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 →
Health reporters should be asking the hospitals they cover plenty of in-depth questions about their star ratings and other collected quality measures. But they should not assume that those measures reflect the hospital’s true performance.
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.
The Trump administration recently announced that it would no longer collect information on LGBT older adults in two key national surveys: The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living.
The latter was revised in late March to omit questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. Both reports have been important in tracking services provided to this population, which already faces significant barriers in accessing quality health care, community services, and social support, according to the Center for American Progress. Continue reading →
In this era of “alternative facts,” everyone should read Sue Halpern’s piece, “They Have, Right Now, Another You,” published in the New York Review of Books in late December.
The piece, along with several recent studies on the accuracy of electronic health records, adds to the growing question over what types of data we can trust. And more important, how can we know the difference between bad and good data. Continue reading →