Photo: CDC/Emily WeyantTwo federal health agencies are tackling social issues related to health care. Results from other studies are available at the library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data is the new king of journalism, but when it comes to some aspects of the social sciences – such as the social determinants of health – the numbers can be a bit tricky to nail down.
That may be changing. The U.S. Department of Health recently announced two separate initiatives targeting health disparities.
First, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this month announced a pilot program to tie medical services for beneficiaries to housing, food, transportation and other social services. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to recognize membership in the Association of Health Care Journalists as sufficient credential for any media briefing or press event sponsored by HHS or its agencies.
The HHS recognition provides a powerful lever for AHCJ members, especially freelancers, when they encounter obstacles to obtaining credentials at medical society and scientific meetings. Now members can point out that the federal government considers AHCJ membership adequate proof of a reporter’s legitimacy.
Representing AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee, Vice Chair Felice J. Freyer and I brokered the agreement in one of our periodic problem-solving calls with the HHS public affairs leadership. Continue reading
We’ve just posted a tip sheet to help you understand four main ways the big year-end tax and spending deal passed by Congress affected the Affordable Care Act.
The limits on paying health plans their full risk corridor payments (what Marco Rubio insists on calling an “insurance bailout”) was renewed for another year. Three taxes that helped finance the ACA – the Cadillac tax, the medical device tax and the health insurance tax – were delayed or suspended for two years (one year for the insurance levy.) The tip sheet explains them, looks a bit at what could happen next and includes links for more reading and analysis. We’re also updating the relevant sections of our health reform glossary and key concepts. Continue reading
In an effort to help consumers get a better handle on drug prices, five U.S. senators — all Democrats — are pressuring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to be more forthcoming about efforts to contain costs and help seniors cope with the high costs of prescription drugs.
Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) cosigned a letter on Dec. 17 to CMS Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt, seeking more information on the agency’s efforts to maximize the agency’s existing authorities on prescription drug costs. Continue reading
Photo: Lydia Polimeni, National Institutes of Health via Flickr
A Stat investigation has found that “prestigious medical research institutions have flagrantly violated a federal law requiring public reporting of study results, depriving patients and doctors of complete data to gauge the safety and benefits of treatments.”
The violations have left gaping holes in a federal database used by millions of patients, their relatives, and medical professionals, often to compare the effectiveness and side effects of treatments for deadly diseases such as advanced breast cancer.