3 doctors pulled out of Medicaid program
HONOLULU - Three Hawaii doctors have been pulled from the Medicaid program and two others are under federal investigation for prescribing high amounts of psychiatric drugs and painkillers.
The actions came to light in a Feb. 23 letter Dr. Kenneth Fink of the state Department of Human Services wrote to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, who is focusing on Medicaid abuses nationwide.
Grassley has told state Health Director Loretta Fuddy he has concerns about oversight and enforcement of Medicaid in Hawaii. The Iowa Republican has been investigating whether doctors have been bilking the system by writing excessive prescriptions for drugs that have potential for abuse and fraud.
None of the physicians was identified by name, only by prescription identification numbers.
Man dies by suicide before sentencing
HONOLULU - A court sentencing in a manslaughter case involving the death of an 11-year-old Waimanalo boy was canceled because the defendant committed suicide.
Herbert Kaio-Campbell was to be sentenced Wednesday but police said he was found dead in his home Monday. The medical examiner's office said the cause of the death is asphyxia due to hanging. Foul play is not suspected.
He pleaded no contest in November to manslaughter in connection with the July 2010 death of Samuel Kassebeer.
Police say Kaio-Campbell and another man were racing when Kaio-Campbell slammed into a car the boy was riding in. Prosecutors say Kaio-Campbell had blood-alcohol content of 0.10, above the legal limit of 0.08.
Two months before the crash, the Honolulu Fire Department awarded him a civilian medal of valor for rescuing a swimmer.
$636K to go to help homeless veterans
HONOLULU - Honolulu will receive $636,000 in federal funds to help homeless veterans.
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana-busa's office announced this week that the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is to provide permanent housing assistance and case management to homeless veterans.
Hanabusa, a member of the Armed Services Committee, says there's an obligation to ensure veterans have the help they need to transition back to civilian life.
According to the VA, 1 out of every 6 men and women in homeless shelters nationwide is a veteran.