AHCJ update: Three years of Medicare provider payment data for your state

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the special projects director for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

map-with-excelIn 2014, Medicare paid more than $78 billion to surgeons, ambulance services, podiatrists, hospice services, eye doctors, family physicians, speech, physical and occupational therapists, and dozens more.

AHCJ has updated Medicare payment data for its members in an easy-to-use format – spreadsheet files listing specific providers and broken down by state. Journalists can download and analyze these files – covering 2012, 2013 and now 2014 – to find stories for their audiences. Continue reading

Veteran reporter brings a fresh eye to the health beat

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall via FlickrSmall towns like Littleton, Colo., may have a lot of history and charm, but often few dental practices catering to low-income residents. David Olinger of The Denver Post recently wrote about how one foundation is attempting to change that situation.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall via FlickrSmall towns like Littleton, Colo., may have a lot of history and charm, but often few dental practices catering to low-income residents. David Olinger of The Denver Post recently wrote about how one foundation is attempting to change that situation.

The Delta Dental Foundation has come up with an innovative approach to bringing care to Colorado’s “dental deserts.”

The nonprofit has launched a $3.3 million initiative that has provided 16 medical organizations in the state with the funding to buy dental equipment and hire dental hygienists to bring oral health services to places where they have been hard to find. The initiative, called the Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project is targeting communities such as Littleton, where on a recent day, 9-year-old Nathan Martin visited a local medical clinic to receive a dental checkup and preventive care from a dental hygienist.

Reporter David Olinger (@dolingerdp) brought the story alive for readers of The Denver Post. Olinger, who describes himself as a “veteran reporter new to the health care beat,” has worked at the newspaper since 1997. Continue reading

Vietnam veterans fight for coverage of illnesses that might be Agent Orange-related

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: National Academy of SciencesC-123 planes were used to spray herbicides, including Agent Orange, during Operation Ranch Hand in Vietnam.

Photo: National Academy of SciencesC-123 planes were used to spray herbicides, including Agent Orange, during Operation Ranch Hand in Vietnam.

ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein and Terry Parris Jr., with The Virginian-Pilot’s Mike Hixenbaugh, have been covering the impact of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans and their efforts to get health coverage for conditions they believe are linked to their exposure to the herbicides. “Reliving Agent Orange” finds that many are still fighting to get coverage for themselves and their children. Continue reading

Exploring the changing landscape of health literacy, communication

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at susan@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: COD Newsroom via FlickrHealth literacy, and its impact on health disparities, is gaining increased focus among health care providers and researchers. AHCJ hosts a webinar on the topic May 11.

Photo: COD Newsroom via FlickrHealth literacy, and its impact on health disparities, is gaining increased focus among health care providers and researchers. AHCJ hosts a webinar on the topic May 11.

A pinned tweet touting the latest superfood. A Facebook post on vaccines. Advice from a neighbor or friend. A poster or billboard. Google.

Health information is blasting out to the public in ways it has not before. And if you think it’s hard for health journalists to make sense of the maze of conflicting data or complex studies, imagine how difficult it can be for the public to understand health and make sound choices.

Enter health literacy. Continue reading

Surgeon general responds to journalists on range of public health issues #AHCJ16

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Following his prepared remarks at Health Journalism 2016, United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., (@Surgeon_General) answered some questions from journalists about opiods, alcohol, marijuana, mental health, gun violence, the relationship between science and public policy, and more.