State auditors say two family planning clinics overbilled Medicaid for $3.5 million, largely for birth control; the providers say the state is using the wrong reimbursement rate. Now Republican legislators are seeking an audit of all such clinics in Wisconsin.

Republicans seek Medicaid audit of all family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood

The 32 legislators’ action was prompted by a Center story in November about state auditors alleging that two family planning clinics overbilled Medicaid by $3.5 million, largely for birth control drugs and devices. Family planning providers say the auditors’ stance could force many clinics to close, while the state maintains it is protecting taxpayers. Continue Reading

Fly ash samples

‘Beneficial reuse’ of coal ash could contaminate drinking water statewide

It’s not a good sign when even the dogs won’t drink your tap water. “They sniff it and then drink the bottled water we pour,” said Frank Michna of Caledonia, one of hundreds of southeastern Wisconsin residents whose wells are contaminated by pollutants that may be coming from buried coal ash. Continue Reading

About 100 milligrams of nails are all that's needed to show if someone has been heavily drinking — at least six binges in the past three months.

Wisconsin first to test repeat drunken drivers with alcohol biomarkers

In the past several years, a handful of Wisconsin counties became the first nationwide to test repeat drunken drivers for molecular evidence of heavy drinking in nail or blood samples. Researchers say their initial data show that biomarker testing during treatment may help these offenders stay sober longer, keep them from getting rearrested, save counties money — and make roads safer. Continue Reading

State auditors say two family planning clinics overbilled Medicaid for $3.5 million, largely for birth control; the providers say the state is using the wrong reimbursement rate. Now Republican legislators are seeking an audit of all such clinics in Wisconsin.

Family planning clinics say state audits could force many to close

Two family planning clinics serving low-income women say their operations will be at serious financial risk if state auditors stand firm on claims that they overbilled Medicaid by $3.5 million, largely for birth control drugs and devices.

“My hunch is that if any one of us were audited it would come out the same way. We’re all operating the same way,” said Beth Hartung, president of the Wisconsin Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. “It would mean, quite frankly, that we would all close.” Continue Reading

Center awarded $35,000 from Knight-supported INNovation Fund to translate investigative reporting into art, explore new audiences — and profit

I often uncover disturbing statistics that stick with me. A reader normally might pass by them in the story in a second. Carrie Roy makes them into physical objects that a person can touch and linger over. So we’re collaborating to find new audiences for investigative reporting, transforming reporting into sculptures. Continue Reading

Investigative author Charles Lewis speaking Oct. 9 at UW-Madison: On power brokers who block truth, and what lies ahead

Top investigative journalist and bestselling author Charles Lewis will deliver a lecture Thursday on “Investigative Journalism and the Future of Truth” in Madison — and the public is invited. Lewis will speak at 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s annual Ralph O. & Monona H. Nafziger Lecture. The free event will take place in Howard Auditorium at The Fluno Center, 601 University Ave. Lewis, a professor of journalism and the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C., will discuss his recent book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity. Continue Reading