparked thousands of dollars of donations to a gay waitress claim the receipt was doctored, and they would "never leave a note like that," according to a report on NBC 4 New York.
Dayna Morales, the former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater who claimed she had been denied a tip and handed an anti-gay remark instead, and would donate replacement tips from supporters to the Wounded Warrior Project, has been accused by the family of doctoring the receipt, the report said. The family, who asked to remain anonymous, showed a copy of the receipt for the same amount printed at the same moment, matching a Visa bill apparently showing the $93.55 total plus an $18 tip, totaling $111.55, the report said.
Morales could probably use the donations because she's no longer employed at the restaurant.
Earlier this week I watched an old C-SPAN segment about the life of Grover Cleveland. The old claim that the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Cleveland's eldest daughter, Ruth, was presented as if it were fact. It always seemed to me far more likely that the bar would have been named for Babe Ruth. I never looked into the claim until now. If snopes is to be believed, the confusion about the name arose because the candy maker told a whopper to protect its interests in an infringment case.
But Rialto’s [California] randomised controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific – and encouraging – findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.
“When you know you’re being watched you behave a little better. That’s just human nature,” said Farrar. “As an officer you act a bit more professional, follow the rules a bit better.”
Video clips provided by the department showed dramatic chases on foot – you can hear the officer panting – and by car that ended with arrests, and without injury. Complaints often stemmed not from operational issues but “officers’ mouths”, said the chief. “With a camera they are more conscious of how they speak and how they treat people.”
The same applied to the public; once informed they were being filmed, even drunk or agitated people tended to become more polite, Farrar said. Those who lodged frivolous or bogus complaints about officers tended to retract them when shown video of the incidents. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I hadn’t seen it that way.’”
Cameras made officers more careful about using force. “It’s still part of the business, they still do it. But now they make better use of what we call verbal judo.”
Fewer complaints and calmer policing, said Farrar, would reduce lawsuits and expensive payouts.
The Times posted one of those dialect discrimination tests. I'm always on the fence as I respond to some of the items in these questionnaires. If I were back East, I might use different words and perhaps different pronunciations, but my default position has become full on Chicago.
So I repeated the test, going with my responses leaning toward my language and accent as a teen in southwestern CT.