Category Archives: Aging

What journalists should know about hospital ratings

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

PhotoJoel Dinda via Flickr

Photo: Joel Dinda via Flickr

Journalists should take hospital ratings with a healthy dose of skepticism, according to experts at a recent AHCJ New York chapter event. Simply looking at an institution’s overall rating is just the start. Reporting that without understanding what’s being rated and how “success” is measured does a disservice to your audience.

Ratings are far from perfect and are ever evolving. That leaves journalists in kind of a quandary, noted chapter president Trudy Lieberman. “What do we do about the ratings, how do we judge them, how do we use them in our stories and which ones should we use?” Continue reading

Bill expanding Medicare dental care faces uphill climb in Congress

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: Jan Fidler via Flickr

Photo: Jan Fidler via Flickr

America’s 55 million Medicare beneficiaries would receive comprehensive dental, vision and hearing benefits under a bill introduced this month in Congress.

HR 5396 (Medicare Dental, Vision and Hearing Benefit Act of 2016) is given no chance of passage by Govtrack.us, a website that tracks Congressional legislation and computes the probability for enactment. But the bill serves of a reminder of gaps in Medicare coverage that represent significant challenges to many elderly and disabled Americans. Continue reading

Tips to expand coverage of LGBT health beyond HIV and AIDS

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

For the past several decades, HIV and AIDS have dominated discussions and reporting about LGBT health. While HIV/AIDS continues to be relevant to this population, thorough coverage of health for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be much more comprehensive in examining other challenges they face.

Several takeaways from the Health Journalism 2016 session, “Beyond HIV/AIDS: Reporting on the LGBT Community,” can help reporters go beyond those issues to discover new stories and important trends. Two major themes emerged from the session that offer fertile ground for deeper reporting. Continue reading

Fast growth in nursing home ownership ripe for investigation

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Ulrich Joho via Flickr

Photo: Ulrich Joho via Flickr

Serious problems at nursing homes are often easy to conceal. That is, unless you specifically dig for patterns of fraud, abuse, or misconduct.  That’s exactly what award-winning Boston Globe journalist Kay Lazar did to uncover a pattern of high profits for the owners, while complaints and problems mounted.

In a series of gripping stories, Lazar provided both micro and macro views of complex and potentially dangerous situations in nursing homes purchased by fast-growing Synergy Health Centers. She explored how failures in the Massachusetts state licensing system hurt families and how state regulators failed to perform the most basic checks on company executives and company finances before granting licenses. Continue reading

Study: Caregivers want tech support, but adoption rates low

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Family caregivers want and need technology that allows them to better support their loved ones, but only about seven percent of respondents in a recent national survey actually use available caregiving technology.

New research finds a huge gap between what caregivers say they want and actual adoption of apps, programs, or hardware. Lack of awareness, about appropriate options or the potential caregiving benefits, is one reason cited by a representative sample of family caregivers. Continue reading