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"Biblical" flu, Penn and Teller take on the vaccine wars, and a Medicare scamster: The ReportingonHealth Daily Briefing

"Biblical" flu, Penn and Teller take on the vaccine wars, and a Medicare scamster: The ReportingonHealth Daily Briefing

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

From Medicare scamsters to "biblical flu" to a simple walk to school, here's what we're reading today:

Hard Time: A Chicago-area cardiologist has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after bilking Medicare and other insurers for a cool $13 million that financed fancy cars and a mansion, according to the Chicago Tribune. This busy bee managed to provide more than 24 hours of "treatment" per day according to his insurance claims, prosecutors said.

Vaccines: The inimitable Penn and Teller plan to take on the anti-vaccine movement in their television show "Penn & Teller: B#llsh!t!" Orac has some thoughts about the show over at his blog Respectful Insolence.

"Biblical" Flu: In another example of health and science bloggers' influence, Aetiology's Tara C. Smith gets the peer-reviewed Virology Journal to retract "a really terrible paper" on influenza in biblical times.

Prescription Drugs: The Boston Globe's Stephen Smith reports on a new Massachusetts database that doctors soon will be able to check to stop patients from "doctor-shopping" in their search for addictive prescription drugs.

Walk: So you walked uphill 10 miles to school, both ways, in the snow when you were a kid? Maybe it was good for you.  A new study from University of Buffalo researchers suggests that a simple walk to school can relieve children's anxiety and lower their blood pressure and heart rate when faced with a stressful task.

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