Last updated: October 21. 2013 11:35PM - 572 Views

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Kmart settles drug


billing charges


Federal prosecutors in Detroit say that the Kmart discount chain has agreed to pay $2.55 million to settle complaints that it overbilled government health programs when it partially filled drug prescriptions.


U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Monday that the settlement includes payments to the U.S., 30 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Kmart is based in the Detroit suburb of Troy and is part of Hoffman, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp.


McQuade says Kmart violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicaid, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and other health programs for all drugs included in a prescription in cases when it dispensed only part of the prescribed drugs.


She says Kmart returned the drugs to inventory.


The U.S. says ex-Kmart pharmacist Mark Kirsch gets a $310,000 whistleblower reward.


McD’s has some


higher-priced items


McDonald’s is introducing some higher-priced options to its Dollar Menu and renaming it “Dollar Menu and More” to spur sales in the U.S.


The company announced the changes to its popular low-priced menu on Thursday, the same day that the world’s biggest burger chain reported that its third-quarter profit rose 5 percent as it benefited from a Monopoly promotion in the U.S. and strength in the U.K. and Russia.


The company plans to introduce some $2 and $5 options on the Dollar Menu, which currently features things like the Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger and a McChicken sandwich for a buck. The new “Dollar Menu and More” will include items including $2 burgers and a $5 20-piece chicken McNuggets.


The menu tweaks come as McDonald’s tries to regain its footing. After outperforming rivals for years, McDonald’s has struggled recently as it faces heightened competition, shifting eating habits and tough economic conditions around the world. Late last year, its monthly sales at stores open at least a year fell for the first time in nearly a decade.


Existing home sales


drop in September


Americans bought fewer existing homes in September than the previous month, held back by higher mortgage rates and rising prices.


The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of re-sold homes fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million. That’s down from a pace of 5.39 million in August, which was revised lower.


The sales pace in August equaled July’s pace. Both were the highest in four years and are consistent with a healthy market.


Mortgage rates rose sharply over the summer from their historic lows, threatening to slow a housing recovery that began last year and has helped drive modest economic growth.


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