Armstrong joined the projects and investigations team at Bloomberg News in 2010.
I wrote about the little known world of medical liens in which health insurers claim huge cuts of the compensation received by victims in personal injury cases. The stories include How an Insurer is Taking Money from the Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium – Businessweek Magazine April 10 2015 and another one about the impact of liens on the NFL concussion lawsuit that you can read here.
A series on the mistreatment of brain-injured Americans receiving care in expensive facilities promising cutting-edge care resulted in a number of investigations, the removal of patients and the bankruptcy of one of the largest centers in the country. Many of the stories are included in this PDF file. A story on the bankruptcy filing of the Florida center featured in the reporting can be found by clicking here. A video version of the story, which includes security camera evidence of beatings obtained through a public records request, is at this link.
I conceived a series of reports on the inappropriate use of popular cardiac stents. The stories included a feature on a cardiologist who made $6 million a year implanting stents later found to be unnecessary and a scheme at one of the country’s most prestigious hospitals to generate stent volume by scheduling “emergency” cases. I worked with the data visualization team to develop an interactive map of stenting rates across the country as well narrating, filming and helping produce a video version of story.
This story was the result of a computer analysis matching newly released Medicare payment data with a second database of physicians sanctioned by Medicare or banned from the federal program. The story showed how doctors collected millions of dollars from Medicare even after losing their license to practice. Another story in Businessweek Magazine looked at how one insurer was committing Medicare fraud overseas.
Other stories include an investigation of the growing, expensive and controversial use of spinal fusion surgeries; a report on a doctor-owned surgery center recruiting patients from across the country to undergo a procedure with questionable efficacy and potentially dangerous complications; stories on the multi-billion dollar industry of treating pain, including Purdue Says Kentucky Suit Over OxyContin Could Be Painful – Bloomberg on the maker of OxyContin, another story here on a private company targeting victims of auto accidents, and the growing use of steroids for pain ( Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Seen With $300 Billion Pain Market) that later prompted a warning (FDA Warning on Pain Injections Comes Too Late for Some – Bloomberg) from the FDA.
For a more detailed list of my work for Bloomberg, including magazine stories, video and radio reports, click here: Bloomberg-Articles-Videos-Radio-Complete-Listing (1)