Several stories about access to public information have caught my eye in the past week. Whether it involves public health data from Florida, evidence in a federal criminal case or embargoes and favored access at a federal agency, it’s clear that journalists are facing obstacles in ensuring the public’s access to information.
In Rhode Island, a judge ruled in favor of a journalist seeking evidence presented in the trial of a doctor now “serving four life sentences for his role in operating a pain management clinic like a ‘pill mill.'” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had refused to release the records since journalist Phil Eil requested them after the trial ended in 2011. Continue reading
News features on organ transplants often focus on a specific success story. But there’s far more under the surface when it comes to the issue of organ donation and policies surrounding them.
David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal took a deep dive into this, producing a nine-part in-depth series that examined several different angles. His work picked up a first place Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism in 2015 in the Health Policy (small) category.
Wahlberg focused on three aspects of organ transplantation: allocation, deceased donation and living donation. Continue reading
Cyberattacks on hospitals and health insurers have become a regular occurrence – and breaking news in communities where the breaches take place.
A new tip sheet on health care cybersecurity seeks to help reporters who find themselves covering a cyberattack at their local hospital, medical group or health plan. Typically, the attacked entity will issue a press release with the number of affected patients, approximate date of the attack and response. Continue reading
Photo: Romain Blanquart, USA Today Network
The lead-tainted water in Flint, Mich., got one national reporter wondering: What other areas could have children affected by dangerous water?
Laura Ungar, who covers national and regional health stories for USA Today and Gannett, was part of a team looking at the wider implications of the water crisis in Flint to go beyond the Detroit suburb and seek what other areas could be facing unknown risks. Continue reading
As large insurers, such as United Healthcare, Humana and Aetna, drop out of the Healthcare.gov marketplace, consumers are left with fewer and fewer choices, especially in certain geographic areas.
Sarah Kliff, Sarah Frostenson and Soo Oh of Vox gathered the data to show us just how little competition there will be:
“There are currently 687 counties on the Healthcare.gov marketplace with just one insurer signed up to sell in 2017 — nearly four times the 182 counties that had one insurer this year.”