Category Archives: Health data

AHCJ continues to advocate for release of hospital inspection reports

Irene M. Wielawski

About Irene M. Wielawski

Irene M. Wielawski (@wielawski), an independent journalist based in New York, is a founder and former board member of AHCJ and serves on the organization’s Right to Know Committee.

See the full comment at Regulations.gov.

AHCJ has submitted a statement to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services supporting the agency’s proposal to open hospital inspection reports to the public.

The proposed rule change applies to inspections by private accrediting organizations, which are often kept secret, even though they detail patient safety shortcomings of potential interest to the public.

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AHCJ data update: Medicare payments by provider in 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.

Photo: Chris Wong via Flickr

In 2015, Medicare paid more than $80 billion to dozens of providers – from neurologists to podiatrists, from ambulance services to hospice services, from family physicians to speech, physical and occupational therapists.

AHCJ has updated its version of the 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, 2014 and now 2015 – to find stories for their audiences. Continue reading

Journalists learn the latest on covering health of rural communities

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.

AHCJ’s Rural Health Journalism Workshop brought journalists from across the United States to Cincinnati to hear from experts who focus on the health challenges facing the nation’s 46 million rural residents.

Almost 60 attendees of the ninth annual workshop gained a better understanding of what’s happening – or will be happening – in rural regions, and journalists returned to work with dozens of story ideas. Continue reading

Tips for covering cyberattacks on health care organizations

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

The cyberattack that hit British hospitals and hundreds of other organizations in more than 100 countries last week continues to unfold and has been called unprecedented in its scope.

For health care journalists, there are important questions to ask hospitals, other health care organizations – and even their own media organizations – about their level of preparedness and response plans for such an attack. Continue reading

Reporter’s work pushes regulators, legislators to act on opioids

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 determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Sam Owens, Charleston Gazette-MailEric Eyre’s investigative series, Painkiller Profiteers, chronicled massive pain pill shipments to West Virginia. This shows the cremated ashes of a West Virginia woman who died from a drug overdose.

Lack of work, educational gaps, despair, overprescribing – there’s a host of reasons behind the nation’s opioid crisis. It may seem daunting to reporters who want to nail down the epidemic’s causes, but sometimes you just have to keep digging – literally.

West Virginia reporter Eric Eyre realized something was off when, during a trip to the state pharmacy board, he began digging through boxes filled with faxes from drug wholesalers reporting suspicious pharmacy activity. Continue reading