Somebody will be earning their hourly rate today. MinnPost coverage is here, and Brett Neely of MPR reports on lawyers from the Mayo Clinic arguing their case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court today: “In a case that could have big implications for patent law, the high court will weigh whether the clinic infringed upon a patent held by Prometheus Labs San Diego. Prometheus makes a blood test that helps doctors decide the proper dosage for a drug called thiopurine which is used to treated gastrointestinal illnesses. Mayo used that test until 2004 when the clinic created its own test, which it says was cheaper and faster. At that point, Prometheus sued for patent infringement and Mayo had to halt work on its test. Mayo officials argue that companies do have a right to patent medical tests but said Prometheus’s patent was much broader.”
We’re not “pro-bullying, but we’re close. The feds are not flattering in their assessment of Minnesota’s anti-bullying laws. Tom Weber of MPR reports: “Minnesota is given low marks in a U.S. Education Department analysis and report on bullying laws. The report puts Minnesota in a group of ten states with the least prescriptive laws. Just 37 words long, Minnesota’s law only requires local districts to enact a bullying prevention policy; it does not outline what those policies should include, except to include a mandate that the local policies also address online, or cyber-bullying. In 2010, the federal department issued guidance that outlined specific components that officials considered essential to an effective anti-bullying law. Those components include requirements that districts develop local bullying policies; that laws outline legal remedies and require schools to train staff how to address bullying. The report finds Minnesota has just two of those components in place — the lowest number in the nation, except for the four states without any law at the time of the report’s writing.”
This is pleasant. Says Paul Walsh at the Strib: “A Minneapolis home health care provider and one of its nurses are being blamed for the death of a client who did not have crucial vital signs checked during a late-night examination before he was rushed to a hospital in septic shock and with mouse feces caked on his feet, according to a state investigatory report released Wednesday. Cited for maltreatment by the state Health Department were Best Care Home Health Inc. and one of its nurses. Best Care has told the agency that it is challenging the finding against the company. The Minneapolis home where the client lived until his death in March was described in the state investigatory report as seriously cluttered, reeking of urine and littered with feces from rodents and other animals. The client also had dried feces on his buttocks and mouse droppings ‘embedded in his toes,’ the report added.” Sorry if you just ate lunch.
U of M President Eric Kaler took questions at a student forum Tuesday. Jenna Wilcox of The Daily reports: “University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler made his first appearance at a Minnesota Student Association forum Tuesday night, which gave many students the opportunity to ask questions and learn about his plans for the future of the University. Student representatives pressed him on recent changes to transfer admissions, tuition increases for students in the Carlson School of Management and asked for advice as student government leaders. … Forum Speaker Drew Horwood had concerns about the new initiative to increase tuition by $2,000 in the Carlson School of Management by 2015. A Carlson student himself, Horwood said he wondered if splitting tuition by college would accurately reflect the cost of attendance at each college, or if it will have negative repercussions resulting in a ‘free for all’ of colleges increasing fees. Kaler said while he believes the increase will lead to additional conversations about using this model for other colleges, no other college has come forward yet. The money is also specifically for hiring additional faculty to teach Carlson students, so he said he didn’t see it as the beginning of a trend.”
Gaming the Medicare/Medicaid system? I am so shocked. At the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck reports: “The U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota has filed a civil complaint against a Kentucky-based rehabilitation company, joining a lawsuit from a Minnesota whistle-blower. The complaint alleges RehabCare Group Inc. paid kickbacks to a contract rehabilitation services provider, Rehab Systems of Missouri, in order to gain access to a lucrative stream of referrals involving beneficiaries covered by Medicare and Medicaid, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the U.S. attorney’s office. RehabCare has contracts to provide therapy with approximately 50 skilled nursing facilities in Minnesota, according to the government’s complaint, which was filed Monday. … The government alleges RehabCare was interested in purchasing the Missouri company more than five years ago but correctly determined that a deal the parties were considering would violate the federal anti-kickback statute. That’s because the purchase price would have accounted for the value of referrals from nursing homes controlled by the majority owner of Rehab Systems of Missouri, according to the government. Rather than purchase the Missouri company, RehabCare structured a different deal — a subcontract agreement — to pay Rehab Systems of Missouri about $600,000, the government alleges, and agreed to a five-year contract for a portion of revenue from Medicare and Medicaid patients.”
How would you like this guy for a neighbor? Maricella Miranda of the PiPress writes: “From letters to the city with false accusations of sex parties to throwing his neighbors’ bird feeder into the woods, authorities say an Eagan man harassed and stalked his neighbors for years. Michael John Gunderson, 47, faces a felony and a lesser charge for what authorities say has been a four-year pattern of stalking and harassing behavior, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint filed this week. Behind the manicured lawns of his single-family home, Gunderson has been stalking a couple living next door since 2007, Eagan Police Chief James McDonald said Tuesday. He didn’t stop there, according to the complaint. Gunderson also falsely accused an Eagan police detective and the police chief of having sex parties with prostitutes and children.” And you thought your guy with the 7 a.m. leaf blower was bad …
Denny Hecker news! Dee DePass of the Strib is saying: “After serving nearly 10 months for bank fraud and theft, Christi Rowan was recently released from an Illinois prison and remanded to the custody of the Minneapolis Community Corrections division, officials confirmed Wednesday. Rowan, who married convicted auto dealer Denny Hecker in an over-the-phone ceremony in February, has been assigned a case manager and is ‘in transition,’ meaning that she is either in a work-release jail, halfway house or some other form of supervised custody, said Richard Safra, Minneapolis Community Corrections manager. Her official release date from corrections custody is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2012. However, it is customary for prisoners to be transferred to some form of ‘transitional’ housing one to six months before their official release date.”
When was the last time you were described as “audaciously dishonest”? Dan Browning of the Strib covers the denouement of another scam: “After a four-week-long trial in Minneapolis, jurors found two men guilty Tuesday of a complex interstate fraud and money-laundering scheme that prosecutors said bilked more than $660,000 from their former employer, Advantage Transportation Inc. of Eagan. Clayton ‘Craig’ Hogeland, 41, now of Aurora, Texas, was found guilty of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and income tax evasion. … U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz praised the jurors for their diligence in sifting through reams of evidence. After they left the room, he turned to the defendants. Schiltz called Hogeland ‘an extremely dishonest man, an audaciously dishonest man.’ He accused Hogeland of trying to prompt judicial error by offering to plead guilty after the defense had rested its case, but before jurors began deliberations. Schiltz responded at the time that he would only consider a guilty plea after the jurors officially got the case. Hogeland then changed his mind. ‘I think that last-ditch guilty plea was an attempt to set me up,’ Schiltz said.” Does a judge calling you “audaciously dishonest” earn you cred in the slammer?
Today in Bachmannia: Dang, I hate it when I miss a good one like this. From a couple of days back, Marie Diamond at Think Progress writes: “[I]n an interview with Fox host Bill O’Reilly, Bachmann dismissed the humanitarian crisis of mass deportations and reiterated her baseless fear-mongering about ‘anchor babies.’ Bachmann then expressed a ‘can do’ attitude when it came to O’Reilly’s mock idea of dragging immigrants onto buses in front of their screaming children:
O’REILLY: There are a lot of people here who’ve been here for a lot of years. And if you’re gonna start dragging them out of here, it’s gonna be very, very difficult to do that … I’m just saying on a human basis, I don’t think that — theory is one thing. Dragging people out, putting them on a bus with their children’s crying can be quite something else.
BACHMANN: It can be done. That’s the thing, it can be done.
O’REILLY: It can be done, but at what cost?
Bachmann then cited the patently false claim that “50 percent of Mexico’s population has moved north of the border,” apparently hoping people wouldn’t do the math and realize that 56 million Mexicans have not, in fact, relocated to the U.S. She concluded by insisting ‘I’m a compassionate person …’ ” And a pro-family Christian, too.