Bad debt? Or charity care? Sean Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently wrote an interesting story about how hospitals increasingly are re-categorizing the health care bills of low-income patients in a fashion that may be helping the hospital more than the patient.
Some angles in this story are especially timely as the 2017 Affordable Care Act enrollment season is about to begin. Continue reading →
AHCJ is protesting the Food and Drug Administration’s recent restrictive practices in handling news embargoes and has asked the agency for clarification of its policies.
In an Oct. 11 letter to Jason Young, the FDA’s acting assistant commissioner for media affairs, AHCJ President Karl Stark raised strong objections to the practice of providing embargoed information on the condition that reporters refrain from seeking outside comment until the embargo lifts. Continue reading →
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Andy Marso / Heartland Health MonitorDr. John Fasbinder, shown working on a patient, was featured in a recent public radio piece by KHI News Service’s Andy Marso about rural dental care challenges for Medicaid recipients.
Two recent stories aired on public radio explored the challenges faced by poor rural Americans in need of dental care. These stories have also offered examples of providers who are working mightily to help address those needs while confronting challenges of their own.
In “A Good Dentist is Hard to Find in Rural America,” Alison Kodjak, a health policy correspondent on NPR’s Science Desk, introduced listeners to a Wisconsin woman gratefully getting accustomed to a new denture. “It feels weird right now, but I’ll get used to it,” said Jessica Stefonik.
“Stefonik is just 31 years old,” Kodjak noted in her piece. “She is one of the millions of people who are poor and live in rural America and have little to no access to dental care.” Continue reading →
Photo: Alyssa Bogesian, The GW HatchetVolunteer Justin Archangel helps stock shelves at George Washington University’s food pantry, The Store, which opened Oct. 1.
Attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C. costs $68,625 a year, or $274,500 for the four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, underscoring its reputation, as The Washington Post recently wrote, “as a pricey school for rich kids.”
However, this month the university in the heart of the nation’s capital opened a food pantry to help the growing number of students on its campus who struggle to afford both higher education and food, an essential component of good health and an area that often underscores the health divide. Continue reading →
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: Liz Seegert/AHCJBernard Cunniffe, shown with his wife Beverly, was assisted by his city’s Community Paramedics initiative after an accident.
When 84-year old Bernard Cunniffe fell in the bathroom one morning, his wife called the paramedics. However, rather than transporting the retired NYPD officer to the emergency department, the specially-trained responders assessed him for trauma, evaluated his vital signs and settled him into his bed.
Cunniffe, who is homebound because of multiple medical conditions, was uninjured but had low oxygen saturation, the likely cause of the fall. The community paramedics quickly stabilized him in consultation with an on-call physician and avoided a trip to the hospital. The Cunniffes were thrilled with the experience. Continue reading →