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Illinois helps school for deaf and blind stay open

August 5, 2010 1 comment

Illinois helps school for deaf and blind stay open

Ed Tibbetts Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 5:15pm

An Illinois school for the deaf and blind will be able to keep its doors open for another month to six weeks after the state paid part of an outstanding debt, the school’s chief administrator said Tuesday.

The Philip J. Rock Center, which is in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, had been in danger of closing this week.

However, Peggy Whitlow, the chief administrator, said it got a $300,000 payment from the state, which it deposited Monday.

“That will get us through another month to six weeks,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll get another payment then.”

The school has 14 resident students but also serves more than 400 children statewide.

The students living at the school range in age from 6 to 21, and many of their parents aren’t able to care for them at home.

As a result, the uncertainty over the school’s future has led to a great deal of anxiety.

Two Quad-City area families have children there.

Before this latest payment, the school was owed $1.3 million by the state, just one of hundreds of schools and education-related vendors statewide that are owed a total of $1.3 billion.

Carol Knowles, a spokeswoman for the state comptroller’s office, said the state made $530 million in education-related payments last week, Rock Center included.

The money came from a $1.3 billion short-term loan.

Whitlow said this latest payment covered February expenses, but it is still owed for March, April and May. The state is its only funding source.

The school had said last month that if it didn’t get a payment by Thursday, it would have to close.

“We were very appreciative,” Whitlow said Tuesday.

The Rock Center employs 40 people full time and another 20 part time.

United States Settles False Claims Act Allegations with Cochlear Americas for $880,000

June 17, 2010 4 comments

WASHINGTON – Cochlear Americas, a Colorado-based cochlear implant manufacturer, has agreed to pay $880,000 to resolve allegations that it paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce purchases of cochlear implant systems, the Justice Department announced today. Cochlear Americas is a subsidiary of an Australian company, Cochlear Limited.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by a whistleblower, Brenda March, in 2004. The lawsuit, filed in the District of Colorado, alleged that Cochlear Americas violated the Anti-kickback Act and the False Claims Act by paying various forms of illegal remuneration to physicians who prescribed the use of the Cochlear-manufactured devices for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The United States intervened in the lawsuit in January 2007, and then shortly thereafter, moved to stay the suit, while the United States pursued an administrative civil monetary penalties investigation against Cochlear. The settlement announced today resolves that administrative matter as well as the lawsuit initiated by the whistleblower.

“Today’s actions demonstrate that the United States will not tolerate the payment of kickbacks by any entity involved in providing medical goods and services to beneficiaries of federal health care programs,” said Assistant Attorney General Tony West, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

“This office is determined to protect the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the citizens of Colorado and of the United States,” said David Gaouette, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado.

Ms. March brought her suit under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens with knowledge of fraud against the government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. Under the civil settlement announced today, she will receive $176,000.

The settlement announced today was the result of a coordinated effort among the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Counsel to the Inspector General and Office of Investigations.

Dog Donated for Deaf Gets Own Hearing Aids

June 11, 2010 4 comments

By Bug

I found this article in my local newspaper about ten years ago.  I don’t have any updated news about the Deaf Dog wearing hearing aid. An unruly dog whose owners donated it to Dogs for the Deaf turned out to have a good reason for not minding. Trainers trying to teach Sassy, the 1-year-old American Eskimo breed female, to help deaf people discovered that she couldn’t hear herself. Sassy was fitted with her own donated hearing aids. Read more about Sally:

Pope won’t listen! (cartoon)

April 6, 2010 Comments off

St. John’s School for the Deaf vs. Dean Weissmuller

April 6, 2010 2 comments

[Read more about it, click St. John’s School for the Deaf vs. Dean Weissmuller]

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