AHCJ
circle-cap

Log in ID   Password  
Forgot your password?   

logo mdl
logo btm
spacer
 
spacer
spacer

Get hands-on medical research training — at the source

AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellowships

The Association of Health Care Journalists has teamed up with the National Library of Medicine to present the AHCJ-NLM Fellowships. AHCJ will select four journalists to spend a week on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

The selected journalists will:

  • Learn how to explore the latest NIH research
  • Learn to understand and interpret biomedical statistics
  • Take advantage of NLM's data, programs and resources for stronger stories
  • Get hands-on training in PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov, ToxNet and Household Products Database

Enhance your medical and scientific reporting through this specialized fellowship. The application deadline is Aug. 3.


Jeanne Erdmann and Mary Shedden
Jeanne Erdmann and Mary Shedden

New AHCJ board named for 2015-16  

Jeanne Erdmann, an independent journalist based in Missouri, and Mary Shedden, editor of Health News Florida, join four incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2015-16 board of directors.

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include AHCJ President Karl Stark, of The Philadelphia Inquirer; AHCJ Treasurer Felice J. Freyer, of The Boston Globe; Gideon Gil, of The Boston Globe; and Maryn McKenna, an Atlanta-based independent journalist.

HOW I DID IT: Latest updates

syringe
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Find and cover health stories in rural America

Rural Health Journalism WorkshopMore than 70 journalists and experts in health care and policy gathered for AHCJ’s eighth Rural Health Journalism Workshop to focus on the medical challenges of rural areas.

Topics included challenges of rural hospitals, mental health care, underserved places, culture and health, recruiting and preparing providers, and what journalists need to know about rural health.

Watch for speakers' presentations, tip sheets, blog posts and other resources from the workshop as we get them posted this week. 

Freelancers' Corner:
Resources just for independent journalists

Freelance PitchFest at Health Journalism 2015Writers pitch their story ideas to editors during the Freelance Pitchfest at Health Journalism 2015. (Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ)

AHCJ's re-vamped Freelancers' Corner offers resources and advice on topics that our independent members often deal with.

Get tips on pitching to publications, what to look for in contracts, how to make sure you're insured properly, developing business plans and handling finance. Learn more about how and where to spend precious time networking, as well as valuable information about how to build your brand. Successful and experienced members will offer nuggets of advice in our "Shared Wisdom" feature.

The new – and growing – Freelance Market Guide tells AHCJ’s freelancers what assigning editors at specific outlets are looking for from writers. These editors have been kind enough to share the mission of their outlets and set some parameters for pitching ideas.

There is a wealth of information gathered to help you get that next assignment.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports health journalism training efforts with $450,000 grant

The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a three-year grant of $450,000 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to continue offering training and resources for journalists covering health issues.

RWJF announced the grant to coincide with Health Journalism 2015. RWJF was one of the first supporters of the association, now marking its 17th year. The funding will support the association’s annual conference, regional workshops on niche health topics, an annual rural health journalism workshop and the building of health data resources on AHCJ’s website healthjournalism.org.

Thanks for attending Health Journalism 2015!

Health Journalism 2015

Nearly 700 people attended AHCJ’s annual conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Among the highlights were the chance to re-connect with colleagues, as well as the workshops, field trips and dozens of panels aimed at strengthening your coverage of health and health care issues.

Resource sharing rounded out the experience. Check out the full lineup of events, including spotlight speakers, Freelance PitchFest and exhibitors.

Watch the website for more blog posts, speaker presentations and resources from the conference in the coming days. 

Finding the story behind hospital mergers, consolidations

Dan Goldberg

Across the country, health systems are getting larger, gobbling up community hospitals or smaller chains. Some of this has to do with payment incentives in Obamacare, but just as much has to do with changes to Medicare, Medicaid and providers’ desire for leverage as they negotiate payments with insurance companies.

Dan Goldberg recently looked at New York's five large health systems and the strategies they were employing to diversify their revenue base while preparing to play in a post-ACA, value-based world.

In this tip sheet, he shares tips on covering hospital consolidations or mergers, including some key questions to ask and answer in your reporting.

AHCJ members can get data about medical training

In its ongoing effort to shed light on physician residency programs, AHCJ has announced a new benefit for members: Access to national rankings calculated based on 50,000 peer nominations from board-certified physicians, with geographic weighting.

AHCJ has worked with Doximity Inc. to provide members the first comprehensive national research on residency programs. Members can view national rankings calculated based on 50,000 peer nominations from board-certified physicians, with geographic weighting. Individual program data is calculated using a combination of aggregate public sources and Doximity network data.

Tips for covering scientific conferences

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

How can journalists make the most of their time and energy when covering a scientific or professional conference?

Mark Taylor recently attended the annual Scientific Meeting of the GSA, which featured more than 500 presentations, symposia and poster sessions. He also has covered other scientific conferences in his two decades as health care journalist, and he shares hard-earned wisdom on successfully covering such massive events. 

His tips include how to prepare before the conference, who to talk to, some key items to bring and how to plan out your coverage.

Six things to remember in reporting on health care costs

health care costsHealth care costs lack transparency and are wildly variable, not just from region to region but sometimes from block to block within the same city.

It is a complex topic, with chargemaster prices, what insurers paid and what consumers pay (if anything). Then there are the administrative rules set by Medicare and Medicaid and the negotiated rates between insurers and providers.

It's daunting, but three reporters have teamed up to offer guidance for reporting on health care costs.

Download CMS data on hospital costs

AHCJ offers federal government data showing what hospitals across the country charge Medicare for the same treatment or procedure. The 2011 data includes bills submitted by 3,300 hospitals for the 100 most commonly performed treatments. This allows a basis for some local or regional comparisons and a starting point for stories on hospital costs.

Reporting on costs requires interview strategy, resources

The cost of medicines, devices, tests and treatment is such an important element of health reporting that it is included in AHCJ's Statement of Principles: "Strive to include information about cost and insurance coverage in any reporting of new ideas in medicine."

To that end, Brenda Goodman and Michael Schroeder have contributed tip sheets to help reporters get that vital information. Goodman focuses on several resources where you might find pricing information, while Schroeder shares his strategy and the specific questions he asks sources about costs.

Association of Health Care Journalists Covering Health: An AHCJ blog

Conference offers occasion, sources to report on key issues of aging
The Older Americans Act – signed into law on July 14, 1965 – mandated a national conference on aging every 10 years. I’ve attended the past two White House Conferences on Aging (1995, 2005), and this decade’s event is far different from the previous ones. This conference was preceded by...

Aetna has questions to answer regarding offer to buy Humana
Any health insurance company that seeks to buy another insurer will have some tough questions to answer. So, after Aetna made a formal offer to buy Humana on Thursday and Centene offered to buy Health Net on Wednesday, one of those questions has to be: Will consumers benefit? As Bruce Japsen noted...

Fellowship allows journalist to dig into what drives oncologists out of private practice
Any health care journalist covering the business side of physician practices knows that doctors in private practice often struggle. Health plans and the federal Medicare program make it difficult for physicians to get paid for the work they do and they change the billing and payment rules...

A look at how states are addressing balance billing abuses
We’ve all read about patients who were careful to choose an in-network doctor or hospital but still ended up with some care provided out of network – and unanticipated bills. One of the most memorable accounts was in Elisabeth Rosenthal’s “Paying Till It Hurts” New York Times series, when...

Can screenings be too much of a good thing?
Medicare reimburses for cancer and other screenings as part of routine care for older adults. Of course, the goal is to catch diseases in their earliest, most treatable stages. But can preventive care become too much of a good thing? For years, evidence has grown about wasted Medicare dollars on...




facebook.com/healthjournalists

Follow AHCJ_Pia on Twitter

Reporting Guides




 

spacer spacer spacer
  spacer
spacer spacer spacer