Cover health care, or any beat, long enough and most journalists will discover that one story leads naturally to another.
Misty Williams (@ajchealthcare), who covers health care for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has taken that concept to another level. She found that one series of articles leads to another.
In a new How I Did It for healthjournalism.org, Williams explained that in the spring of last year, she began work on a series to outline how the Affordable Care Act was affecting Georgia consumers. In that series, she reported that 400,000 state residents made too much money to qualify for Medicaid but also too little to receive tax subsidies for health insurance on the federal marketplace. Georgia is one of 19 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Continue reading
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has brought health coverage to millions of new beneficiaries.
But even with the new benefits, poor adults in many states still are likely to lack dental care. While children are entitled to dental services under Medicaid, in many states, dental benefits for adults are lacking. What’s more, even in states that do offer dental coverage for adults, participating dentists can be extremely hard to find. Continue reading
Photo: Susan HeaveyTransportation and other social determinants of health are covered in the Rural Assistance Center’s recently updated guide on the topic. Seen here is an older form of rural transportation from Fort Worth, Texas, where AHCJ recently held a workshop on rural health issues.
When I flew to Forth Worth, Texas, recently for AHCJ’s Rural Health Workshop, I should have read this first.
The Rural Assistance Center, a collaborative and federally-funded information portal on rural health and related services, offers a topic guide on the social determinants of health, specifically looking at social factors such as affordable transportation, access to food and the environment and their impact on people’s health.
The recently updated guide, “Social Determinants of Health for Rural People,” is a great primer for anyone starting to delve into how certain aspects of life for those living in less populated areas affect their well-being. Continue reading
Indiana is embarking a new way to deliver mental health care to Medicaid members. John Wernert, M.D., a psychiatrist who heads Indiana’s Medicaid agency, is introducing telemedicine to deliver psychiatric and other mental health services to patients, including the approximately 85 percent of patients who have what he calls rather modest behavioral health needs.
Indiana’s telemedicine initiative is important because the state is one of only a few adopting telehealth statewide. More widespread use of telehealth has been slow due to concerns about costs, as Phil Galewitz reported for Kaiser Health News last month. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJMedical student Russell Stanley (left) and Dr. Kevin Blanton (right) share the stresses and triumphs of providing care in rural settings at AHCJ’s June 19 Rural Health Journalism Workshop.
Distance dominated much of the conversation at AHCJ’s recent Rural Health Journalism Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas, a vast state with wide open spaces and far-flung cities.
While such expanses can offer a quiet alternative to urban areas, panelists at #ruralhealth15 also noted that such isolation can impact not only health, but education and other community resources. And that can present another challenge: attracting health professions to rural pockets to provide needed care for residents. Continue reading