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Tip Sheets

To search for resources in this area on a specific topic, please use the search function in the gray bar above.

How a secretive panel uses data that distorts doctors’ pay   Posted: 09/19/14
 

Joseph Burns
Joseph Burns

 One factor that makes health care costs difficult to manage is the system the federal government and health insurers use to decide how to pay physicians for the various services they deliver. In an article in The Washington Post, “How a secretive panel uses data that distorts doctors pay,” journalists Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating explain that a committee of the American Medical Association meets in private every year to develop values for most of the services doctors perform. The AMA is the chief lobbying group for doctors.

Oral health and Hispanics   Posted: 09/08/14
 

Mary Otto
Mary Otto

Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and they face a measurable disadvantage when it comes to oral health. They experience more oral disease than white Americans and often face barriers in getting care. Yet dentally speaking, they are far from a homogeneous group.  

New research , including a paper published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) finds a remarkable variety in the oral health status of American Hispanics from differing national and regional backgrounds. The August JADA paper, which examines periodontal (gum) disease, reveals significant differences in disease incidence among Americans identifying as Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican Central American and South American.

Mary Otto shares some tips on covering oral health issues in the Hispanic community.

Covering smell and taste losses in older adults   Posted: 09/03/14
 

Barbara Bein
Barbara Bein

Unlike problems in vision and hearing, age-related losses to smell and taste have only recently gained attention. Like declines in the other senses, losing the ability to smell different odors and scents and to taste food can lead to serious quality-of-life and safety issues.

When the sense of smell or taste diminishes, the world becomes a different place. Adults who have trouble smelling and tasting often have poor appetites, which can lead to weight loss, malnutrition and weakened immune systems. Losing the ability to enjoy food can also contribute to emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.

Barbara Bein shares tips on how to cover smell and taste disorders in older adults.

Covering the silent – and growing – epidemic of senior substance abuse   Posted: 08/25/14
 

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

Older Americans have been misusing, abusing and becoming addicted to alcohol, tobacco and herbal “substances” for decades. Now they are also abusing drugs – both prescription and illegal – in increasing numbers, according to this NIA/NIH update. The most prevalent abuse is in the age 50 to 59 (trailing-edge boomer) cohort, where abuse of illicit drugs and non-medical use of prescription drugs rose from 2.7 percent to 5.8 percent between 2002 and 2010.

A CASA Columbia study found that substance abuse was an especially serious issue for older and aging women, who “get addicted faster, using smaller amounts of a substance, than any other demographic group.” The report also found that when older women show signs and symptoms of alcohol and/or prescription drug abuse, most physicians “don’t even consider an addiction diagnosis.”

Why now?

Exploring links between smokeless tobacco, oral cancer   Posted: 08/20/14
 

The ties between smokeless tobacco and baseball run deep. The immortal Babe Ruth claimed Pinch Hit was his chew of choice (as this short film from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us), but the news that well-known baseball player Curt Schilling blames his oral cancer on chewing tobacco, as well as the June death of Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn serves as a reminder of the dangers posed by the habit. Gwynn said he believed the salivary gland cancer that killed him was caused by his longtime use of chewing tobacco.

National, state and local health organizations used the story of Gwynn’s passing to talk about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and likely will use Schilling’s news to raise awareness. Is there an angle in this that you could explore in your own state or community?

Housing and health: Finding stories and getting the reporting right   Posted: 08/19/14
 

Megan Sandel, M.D., M.P.H., an expert on the impact of housing on child health, says journalists would do well to broaden the conversation about health care to include questions about social support – especially support for safe, affordable and stable housing. This tip sheet includes key stories to pursue and critical insights on the housing-as-health-care trend.

Sandel, an associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health and former pediatric medical director of Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless program, offers suggestions on questions reporters should ask and encourages more exploration of the relationship between housing and health.

Clearing up confusion about ‘dual eligibles’   Posted: 08/12/14
 

Liz Seegert
Liz Seegert

Dual eligibles are low-income elderly or disabled people jointly enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. The distinctions are sometimes bewildering. It’s easy to confuse which program pays for what, what each agency considers “appropriate” care, what factors go into measuring outcomes and how the separate structures of Medicare and Medicaid affect costs and quality.

There is growing concern about the high costs of dual eligibles and the type of care they receive. The CBO points out that these separate programs, with different payment and approval procedures increases the likelihood that full duals – especially those who have many chronic conditions and functional limitations – will be treated by a variety of health care providers who are not coordinating their care, potentially increasing costs and worsening outcomes.

Six things to remember when reporting on health care costs   Posted: 08/08/14
 

Questions about prices and costsHealth care costs lack transparency and are wildly variable, not just from region to region but sometimes from block to block within the same city.

It is a complex topic, with chargemaster prices, what insurers paid and what consumers pay (if anything). Then there are the administrative rules set by Medicare and Medicaid and the negotiated rates between insurers and providers.

It's daunting, but three reporters have teamed up to offer guidance for reporting on health care costs.

Is your community fighting tooth decay with school-based dental sealant programs?   Posted: 08/06/14
 

Applying sealntsHave you visited a school-based dental sealant program in your state or community? There may be a good story there.

Can’t find one to visit? That may be another worthwhile story.

Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to children’s permanent back teeth to seal the narrow grooves on the chewing surfaces and keep out decay-causing bacteria and food particles. Studies show that the procedure can reduce the incidence of tooth decay by 60 percent.

But poor and high-risk kids who could benefit the most from sealants are not always receiving them. 

Tiptoeing into Medicare data   Posted: 07/01/14
 

The volume of public data on our health care system keeps growing and growing. AHCJ board member and veteran health journalist Charles Ornstein shares some of his favorite sites.

Datasets: Reform by the Numbers   Posted: 06/30/14
 

As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s efforts to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on coverage, utilization and affordability, the organization is working with others to acquire and analyze timely and unique data. They have developed a website, entitled Reform by the Numbers, which will house downloadable data, tables and graphs, in addition to policy briefs, blogs and other content that highlights key findings.

Covering heart disease and older adults   Posted: 06/25/14
 

Liz Seegert
Liz Seegert

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S. As with many other chronic conditions, age is the greatest risk factor. In 2013, someone in the U.S. died from cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds.

The average annual rates for first cardiovascular event rise drastically with age – from three per 1,000 men from 33 to 44 years old, to 74 per 1,000 men in the 85-to-94 age group. For women, comparable rate rises occur 10 years later than men.

Of the estimated 82.6 million Americans who have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association says about 40 million are age 60 or older. Liz Seegert provides resources and information for reporters covering cardiovascular disease and older adults. 

Covering premium rate increases for 2015? Check out these resources first   Posted: 06/20/14
 

Joseph Burns
Joseph Burns

As the nation’s health insurers file rate requests with state insurance departments, the news about health insurance premium increases is coming out almost daily now. The deadline for submitting rate requests on the marketplaces is June 27.

Premium rate review is an important story, obviously, because it begins to answer the question of what consumers will pay for insurance next year. But it’s a complex story because what health insurers propose now is not necessarily what consumers will pay next year, and, in fact, insurance rate requests are only part of the story, as Trudy Lieberman reported last week in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Here's some background on the process of premium rate review, as well as tools, resources and tips for doing the most nuanced and accurate reporting on this important topic.

“Who will replace me?”: The rural physician workforce (Mark Richardson)   Posted: 06/12/14
 

Mark A. Richardson, M.D., MScB, M.B.A., dean, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, spoke on the panel, "The aging of rural physicians and the next generation of care."

Poor oral health: What's the cost? (Phillip T. Marucha)   Posted: 06/10/14
 

Phillip T. Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D., dean, School of Dentistry, Oregon Health & Science University, spoke on the panel "Poor oral health: What's the cost?"

The Dental Therapist Project: Expanding Care to Every Community (David Jordan)   Posted: 06/10/14
 

David Jordan, project director, Dental Access Project, Community Catalyst, spoke on the panel "Poor oral health: What's the cost?"

Rural Health Before and After the Affordable Care Act (Timothy McBride)   Posted: 06/10/14
 

Timothy D. McBride, professor, Brown School, Washington University, spoke on the panel "How the ACA impacts rural health care."

Going Upstream of the Rapids (Tina Castañares)   Posted: 06/10/14
 

Tina Castañares, M.D., consultant on health care for special populations, was the spotlight speaker at the luncheon session "Upstream of the rapids: Rural health leadership in a changing countryside."

Building a Workforce for Rural America (Andrew Bazemore)   Posted: 06/10/14
 

Andrew Bazemore, M.D., M.P.H., director, Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, American Academy of Family Physicians, spoke on the panel "The aging of rural physicians and the next generation of care."

Telehealth: Technology triumphs and regulation challenges (Mario Gutierrez)   Posted: 06/09/14
 

Mario Gutierrez, executive director, Center for Connected Health Policy, The National Telehealth Resource Center, spoke on the panel "Telemedicine: Technology triumphs and regulation challenges."

OHSU Telemedicine: The right care, in the right place at the right time (Miles Ellenby)   Posted: 06/09/14
 

Miles Ellenby, M.D., medical director, Telemedicine Network, Oregon Health & Science University, spoke on the panel "Telemedicine: Technology triumphs and regulation challenges."

Thinking new thoughts in support of the Pioneer Spirit (Mark O'Hollaren)   Posted: 06/09/14
 

Mark O’Hollaren, M.D., vice president of strategic outreach, Oregon Science & Health University, spoke on the panel "Rural health landscape: Meeting the people, meeting the challenges."

People in Place: Exploring the Demographic Characteristics of Rural America (John Green)   Posted: 06/09/14
 

John Green, Ph.D., director, Center for Population Studies, The University of Mississippi, spoke on the panel "Rural health landscape: Meeting the people, meeting the challenges."

Explaining essential benefits, essential coverage, minimal value   Posted: 05/30/14
 

Some reporters have inquired about whether “essential coverage” and “essential benefits” are one and the same. They aren't and it's important for health care reporters to understand the terms. Here, Joanne Kenen explains each of them and reviews some other important concepts, such as the employer mandate and actuarial value.

Getting dental care to elders in nursing homes   Posted: 05/28/14
 

Getting oral health care services to elders in nursing homes is a crucial task, yet one that is often overlooked. Untreated oral disease can have a devastating impact on the lives of these frail patients, leading to suffering and tooth loss, poor nutrition and serious, even fatal infections.

While federal law requires nursing homes to assist patients in obtaining routine and emergency dental care, state laws vary. In addition, nursing home directors, staff and family members may overlook the importance of oral health care, not only for the increasing number of seniors who have kept their teeth into old age, but for those who use dentures.

What reporters need to know about the side effects reported in drug studies   Posted: 05/23/14
 

Brenda Goodman
Brenda Goodman

Recently, Dr. Ben Goldacre, a prominent critic of drug studies, embarked on a research project of his own. He wanted to find out how often side effects reported by users of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins were genuinely caused by the medications.

The study he co-authored concluded that most reported side effects of statins aren't often due to the drugs themselves, but to other causes—perhaps an unhealthy lifestyle that contributes to heart disease in the first place, or even the nocebo effect, which occurs when people experience side effects because they expect a drug will cause them.  Brenda Goodman reports on Goldacre's study, and gives health reporters some helpful hints on covering drug side effects.

Palliative care: Our language matters   Posted: 04/30/14
 

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.  Here, Daniel Johnson discusses the relevant issues and provides tips for better coverage of palliative care.

Health Reform: An Interim Report Card & The Roles of States (Richard Cauchi presentation)   Posted: 04/28/14
 

Richard Cauchi, health program director, National Conference of State Legislatures, spoke on the panel "ACA: An interim report card."

Tips for better stories: #StatsFTW! (Hilda Bastian presentation)   Posted: 04/25/14
 

Hilda Bastian, editor, PubMed Health, spoke on the panel "Statistics: Basic tips for better stories."

Stories from the panel "Medical ramifications of legal marijuana"   Posted: 04/25/14
 

J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Mayo Clinic; Michael Elliott, executive director, Marijuana Industry Group; Kari L. Franson, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate dean for professional education, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Larry Wolk, M.D., M.S.P.H., executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; and Michael Booth (moderator), editor, Health Elevations, The Colorado Health Foundation, spoke on the panel "Medical Ramifications of legal marijuana."

Supplement Shell Game: The people behind risky pills (Alison Young presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Award-winner Alison Young, reporter, USA Today, spoke on the panel "Award winners share their techniques."

Real “real people” (Tony Leys presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Tony Leys, health care reporter, Des Moines Register, spoke on the panel "Plunging into health care: How to master the beat."

Colorado Medicaid Expanding Coverage While Improving Value (Susan Birch presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Susan E. Birch, M.B.A., B.S.N., R.N., executive director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, spoke on the panel "Transforming Medicaid: What it means for states and your audience."

Medicare: Where Are We Headed And How To Change Direction (Rosemary Gibson presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Rosemary Gibson, senior adviser, The Hastings Center, spoke on the panel "Medicare changes: Impact on hospitals and patients."

Tips to find clinical & public health research (Rob Logan presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Robert Logan, Ph.D., communication scientist, National Library of Medicine spoke on the panel "Finding great stories using public clinical research databases."

What Will It Take to Successfully Address the Growing Global Threat of Drug-resistant TB? (R. Reves)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Randall Reves, M.D., professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "The advance of drug-resistant TB and our minimal tools to fight it."

Big Data in Health: The Global Burden of Disease Study (Peter Speyer presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Peter Speyer, director of data development, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, spoke on the panel "Big data: What's in it for us?"

Student Guinea Pigs (Paul Offit presentation)   Posted: 04/24/14
 

Paul A. Offit, M.D., chief of the division of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, spoke at the Awards Luncheon, in which journalists who did the best work of 2013 were recognized with Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. 

Using Public Data to Spot Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest (Susan Chimonas presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Susan Chimonas, Ph.D., research scholar, Center on Medicine as a Profession, Columbia University, spoke on the panel "Spotting conflicts of interest in studies and treatment."

Performance Excellence for Transformational Times (Kevin Unger presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Kevin Unger, president/CEO, Poudre Valley Hospital, spoke on the panel "Medicare changes: Impact on hospitals and patients."

A blogger’s approach to conflict of interest: Chronology of a recent case (Paul Levy presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Paul Levy, author and blogger, former hospital chief executive officer, spoke on the panel "Spotting conflicts of interests in studies and treatment."

Resilience: Scientific Foundations (Steven Southwick presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Steven M. Southwick, M.D., Glenn H. Greenberg professor of psychiatry, PTSD and resilience, Yale University School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Grappling with PTSD across society."

Grappling with PTSD Across Society: Toward Greater Understanding of Trauma and PTSD (Paula Schnurr)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Paula Schnurr, Ph.D., acting executive director, National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, spoke on the panel "Grappling with PTSD across society."

Separating Fact from Fiction: End-of-Life Decisions in the United States (Solomon, Meisel, & Graham)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Alan Meisel, J.D., director, Center for Bioethics and Health Law; Mildred Solomon, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer, The Hastings Center; and Judith Graham (moderator), independent journalist, Denver, spoke on the panel "Separating fact from fiction: End-of-life decisions in the United States."

Experiments In Reducing ED Loads and Avoidable Hospitalizations (Melinkovich-Johnson presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Paul Melinkovich, M.D., director, community health services, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and Tracy L. Johnson, Ph.D., M.A., director, health care reform initiatives, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, spoke on the panel "Experiments in reducing ER loads."

Making sense of hospital rankings (Marshall Allen presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Marshall Allen, reporter, ProPublica, spoke on the panel "Hospital grading: Reporting on quality report cards."

Farm-to-Table Food Safety (Marisa Bunning presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Marisa Bunning, Ph.D., associate professor and extension specialist, Colorado State University, spoke on the panel "From product to plate: Food security and safety."

Supporting Americans’ Efforts to Eat Well and Watch their Weight (Margo Wootan presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Margo Wootan, Ph.D., director of nutrition policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest, spoke on the panel "From food to plate: Food security and safety."

Building Healthy Places (Lynne Picard presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Lynne M. Picard, director, Workforce Development and Community Initiatives, Denver Housing Authority, spoke on the panel "What's ahead in efforts to 'build healthy places?'"

"What's ahead in efforts to build healthy places?" (Lois Brink presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Lois A. Brink, executive director, Learning Landscapes, spoke on the panel "What's ahead in efforts to 'build healthy places?'" 

Immigrant Health Care: National Politics, Local Challenges (Randy Capps presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Randy Capps, Ph.D., director of research, U.S. Programs at the Migration Policy Institute, spoke on the panel "Immigrant health care: National politics, local challenges."

Immigrant Health Care: Local Politics And Challenges (Lisa Cacari Stone presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Lisa Cacari Stone, Ph.D., assistant professor of health policy, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, spoke on the panel "Immigrant health care: National politics, local challenges."

SHOP Marketplace: What it Means For Small Business (John Arensmeyer presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

John Arensmeyer, founder and chief executive officer, Small Business Majority, spoke on the panel "Marketplaces' effects on small businesses."

Cutting-edge sports science: From elites to everyone (Neal Henderson presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Neal Henderson, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder and owner, APEX Coaching & Consulting, spoke on the panel "Cutting-edge sports science: From elites to everyone."

Cutting Edge Sport Science: From Elites to Everyone (Jennifer Gibson presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Jennifer Gibson, M.Sc., R.D., C.S.S.D., registered dietitian, United States Olympic Committee, spoke on the panel "Cutting-edge sports science: From elites to everyone."

The Truth About Violence and Mental Illness (Jeffrey Swanson presentation)   Posted: 04/23/14
 

Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Covering mental illness and violence."

Billings Gazette Suicide Report (Cindy Uken presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Cindy Uken, health care reporter, Billings (Mont.) Gazette, spoke on the panel "Suicide: Prevention, repercussions and survivors."

Suicide: Covering Prevention, Repercussions and Survivors (Matt Vogl presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Matt Vogl, M.P.H., deputy director, University of Colorado Depression Center, spoke on the panel "Suicide: Covering prevention, repercussions and survivors."

Suicide in the West (Marian Betz presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Marian Betz, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of emergency medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Suicide: Covering prevention, repercussions and survivors."

Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) (Marjie Grazi Harbrecht presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Marjie Grazi Harbrecht, M.D., chief executive officer, HealthTeamWorks, spoke on the panel "Is technology speeding coordinated medicine?"

Contracts & Costs … and pricing for Value (Greg Smith presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Greg Smith, independent journalist; board member, National Press Photographers Association, spoke on the panel "Freelance: Contracts 101."

Feeding Tubes in Advanced Dementia Association (Jean Kutner presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Jean Kutner, M.D., M.S.P.H., Gordon Meiklejohn endowed professor of medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Spotting the gaps in evidence, ethics and practice."

Reporting on Renal Palliative Care (Lewis Cohen presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Lewis Cohen, M.D., professor, Tufts University School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Spotting the gaps in evidence, ethics and practice."

Tweet Dreams (Gil Asakawa presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Gil Asakawa, manager of student media, University of Colorado-Boulder, spoke on the panel "The art of the tweet."

Know Your Limitations Or, Debunking The Easy Way (Ivan Oranksy presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Ivan Oransky, M.D., vice president and global editorial director, MedPage Today, spoke on the panel "How to read medical studies - and write smarter stories."

Lessons from reviewing 1,889 stories (Gary Schwitzer presentation)   Posted: 04/22/14
 

Gary Schwitzer, publisher, HealthNewsReview.org, spoke on the panel "How to read medical stories - and write smarter stories."

Deadly Neglect (Deborah Schoch presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Deborah Schoch, senior writer, CHCF Center for Health Reporting, moderated the panel "Investigating senior care."

Late-life Mental Health: Dementia, Depression, and Suicide (Jules Rosen presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Jules Rosen, M.D., chief medical officer, Mind Springs Health/Colorado West Inc., spoke on the panel "New realities in aging."

Health Care Coordination for Elders: Why & Who? (Ernestine Kotthoff-Burrell presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Ernestine Kotthoff-Burrell, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N.P., assistant professor, University of Colorado, spoke on the panel "New realities of aging."

Hospital Report Cards (Jordan Rau presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Jordan Rau, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News, moderated the panel "Hospital grading: Reporting on quality report cards."

Comparing Hospital Performance (John Santa presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

John Santa, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, spoke on the panel "Hospital grading: Reporting on quality report cards."

AHCJ 2014 Conference Reporting on Hospital Report Cards (Evan Marks presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Evan Marks, executive vice president, informatics and strategy, Healthgrades, spoke on the panel "Hospital grading: Reporting on quality report cards."

The BRAIN initiative (Kenneth Tyler presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Kenneth L. Tyler, M.D., Reuler-Lewin family professor and chairman, Department of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "What promise does the BRAIN initiative hold?"

What promise does the Brain Initiative hold: perspectives of a neuroanatomist (John Sladek)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

John R. Sladek Jr., Ph.D., professor of neurology, pediatrics and neuroscience, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "What promise does the BRAIN initiative hold?"

All the Keys Aren’t Under Any One Streetlamp (Erik Parens presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Erik Parens, senior research scholar, The Hastings Center, spoke on the panel "What promise does the BRAIN initiative hold?"

Investigating in the open (William Heisel presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

William E. Heisel, contributing editor, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, spoke on the panel "Transparent reporting: Investigating in the open."

Investigating in the Open: Ask Emily (Emily Bazar presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Emily Bazar, senior writer, CHCF Center for Health Reporting, spoke on the panel "Transparent reporting: Investigating in the open."

Oral Health in Primary Care: Physician Assistants Heed the Call (Jonathan Bowser presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Jonathan M. Bowser, M.S., assistant professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Covering disparities in oral health."

Native Oral Health: Problems and Solutions (Terry Batliner presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Terry Batliner, D.D.S., associate director, Center of Native Oral Health Research, University of Colorado, spoke on the presentation "Covering disparities in oral health."

Covering Disparities in Oral Health (Diane Brunson presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Diane Brunson, R.D.H., M.P.H., director of public health and interprofessional education, University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, spoke on the panel "Covering disparities in oral health."

Natural Gas Industry Risks: Health and Safety of Workers (Lee Newman presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Lee S. Newman, M.A., M.D., professor of environmental and occupational health, Colorado School of Public Health, spoke on the panel "Fracking, drilling and other environmental health concerns." 

Fracking, Drilling and Other Environmental Health Concerns: Community Health Studies (Lisa McKenzie)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Lisa McKenzie, Ph.D., research associate, Colorado School of Public Health, spoke on the panel "Fracking, drilling and other environmental health concerns."

Garfield County, Colorado: A case study in covering the oil and gas industry (David Williams)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

David O. Williams, founder and editor,Rocky Mountain Post, spoke on the panel "Fracking, drilling and other environmental health concerns."

Serious Problems in Medical Board and Hospital Discipline of Physicians (Sidney Wolfe presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Sidney Wolfe, M.D., director, Health Research Group, Public Citizen, spoke on the panel "Regulating health professionals."

Regulating Health Professionals (David Swankin presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

David A. Swankin, president and chief executive officer, Citizen Advocacy Center, spoke on the panel "Regulating health professionals."

Boston Marathon Bombing: Response and Recovery (Paul Biddinger presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Paul D. Biddinger, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., medical director for emergency preparedness, Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare, spoke on the panel "Is your local hospital ready for a disaster?"

Lessons Learned: Aurora Theatre Shootings (Richard Zane presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Richard D. Zane, M.D., professor and chair, University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Is your local hospital ready for a disaster?"

New Disasters Test U.S. Health Care Facilities (Deborah Schoch presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Deborah Schoch, senior writer, CHCF Center for Health Reporting, spoke on the panel "Is your local hospital ready for a disaster?"

Investigating Issues In Long Term Care (David Gifford presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

David Gifford, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president of quality & regulatory affairs, American Health Care Association, spoke on the panel "Investigating senior care."

10 Ways to Get Published - Faster (Tyghe Trimble presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Tyghe Trimble, senior editor, Men's Journal, spoke on the panel "Freelancers: Editors give the inside story."

Pitches That Work (and Some That Don't) (David Corcoran presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

David Corcoran, editor, Science Times, The New York Times, spoke on the panel "Freelancers: Editors give the inside story."

Lyme Disease - A Political Hot Potato (Timm Edell presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Timm Edell, M.D., regional department chief of infectious disease, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, spoke on the panel "Vector-borne disease growth."

Bacterial and Viral Vector-Borne Resistance Disease Emergence - What's New? (Lyle Petersen)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., director, Division of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke on the panel "Vector-borne disease growth." 

Developing Vaccines to Prevent Infectious Diseases (Dan Stinchcomb presentation)   Posted: 04/17/14
 

Dan Stinchcomb, Ph.D., senior scientific advisor, Takeda Vaccines Inc., spoke on the panel "Vector-borne disease growth."

Bioethics on Deadline: Brain Death, Families, and the Law (Nancy Berlinger presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Nancy Berlinger, Ph.D., research scholar, The Hastings Center, spoke on the panel "A journalist's guide to clearer writing."

Palliative Care: Our Language Matters (Daniel Johnson presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Daniel Johnson, M.D., F.A.A.H.P.M., clinical lead for palliative care, Care Management Institute, Kaiser Permanente, spoke on the panel "A journalist's guide to clearer writing."

Conflicts of Interest in Medicine and Research: Basics for Health Reporters (Eric Campbell)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Eric G. Campbell, Ph.D., professor of medicine-health policy, Harvard Medical School, spoke on the panel "Covering prescription drug data."

Here Comes the Sun: Covering Prescription Drug Data (Kendra Martello presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Kendra Martello, deputy vice president of strategic operations, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spoke on the panel "Covering prescription drug data." 

Examining The Pharmaceutical Industry (Charles Ornstein presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica, moderated the panel "Covering prescription drug data."

Dual Exposure Hypothesis (Gideon Lack presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Gideon Lack, M.D., professor of paediatric allergy, King's College London, spoke on the panel "The dirt on the allergy epidemic."

The Dirt on the Allergy Epidemic (Mark Holbreich presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Mark Holbreich, M.D., physician, Allergy and Asthma Consultants, spoke on the panel "The dirt on the allergy epidemic." 

The Allergy Epidemic: Fact or Fiction? (Erwin Gelfand presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Erwin Gelfand, M.D., chair of pediatrics, National Jewish Health, spoke on the panel "The dirt on the allergy epidemic."

Food Allergy: Changes in the Menu (Dan Atkins presentation)   Posted: 04/16/14
 

Dan Atkins, M.D., associate professor, Children's Hospital Colorado, spoke on the panel "The dirt on the allergy epidemic."

Communicating Healthcare: Rural Style (Jack Westfall presentation)   Posted: 04/15/14
 

Jack Westfall, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer, Colorado HealthOP, spoke on the panel "Health access in the wide-open spaces."

This is Rural Medicine! (Dean Bartholomew presentation)   Posted: 04/15/14
 

Dean W. Bartholomew, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., owner/physician, Platte Valley Medical Clinic, Saratoga, Wyo., spoke on the panel "Health access in the wide-open spaces." 

Rural and Frontier Health: Health Access in the Wide-Open Spaces (Chrysanne Grund presentation)   Posted: 04/15/14
 

Chrysanne Grund, project director, Greeley County (Kan.) Health Services, spoke on the panel "Health access in the wide open spaces."

Avoiding the ‘Trinity Trap’ when reporting on health promotion   Posted: 04/15/14
 

Ryan Meili
Ryan Meili

Health care is but one element of what makes the biggest difference in health outcomes – social factors play a far more significant role. Income and its distribution, education, employment, social supports, housing, nutrition, and the wider environment — what we have come to know as the social determinants of health – are the most powerful predictors of wellness and longevity. This has been understood for centuries, and empirically validated in recent decades with study after study demonstrating significant inequalities in health outcomes between wealthy and disadvantaged populations.

Why is it that, when we talk about health promotion, we still get stuck talking about the "Trinity Trap" of smoking, diet and exercise when we know that social factors have the biggest influence on health outcomes?

Family doctor and medical professor Ryan Meili discusses the importance of understanding the social determinants of health. 

Mass Casualty and Disaster Management: The Colorado Shootings (Christopher Colwell presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Christopher B. Colwell, M.D., chief of emergency medicine, Denver Health Medical Center, spoke on the panel "Covering mental illness and violence."

Meaningful Use: One EHR Vendor's Perspective (Christopher Alban presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Christopher Alban, M.D., M.B.A., clinical informatics specialist, Epic Systems Corp., spoke on the panel "What happens when your medical records are digitized?"

Medical technology entrepreneurship (Robin Shandas presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Robin Shandas, Ph.D., chair, Department of Bioengineering, University of Colorado spoke on the panel "Commercializing research: Bringing ideas to the market."

Economic Development Through Innovation Advancement (Lauren Costantini presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Lauren C Costantini, Ph.D., vice president of therapeutics and device development, Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development, spoke on the panel "Commercializing research: Bringing ideas to the market."

Health News Florida, A Quick Look (Carol Gentry presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Carol Gentry, editor, Health News Florida, spoke on the panel "New journalism business models."

Patient Safety: New Efforts to Address Human Error (Michelle Binder presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Michelle Barron, M.D., associate professor of medicine, University of Colorado, spoke on the panel "Patient safety: New efforts to address human error."

Patient Safety: Telling The Story (Leah Binder presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Leah Binder, M.A., M.G.A., president and chief executive officer, The Leapfrog Group, spoke on the panel "Patient safety: New efforts to address human error."

Catholic Health Initiatives: Clinical Quality Patient Safety (Camille Haycock presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Camille Haycock, R.N., vice president of Care Continuum, Catholic Health Initiative, spoke on the panel "Patient safety: New efforts to address human error."

The Interplay of Weight, Physical Activity, and Asthma (Lisa Cicutto presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Lisa Cicutto, R.N., Ph.D., C.A.E., director of community outreach and research, National Jewish Health, spoke on the panel "The Asthma Crisis: Keeping kids out of the ER."

The September Epidemic: Preventing Fall Asthma Exacerbations (Stanley Szefler presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Stanley J. Szefler, M.D., director, Pediatric Asthma Research Program, The Breathing Institute, Children's Hospital Colorado, spoke on the panel "The asthma crisis: Keeping kids out of the ER."

Pediatric adherence: What do we do now? (Bruce Bender presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Bruce Bender, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Health Promotion, National Jewish Health, spoke on the panel "The asthma crisis: Keeping kids out of the ER."

Rethinking trajectories of care at the end of life (David Casarett presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

David Casarett, M.D., M.A., director, hospice and palliative care, Penn Medicine, spoke on the panel "Crisis, cost and quality: New angles on end-of-life care."

Crisis, cost and quality: New angles on end-of-life care (Bronwyn Long presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Bronwyn Long, R.N., D.N.P., M.B.A., palliative care and oncology clinical nurse specialist, National Jewish Health, spoke on the panel "Crisis, cost and quality: New angles on end-of-life care."

Investigating Oversight of Nurses and Nursing Care (Brandon Stahl presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Brandon Stahl, data/watchdog reporter, Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul, spoke on the panel "Investigating senior care."

10 Ways to Get Published - Faster (Tyghe Trimble presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Tyghe Trimble, senior editor, Men's Journal, spoke on the panel "Freelancers: Editors give the inside story."

AARP (Betsy Agnvall presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Betsy Agnvall, features editor, health, AARP Media, spoke on the panel "Freelancers: Editors give the inside story."

Bumps in the road (Arlen Meyers presentation)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Arlen Meyers, M.D., M.B.A., professor of otolaryngology, dentistry and engineering, University of Colorado, spoke on the panel "Commercializing research: Bringing ideas to the market."

Facebook friends and Google forms: Investigating Out In the Open (Olga Pierce & Marshall Allen)   Posted: 04/14/14
 

Olga Pierce, reporter, ProPublica, and Marshall Allen (moderator), reporter, ProPublica, spoke on the panel "Transparent reporting: Investigating in the open."

Application and Vision for Personalized Medicine (Bryan Haugen presentation)   Posted: 04/11/14
 

Bryan R. Haugen, M.D., professor of medicine and pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine spoke on the panel "Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information."

Getting Personal: Ethical Issues Of Using Genetic Information (Rebecca Pentz presentation)   Posted: 04/11/14
 

Rebecca D. Pentz, Ph.D., professor of research ethics, Emory School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information."

Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information (Eric Rosenthal)   Posted: 04/11/14
 

Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, Oncology Times, spoke on the panel "Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information."

Personalized/Precision Medicine: A Definition (Carl Morrison presentation)   Posted: 04/11/14
 

Carl Morrison, M.D., D.V.M., executive director, Center for Personalized Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, spoke on the panel "Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information."

Plunging into health care: Tips for beginners   Posted: 04/08/14
 

Four experienced reporters provide some tips on how to get started in health care reporting.

Staying in the loop: Reading suggestions for health reporters   Posted: 04/07/14
 

These reading suggestions and links to helpful national organizations will keep health reporters in the loop. 

Dental tourism: Americans leaving the country for oral health care   Posted: 04/04/14
 


Mary Otto

 

Experts say many thousands of Americans are now going abroad for dental care. The growing phenomenon of dental tourism is believed to make up a sizable portion of the worldwide multibillion-dollar medical tourism market.

While exact numbers are impossible to find, and even estimates are scarce, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions estimated that 1.6 million Americans would traveled abroad for all types of medical care in 2012 with dental treatments heading the list of procedures sought. Mary Otto reports on the growing market in dental tourism. 

Covering hospital ratings? Here's one aspect consumers need you to report   Posted: 04/03/14
 

Tony Leys
Tony Leys

Hospital-ratings agencies portray themselves as champions of transparency when it comes to information about health-care quality. But some clam up if you ask for details of their business arrangements.

Consumers should know that hospitals pay substantial fees for permission to run ads about awards they receive from services such as Healthgrades, U.S. News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. That fact could explain why the services offer awards in so many categories.

Tony Leys explains the arrangements, including how much some hospitals pay to use the rankings in their marketing efforts and how to find out what hospitals in your area are paying. It just might change how you cover hospital awards and ratings.

ACA numbers: Subtle differences in the words matter   Posted: 04/01/14
 

Kyle Cheney
Kyle Cheney

With the new sign-up numbers coming out of the state and federal exchanges, Politico health care reporter Kyle Cheney reports on what the numbers mean.

Loose characterizations by allies and enemies of how many people have signed up, (more than 7 million as of April 1) have led to rampant – often verifiably incorrect – interpretations in the press. That matters.  The way news reports characterize enrollment could  tilt the national narrative about the health law in a tense election year.

There are subtle but significant differences between the number of people “signed up” for ACA plans and the number actually “enrolled.” And there’s an even greater difference,  for the short term, between the number of enrollees and the number of people who have “coverage.”

Enrolled? Selected? Covered? The semantics matter.

Here’s a tip sheet about what to watch – and listen – for.

Covering prescription drug data   Posted: 04/01/14
 

With more data on relationships between doctors and drug companies soon to be released,  Charles Ornstein reports on some ways journalists can use this information. From the Health Journalism 2014 session “Covering prescription drug data."

Freelance: Coolest tools to find a story, research it, write it and share it   Posted: 04/01/14
 

This tip sheet features freelance reporting tools for productivity, writing, editing, and research. These tools were the focus of a panel discussion that took place March 30 at Health Journalism 2014, AHCJ's conference.  Panelists included: 

  • Jill Adams, independent journalist, Delmar, N.Y.
    jilluadams@gmail.com, @juadams

  • Amy Gahran, independent journalist and editor, Boulder, Colo. 
    amy@gahran.com, @agahran

  • Moderator:Kit Seeborg, digital media producer, Boulder, Colo.

  • Panel organized by Catherine Dold, freelance writer and editor, Boulder, Colo. catherinedold@gmail.com; @catherinedold; @TheRecoveryBook

Storytelling Tips, Shooting Solo and Finding the Human Element   Posted: 03/31/14
 

Joy Robertson of The Food Channel offers some tips for shooting great video solo and on a deadline.

New realities of aging: Resources for reporters   Posted: 03/28/14
 

Links to research and resources, compiled by Eileen Beal,  from a panel at Health Journalism 2014. It includes information about frailty, senior mental health and coordinated care.

Older adults vulnerable without vaccinations   Posted: 03/19/14
 


  Eileen Beal

In the United States, far too many people – including many older adults – don’t get the vaccines they need to prevent getting and spreading preventable diseases.  In a recent CDC press release, Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, says many people think “that infectious diseases are over in the industrialized world."  

However, global travel and trade can spread diseases quickly, leaving seniors vulnerable to infection. Here, Eileen Beal discusses the risks of not being vaccinated and the reasons seniors aren't getting vaccinations, and also provides resources for people looking for more information on vaccines. 

Are dental assistants in your state expanding their scope of practice?   Posted: 02/24/14
 


Image by University of the Fraser Valley via flickr.

There are more than 300,000 dental assistants at work across America and their ranks are expected to increase 25 percent in the next decade, as a result of the recognition of the link between oral health and overall health. Their work often includes helping dentists with procedures, taking and developing X-rays, preparing and sterilizing  instruments, making appointments, keeping records, and giving patients post-operative instructions.

But from state to state, duties, credentialing, and training standards vary widely.

Oral health topic leader Mary Otto provides some background, the latest news on what's happening in various states and links to help reporters learn what changes may be in the works in their state – just in time for Dental Assistants Recognition Week, March 2-8.

Are you covering a fakethrough?   Posted: 02/21/14
 


  Jonathan Latham, Ph.D.

Remember the burger grown from stem cells? It might be a great idea, except a single patty grown using today's technology, at least, cost a whopping $332,000.

Here, Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., the executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, asks whether discoveries like that are breakthroughs or "fakethroughs" – scientific advances that will never progress to new treatments or beneficial products.

He also talks about his brand of investigative science journalism and why reporting on new discoveries should probably be more muted.

Children sedated, anesthetized for dental procedures: What reporters should know   Posted: 02/19/14
 

Pediatric dentistry
Image by ktpupp via Flickr.

A 3-year old Hawaiian girl died in January, a month after she lapsed into a coma while undergoing a dental procedure. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is investigating what went wrong and the child's parents are suing. Questions have been raised about the level of sedatives administered to the 38-pound girl.

An increasing number of children are being placed under sedation or anesthesia for dental care, experts say. Children with diagnoses of extensive decay who may not be able to sit still for care are sometimes placed under general anesthesia before undergoing treatment.

But how often is this done, what kinds of sedatives and anesthesia are used, what's the training for dentists who use sedatives and what are the risks involved? We get some answers from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

A guide to health beat e-mail subscriptions   Posted: 02/05/14
 

ProPublica reporter Charles Ornstein is often asked by colleagues how he stays abreast of health news and developments across the country. Here, he shares a list of email subscriptions he finds most valuable. The emails summarize and aggregate health news from around the country, each with a different bent.

Covering HIV/AIDS and older adults   Posted: 01/27/14
 

Janice Lynch Schuster
Janice Lynch Schuster

The CDC estimate that 636,000 people have died from AIDS in the United States since the virus was first identified in the early 1980s. Today, more than a million people live with HIV – however, nearly 20 percent do not know they are infected. Those over age 50 represent approximately 15 percent of the 50,000 new diagnoses annually, nearly one-fourth of all existing cases of HIV, and nearly 30 percent of those with AIDS.

What do you need to know about AIDS in the older population?

Janice Lynch Schuster runs down the facts and figures for reporters, as well as the public health challenges to preventing the disease and the ramifications for those living with it. She also lists story ideas and sources for your reporting

Painful big toes: Just the beginning in covering gout   Posted: 01/22/14
 

Gout is a devastating disease at any age, but can hit older adults especially hard. It is the most common inflammatory arthritis seen in the elderly and researchers report an escalating incidence and prevalence of gout. As this tip sheet by Eileen Beal describes, gout is very painful, manifesting with pain, swelling, heat, tenderness, and stiffness in the joints.

Elderly gout patients have higher health care utilization and costs than those without the disease. Gout represents about six percent of total health costs for seniors with this condition. By proactively managing the condition, it’s possible to avoid or minimize painful gout attacks. 

Mental health parity rule clarifies standards for treatment limits, coverage of intermediate care   Posted: 01/14/14
 


Michelle Andrews

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 required health plans that offer mental health and substance use disorder benefits to cover them to the same extent that they cover medical/surgical benefits. Among other things, it prohibits having treatment limits or financial coverage requirements such as copayments or deductibles that are more restrictive than a plan’s medical coverage. Interim regulations issued in 2010 clarified some issues about implementing the law.

The final rules, issued in November by federal officials, spell out more specifics. Michelle Andrews, writing for Kaiser Health News, spoke with Jennifer Mathis of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and provides some background and clarification on how the rules affect consumers.

Guide to federal agencies that oversee, regulate the safety of oral health and dental care   Posted: 01/09/14
 

Image by ktpupp via flickr.

One of the major dental dramas of 2013 was a story followed closely by Tulsa World reporter Shannon Muchmore.

Early in the year, an inspection at the office of a local oral surgeon, W. Scott Harrington, raised concerns that lax sanitation practices had put patients at risk. Widespread testing followed and health officials announced that a former patient had contracted hepatitis C while receiving care at his office.

Muchmore stayed in constant contact with local and state health officials  and her reports also came as a reminder of the important role that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention often plays in such major investigations.

The CDC is just one of the federal bodies charged with overseeing and regulating the safety of America’s dental care system. Here is a look at a few of these agencies, with links to information about how their work relates to dental care. You might want to use them as resources to expand the focus of your local stories.

Medication management and adherence in older adults   Posted: 12/19/13
 

Some 45 percent of older adults struggle with two or more chronic conditions and the health ramifications of those with multiple conditions are vast. People coping with several chronic illnesses have more difficulty with activities of daily living and may struggle to complete simple physical activities.

Many are taking multiple medications, often prescribed by multiple providers, who may or may not communicate with each other. Medication management and adherence may be a key component to allowing older adults to age in place.

This tip sheet provides more background on the impact of medication management, as well as story ideas and the resources to help you do more informed reporting on the topic.

Home health care’s role in post-acute care   Posted: 12/16/13
 

Depending on the source, the home health care industry is either a boon to older adults or an industry rife with fraud and abuse. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in-between. For most part, home health care can be a cost-effective alternative to hospital or facility care, providing many clinical and skilled nursing services in a non-institutional setting. Hospitals are under intense pressure to reduce or avoid re-admissions within 30 days of patient discharge, clinicians want alternatives to institutionalized care, and insurers – especially Medicare – realize cost-savings through home-based short-term nursing and therapy services.

Here are some of the things to be aware of when covering home health care.

Bleak future for the funding of long-term care   Posted: 12/13/13
 

Wallace Roberts
Wallace Roberts

A new scientific measure was introduced at this year’s annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) that may have serious implications for how Americans are going to pay for long-term care. It’s called, “Not going to happen.”

At a symposium on the topic, Marc A. Cohen, chief executive officer of LifePlans, Inc., a research organization for private insurance companies selling long-term care insurance, painted a bleak picture for the role of the private sector in this field. He said there are only 11 companies now selling a meaningful number of long-term care policies while there were 102 in 2002.

Programs develop to manage most costly 1 percent of patients   Posted: 12/06/13
 

As more health insurers begin covering the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act, they will assume the financial risk of covering the most costly patients in any health system: the 1 percent who run up the biggest bills. A recent report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that these 1 percent of patients account for 21.4 percent of all spending. Writing for Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post, Sandra G. Boodman covered this issue thoroughly and her article serves as a tip sheet for any health care journalist covering this segment of the population.

The first health insurance marketplace numbers are in: What do they tell us?   Posted: 11/26/13
 

The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported the first set of enrollment numbers from the state and federal insurance marketplaces. There were a lot of numbers and Joanne Kenen, AHCJ's health reform topic leader breaks them down and helps reporters understanding what they do and do not tell us.

Baby boomers opting for alternative health care   Posted: 11/15/13
 

Phyllis Hanlon
Phyllis Hanlon

As of July 1, 2011, baby boomers in the U.S. numbered 41.4 million, representing 13.3 percent of the population. By 2060, that figure is expected to skyrocket to 92 million. This generation has exerted significant influence on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of life and now, as it moves into and beyond the 65-year mark, is targeting health care.

The average 65-year old American is diagnosed with multiple medical issues that may include hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, according to an infographic assembled by Concordia University.

While many boomers still rely on traditional Western medicine, a greater number are looking for complementary and alternative solutions to address these issues.

Depression in older adults all too common   Posted: 10/28/13
 

With age and the advance of illness, depression often strikes older adults. How often? Estimates vary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that up to 5 percent of adults age 65 and older have major depression. Other experts believe that figure hovers around 7 percent to 9 percent.

The numbers are much higher for seniors who are hospitalized (11.5 percent are clinically depressed) or who require home healthcare services (13.5 percent), according to the CDC. Again, estimates from other sources are higher. The take-home point is that depression is even more common in seniors who need institutional care or nursing care in their homes.

A different story in each state: Pediatric dental benefits on the health insurance exchanges   Posted: 10/28/13
 

Mary Otto
Mary Otto

When it comes to the new health insurance exchanges, every state has its own pediatric dental benefits story.

In the next five years, an estimated 3 million children are expected to become eligible to receive private dental benefits through the insurance marketplaces set up by the states. They will be among the approximately 8.7 million children who stand to gain extensive dental coverage through the ACA.

How is your state coping with the challenges of offering them? And will the benefits result in getting more kids the dental care they need? Oral health topic leader Mary Otto explains the issues and why states could be making some controversial decisions in implementing this part of the law.

Getting past gatekeepers to cover research requires strategy   Posted: 10/14/13
 

Brenda Goodman
Brenda Goodman

You have a great medical study to cover – interesting topic, compelling results. All you need is an interview with the study authors to help bring the research home to readers. But scoring an interview with a scientist who works for a government agency can be frustrating and full of dead ends. It shouldn't be. AHCJ's Right to Know Committee is working on improving reporters' access to a number of government agencies.

But change is slow. And your deadlines won't wait. What can you do today for a story that's due tomorrow? Brenda Goodman, AHCJ's medical studies topic leader, offers a set of strategies that recently helped her through an impasse with the FDA.

Oral health is a significant factor in overall well-being in seniors   Posted: 10/03/13
 

 

Good oral health is a strong indicator of good overall health in older adults. It makes sense that nutritional intake is better when a person has all or most of their teeth. Poor oral health, on the other hand, is negatively linked to obesity, sleep apnea, poorer chronic disease management, higher LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, malnutritionlow self esteem, and other physiological problems.

What reporters should know about nutrition and aging   Posted: 10/03/13
 

Eating “well” is critical throughout the lifecycle to prevent chronic disease, and support both physical and mental health. Each stage of life presents unique nutritional needs and challenges; however, dietitians who work with seniors, or adults, aged 65 and older, consistently identify the following nutrition-related concerns specific to aging, many of which are interrelated and influence a senior’s ability to live independently.

Reporters should be aware of these concerns and explore how the community and those who support seniors are addressing these needs.

Mining the Census for Health Reporting   Posted: 09/27/13
 

Ronald Campbell, of The Orange County Register, offers a number of story ideas and tips on reporting them.

Among the thousands of topics that the Census covers, there are a few obvious gems for healthcare reporters and many that will require deeper digging. The obvious targets: health insurance and disabilities. Not only can you explore these topics geographically, but you can get insanely detailed information about each of them. How about the number of visually impaired people in your local workforce – employed vs. unemployed? Or look at part-timers and see how many buy health insurance on their own, through their employers or not at all.

Seven ideas to cover health exchanges before the rollout   Posted: 09/17/13
 


Katie McCrimmon

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, a reporter for HealthPolicySolutions.org in Colorado, shares some important story ideas and questions, as well as background on each, to help reporters explain the rollout of the health insurance exchanges or marketplaces.

She suggests, among other things, taking a good look at whether the technology will work, who will be left uninsured and what plans people are choosing.

Employers use self-funded insurance to avoid ACA mandate   Posted: 09/12/13
 


Joseph Burns

Seeking to avoid the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act, many small employers are pursuing self-funded health insurance.

Under this strategy, employers set aside enough funds to insure themselves, eliminating the traditional health insurance although these employers still use traditional insurers or health plans to enroll employees, process claims and establish networks of providers.

Tapping the holy grail of hospital data   Posted: 09/12/13
 


Charles Ornstein

California journalists are lucky to have the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Despite its bureaucratic and jargony name, it is a terrific resource for facts and figures about health care (particularly hospital care) in the state.

This tipsheet will focus on the hospital financial data on OSHPD's website and provide tips on how best to use the information.

Beyond premiums: Five things to know about health care costs in the exchanges   Posted: 09/04/13
 


Arielle Levin Becker

There’s been a lot of interest lately in how much it will cost to buy a health plan through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. But equally important, and often overlooked, is what those premiums will buy.

In fact, many consumer advocates are worried that people buying coverage through the exchanges will choose plans based solely on premiums and buy plans with such high deductibles and co-insurance they’ll be unable to afford care.

Arielle Levin Becker, who covers health care for The Connecticut Mirror, breaks down the the tiers of coverage, how subsidies will be calculated, out-of-pockets costs and other critical components that your readers, listeners and viewers are depending on you to explain.

Health reform: Who will help consumers understand their options?   Posted: 08/01/13
 

Joanne Kenen
Joanne Kenen

Navigators. In-person assisters. Volunteers.

Who are they and what do they do?

Getting people to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act will take more than a few public service ads and some brochures. So the law envisioned having “navigators” and other community organizations and trained individuals help them. Various advocacy groups also will mount volunteer efforts.

Understanding the role of these people and organizations will be important as the federal government is set to announce on Aug. 15 who will get navigator grants from a pool of $54 million. 

Health reform topic leader Joanne Kenen breaks it down and identifies some local stories that reporters should be working on.

Exploring the associations between periodontal disease and diabetes   Posted: 07/30/13
 

Mary Otto
Mary Otto

Periodontal (gum) disease is a recognized complication of diabetes.

Beyond the fact that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease, some studies point to a bi-directional relationship between the two diseases. They suggest that the presence of periodontal disease makes diabetes harder to control.

Oral health topic leader Mary Otto provides some background on the relationship between the diseases, the body's response and other conditions that research is pursuing.

Reporting on how employers might use self-insurance to sidestep Affordable Care Act rules   Posted: 07/11/13
 

Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock

Self-insurance has been called an Obamacare loophole because the arrangement is immune to taxes, benefit requirements, profit limits and other rules set by the Affordable Care Act. For small businesses with young, healthy workers, it’s a way to offer coverage while avoiding premiums that build in costs for older, sicker people in the ACA’s insurance marketplaces.

But some people fear that self-insuring companies could skim too many young folks out of the small-business exchanges and insurance company costs and losses could soar, insurers could exit and the exchanges could break down.

Jay Hancock of Kaiser Health News explains the issues and why this is a local story that reporters should be paying attention to.

Dental hygienists' workforce is shifting, growing   Posted: 07/03/13
 

Mary Otto
Mary Otto

In June dental hygienists celebrated the 100th anniversary of their profession.

It was in 1913 that a Bridgeport, Conn., dentist, Dr. Alfred Fones, opened the world’s first dental hygiene school. The first dental hygienist was Fones’ cousin and chairside assistant Irene Newman.

Today, more than  181,000 dental hygienists are at work in the United States,  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The work of these dental auxiliaries has typically centered upon offering preventive services such as cleaning teeth, applying dental sealants and fluoride treatments, screening for oral cancer and offering oral health education. 

But much about this female-dominated profession has been changing in recent years.

What reporters should know about chronic pain and aging   Posted: 07/02/13
 

Many older adults live with chronic pain. It may be related to arthritis, complications from diabetes, falls, surgery, or other causes, but aging and pain go hand-in-hand for an estimated 58 percent to 70 percent of community-dwelling adults over age 65 and up to 80 percent of nursing home residents. Although physiologic changes are inevitable as we get older, persistent pain is not part of a normal aging process.

An  International Association for the Study of Pain fact sheet said that nearly half (45 percent) of older adults admitted to hospitals report pain – 19 percent have moderate or severe pain and 12.9 percent are not satisfied with current pain management methods.

Chronic pain in older adults is often underassessed and undertreated, according to numerous studies.  If you plan to report on pain-related issues, here are some things to keep in mind.

Health reporters can cover safety claims in abortion fight   Posted: 07/01/13
 

The dramatic filibuster of Texas Senate Bill 5 has refocused the nation’s attention on abortion. The bill would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks gestation and it would have mandated that the minimum standards for an abortion facility must be equivalent to the minimum standards adopted for ambulatory surgical centers.

Only five of the state’s 42 abortion providers would meet the new requirements without extensive upgrades, which could drive many out of business. Democrats say the new rules would limit women’s access to abortion providers. Republicans contend that the stricter requirements are necessary to protect women’s safety.

Politics and personal beliefs aside, this is an opportunity for health journalists everywhere to look into the safety of abortion providers and whether there is evidence that stricter requirements will protect women from adverse events.

Resources on aging in the rural population   Posted: 06/21/13
 

AHCJ member Eileen Beal put together this useful compilation of resources, briefings and contact information for sources to help reporters cover seniors in rural areas.

Water fluoridation: What reporters need to know   Posted: 05/30/13
 

Mary Otto
Mary Otto

For more than 65 years, communities across the United States have been supplementing naturally occurring fluoride in water supplies to promote oral health. At what are considered optimum levels, numerous studies have shown fluoride reduces cavities. But too much fluoride can be a bad thing, public health officials have acknowledged. Consumption at excess levels may cause fluorosis and skeletal deformities, research has found.

Fluoride has remained a source of controversy as evidenced by debates over fluoridation in a number of communities in recent months. Phoenix, Ariz., voted late last year to continue fluoridating its water while fluoridation was voted down in Wichita, Kan. In Portland, Ore., the city council approved fluoridation in September only to be overruled by voters earlier this month.

Five common mistakes to avoid on the health policy beat   Posted: 05/24/13
 

Carol Eisenberg
Carol Eisenberg

Health policy these days is contentious, with those in favor of the Affordable Care Act saying one thing while opponents insist other things are true. Carol Eisenberg, a senior editor at Kaiser Health News, offers some helpful tips for understanding health policy and communicating it accurately to your readers, viewers and listeners.

Using social media to find real people for your story   Posted: 05/23/13
 

Liz Szabo
Liz Szabo

When writing about medical studies, drugs, devices, medical procedures and other health stories, social media can help you find real patients, not the ones groomed by pharmaceutical companies, to round out your coverage of research and treatments. In this helpful tip sheet, Liz Szabo, an award-winning medical reporter for USA Today passes on some of her best tricks for using social media to cultivate sources.

If you're planning to cover the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, this advice comes just in time for you to set up a network of potential sources in advance.

Covering primary care in the 21st century   Posted: 05/16/13
 

Felice J. Freyer
Felice J. Freyer

Primary care is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to health-system changes. Whether you want to reduce emergency room use, better manage chronic illness or boost immunization rates, primary care providers must be the driving force.  And yet what the wonks call “the primary care infrastructure” has never been more fragile. For reporters, this means a rich trove of stories on issues affecting the lives of everyone.

Providence Journal medical writer Felice J. Freyer lays out the key issues and a rich supply of story ideas and resources for local health reporters to pursue.

Diabetes in senior population impacts all aspects of health care   Posted: 05/01/13
 

“The aging population is a significant driver of the diabetes epidemic,” according to a consensus report from the American Diabetes Association and American Geriatrics Society. Patients, providers, and the entire health system must grapple with the impact of the disease as more boomers enter their senior years.

When covering health trends or researching statistics, bear in mind that diabetes in older adults impacts many facets of health care, including hospitalizations, costs, population health, access, quality of life years and policy, for starters. Here are some facts, important story ideas and resources to get you started on reporting on diabetes in the aging community.

How one reporter asks for — and often gets — meaningful medical pricing information   Posted: 04/19/13
 

Michael Schroeder
Michael Schroeder

As a writer covering health for Angie's List Magazine, a consumer publication that goes to more than 1 million members around the country, Michael Schroeder is required to include meaningful medical pricing information in his stories. But as any health reporter knows, this is no simple task.

Schroeder says he is constantly fine-tuning his strategy. In an era in which high-deductible plans are on the rise, with patients paying more out of pocket and increasing pressure — public and private — for health organizations to share pricing information with the rest of us, he sees no other choice but to press on. In this tip sheet he reveals what questions he asks to get that very important information.

Tech Tools to Diversify Your Sources (Shuka Kalantari presentation)   Posted: 04/18/13
 

Shuka Kalantari, health outreach coordinator, KQED-San Francisco, spoke on the panel "Tech tools to diversify your sources."

The Potential in Potential: Using electricity to induce regeneration (Dany Adams presentation)   Posted: 04/18/13
 

Dany Adams, Ph.D., research associate professor, Tufts University, spoke on the panel "Promises of replacement medicine."

English, please? How to coax everyday language from your sources   Posted: 04/18/13
 

Kathleen Doheny
Kathleen Doheny

If you've interviewed anyone with an M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. or Sc.D. after his or her name, you know: It's often no easy feat to get your sources to speak in everyday language.

Freelance journalist Kathleen Doheny has come up with some strategies to coax more usable language out of sources. Find out what the "java approach" is, ways to suggest to your source that they use more reader-friendly words and how to coach them through the interview.

Diabesity Cheat Sheet (Rich Siegel presentation)   Posted: 04/17/13
 

Rich Siegel, M.D., co-director, Tufts Medical Center's Diabetes Clinic, spoke on the panel "Diabetes: Latest in diagnosis, treatment, prevention."

Birds, Bears, Turtles, Trains, Coupons, Cocks ... and Moses (Gary Schwitzer presentation)   Posted: 04/17/13
 

Gary Schwitzer, publisher, HealthNewsReview.org, spoke on the panel "Reporting on medical studies."

Digging Into Hospital Finances (Karl Stark presentation)   Posted: 04/17/13
 

Karl Stark, assistant managing editor, health and science, The Philadelphia Inquirer, spoke on the panel "Diving into documents: Using 990s and more to cover hospital finances."

Latest Research into the Mysteries of Autism (Walter Kaufmann presentation)   Posted: 04/17/13
 

Walter Kaufmann, M.D., director and professor, Rett Syndrome Program, Boston Children's Hospital, spoke on the panel "Latest research into the mysteries of autism."

Immigrants and the Affordable Care Act   Posted: 04/16/13
 

This tip sheet, courtesy of the National Immigration Law Center, breaks down how the Affordable Care Act covers various groups of immigrants, including naturalized citizens, lawfully present immigrants and undocumented immigrants. It also explains how the status of immigrants will be verified.

Stem cell bioengineering and tissue regeneration (Ali Khademhosseini presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., M.A.Sc., associate professor, Harvard Medical School; Division of Bioengineering, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, spoke on the panel "Promises of replacement medicine."

David Corcoran presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

David Corcoran, editor, Science Times, The New York Times, spoke on the panel "Freelance: Ideas that editors buy."

Scott Turner presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., director, memory disorders program, Georgetown University, spoke on the panel "The drive toward earlier Alzheimer’s treatment."

Gun Violence in America: The Role of Community Intervention (Manish Sethi presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Manish Sethi, M.D., director, Orthopaedic Institute Center for Health Policy, Vanderbilt University, spoke on the panel "The nanny state: Can government change our behavior?"

From Compounders to Drug Shortages: Covering Pharmacies and Pharmacists (John Walczyk presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

John Walczyk, pharmacy manager, Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center, spoke on the panel "From compounders to drug shortages: Covering pharmacies and pharmacists."

Decoding an epidemic: Getting beyond conventional wisdom (Lisa Girion presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Lisa Girion, staff writer, Los Angeles Times, spoke on the panel "Tracking, exposing prescription drug abuse in your state."

Best Practices: Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (John L. Eadie presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

John L. Eadie, director, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Center of Excellence at Brandeis University, spoke on the panel "Tracking, exposing prescription drug abuse in your state."

The art of medical decision making (Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Jerome Groopman, M.D., Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; chief of experimental medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Pamela Hartzband, M.D., assistant professor, Harvard Medical School; attending physician, Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, spoke on the panel "When experts disagree: The art of medical decision making."

Giridhar Mallya presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Giridhar Mallya, M.D., M.H.S.P., director of policy and planning, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, spoke on the panel "The nanny state: Can government change our behavior?"

The Conversation Project: Stories that Change the Culture (Ellen Goodman presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Ellen Goodman, co-founder and director, The Conversation Project, spoke on the panel "Covering end-of-life issues."

Moving from Reactive to Proactive Regulation of Physicians (David Swankin presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

David Swankin, president and chief exectutive officer, Citizen Advocacy Center, spoke on the panel "How to spot troubled health care workers."

Bill D. Marler presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Bill D. Marler, managing partner, Marler Clark, spoke on the panel "Why is food still making us sick in the 21st century?"

Challenges in Caring for Older Adults: A Team Sport (Sharon A. Levine presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Sharon A. Levine, M.D., professor of medicine, Boston University; Geriatrics Section, Boston Medical Center, spoke on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care (Susan Reinhard presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Susan Reinhard, Ph.D., R.N., senior vice president, AARP Public Policy Institute, spoke on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Bert Rahl presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Bert Rahl, L.I.S.W.-S., director, Mental Health, Eldercare Services Institute LLC, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, spoke on the panel "The growing complication of coordinating senior care."

Julius Yang presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Julius Yang, M.D., Ph.D., hospitalist and director of clinical operations, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, spoke on the panel "Local hospitals start paying price for readmissions."

Challenges in Readmissions Policy (Karen Joynt presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Karen Joynt, M.D., M.P.H., instructor, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health; staff cardiologist, Boston VA Healthcare System, spoke on the panel "Local hospitals start paying price for readmissions."

Reporting Hospital Readmissions Measures (Susannah Bernheim presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Susannah Bernheim, M.D., M.H.S., acting director of quality measurement, Centers for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale School of Medicine, spoke on the panel "Local hospitals start paying price for readmissions."

Drug Shortages and Compounding Pharmacies (William Churchill presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

William Churchill, M.S., R.P.H., chief of pharmacy services, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, spoke on the panel "From compounders to drug shortages: Covering pharmacies and pharmacists."

Earthbound Farm’s Response to Spinach 2006 (Will Daniels presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Will Daniels, senior vice president, operations and organic integrity, Earthbound Farm, spoke on the panel "Why is food still making us sick in the 21st century?"

Hospital Statements of Deficiency: Background and Logic (Paul Dreyer presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Paul Dreyer, Ph.D., principal, Dreyer Consulting, spoke on the panel "Deciphering inspection reports to cover hospital quality."

ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program (Michael R. Cohen presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph., M.S., president, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, spoke on the panel "From compounders to drug shortages: Covering pharmacies and pharmacists."

Implications of Health Care Reform on Safety Net Hospitals (Kate Walsh presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Kate Walsh, president & chief executive officer, Boston Medical Center, spoke on the panel "Rich hospital, poor hospital: Stories of business survival."

Setting & Hitting Your Goals For Your Freelance Business (Ilise Benun presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Ilise Benun, founder & director, Marketing-Mentor.com, spoke on the panel "Freelance: Road to security."

David M. Nathan presentation   Posted: 04/11/13
 

David M. Nathan, M.D., director, MGH Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center; professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, spoke on the panel "Diabetes: Latest in diagnosis, treatment, prevention."

Communication Inequalities and Health Disparities (K. Vish Viswanath presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

K. Vish Viswanath, Ph.D., associate professor, Harvard School of Public Health, spoke on the panel "Can technology-consumer interaction improve health behaviors?"

The Re-engineered Discharge: Reducing 30 Day All Cause Rehospitalization (Brian Jack presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Brian Jack, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine / Boston Medical Center, spoke on the panel "Can technology-consumer interaction improve health behaviors?"

Innovation in Government (David Seltz presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

David Seltz, executive director, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, spoke on the panel "Lessons from Massachusetts in handling health care costs."

Partners Experience in Transforming Care Delivery (Tim Ferris presentation)   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Tim Ferris, vice president, Population Health Management, Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare, spoke on the panel "Lessons from Massachusetts in handling health care costs."

Changes coming to health care workforce ripe for coverage   Posted: 04/11/13
 

Margot Sanger-Katz
Margot Sanger-Katz

While employment in many industries tanked and weakly recovered, jobs in the health care sector have grown at a steady clip. But ever-growing health employment may be coming to an end, as National Journal reporter Margot Sanger-Katz learned when she reported on the health sector’s impact on the Pittsburgh economy.

Deficit reductions out of Washington will squeeze the dollars fueling health care jobs. That means cuts from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies. The recent across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester hit medical research and public health particularly hard. Hundreds of billions of dollars likely will be cut from future Medicare spending, cuts that come on top of Affordable Care Act reductions that already have many hospitals tightening their belts.

Sanger-Katz urges reporters to cover the health care workforce in their own communities and, in this tip sheet, she points out potential stories, asks key questions and offers some essential resources. The changing health workforce is a key part of the story of health reform, and it hasn’t yet been well told.

The Alternative Quality Contract (Andrew Dreyfus presentation)   Posted: 04/03/13
 

Andrew Dreyfus, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, spoke on the panel "Lessons from Massachusettes in handling health care costs."

Covering lifestyle, genetics and policies that lead to healthy aging   Posted: 03/25/13
 

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

For Dr. John W. Rowe and Robert L. Kahn, authors of “Successful Aging,” the book that got the nation thinking about healthy aging, it’s a goal: “[L]ow probability of disease and disease-related disability, high cognitive and physical functional capacity, and active engagement with life.” For the quick-read version of the book, see Rowe and Kahn’s article in The Gerontologist.

For other thought leaders, it’s a public policy issue. And for those who are actively promoting healthy aging, it’s the outcome of the life-long interaction of various “dimensions” of health (genetic, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, environmental).

Health journalist Eileen Beal explains the concept of healthy aging, what it involves and suggests a number of story ideas and points reporters to good sources to help in telling the stories of their communities.

Caregiving comes to the forefront of issues around aging   Posted: 02/10/13
 

Photo by Ed Yourdon via Flickr
Photo by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

The challenges of caregiving are getting new attention from AARP and the federal government as baby boomers struggle to assist their aging, ailing parents.

AARP and the Ad Council turned a spotlight on the issue in an advertising campaign that began  last August, featuring caregivers screaming silently in frustration over responsibilities such as taking a parent to the doctor or dealing with medical bills.

At the same time, AARP premiered an expanded resource center on caregiving on its website with experts who respond to readers’ questions and tips on everything from legal and financial matters to end-of-life concerns.

If caregivers walked away from their responsibilities, who would step in to care for older adults and at what cost? The government doesn’t especially want to pay for the many services caregivers supply. Free labor is a better and much cheaper alternative, from a budgetary standpoint.

Now, Judith Graham and Eileen Beal share facts, studies, story ideas and lots of resources for reporters to cover caregiving issues. This is a topic that will only continue to grow in importance as the baby boomers age.

Reporter’s guide to health care antitrust issues   Posted: 02/06/13
 


Photo by afagen via Flickr

We don’t normally think about local hospitals as cutthroat competitors seeking to put rivals out of business or operating monopolies that can charge whatever they wish because they’ve bought, intimidated or frightened away competition. But anticompetitive behavior can exert real impact on health care pricing, access and quality of care. Organizations with market power often do charge higher prices. And when they raise prices, their competitors frequently do as well. Some researchers have suggested that it may also reduce the quality of care.

As Mark Taylor tells us in this comprehensive tip sheet, antitrust issues are among the most underreported stories in health care. And that’s a shame because, at their core, health care antitrust stories often include classic elements of conflict, greed, conspiracies, collusion and intense rivalry. Millions, even billions, of dollars are at stake. Find out what stories you might find in your community.

Rules could change for 'critical access hospitals;' what reporters should know   Posted: 01/11/13
 

Jenny Gold
Jenny Gold

Critical access hospitals are supposed to be small, rural facilities that receive a higher Medicare reimbursement rate to help keep them afloat. But not all of them fit that description, and they’re not always “critical.” More than 1,300 facilities – nearly one in four acute care hospitals – have been designated as critical access, and some are neither rural nor isolated.

Recently, several proposals floating around Washington, including one from President Obama, recommend narrowing the definition to help weed out some of the spending from the program.

Jenny Gold, of Kaiser Health News, has written about critical access hospitals and offers background, questions reporters should be asking and resources to support their reporting.

Finding information on medical costs   Posted: 11/16/12
 

Cost is an important aspect of covering research, especially if you’re covering a study of a drug or medical device. But pricing information can also be tough to find, especially if you’re on a tight deadline. Brenda Goodman, AHCJ's topic leader on covering medical studies, runs down some of the best sources for finding costs of drugs, tests and devices, as well as finding information on trends in the nutrition market.

Primer on Social Security   Posted: 11/13/12
 

Bob Rosenblatt
Bob Rosenblatt

Entitlement reform. Everyone seems to think that it’s inevitable, now that the elections are over.

Two big targets of reform are programs that serve seniors: Medicare and Social Security.

In a new tip sheet, Bob Rosenblatt, one of the most experienced aging reporters around, explains the ins and outs of the Social Security and how essential it is, financially, to many older adults. Without Social Security, large numbers of seniors would be poor and unable to afford health care bills, as well as other expenses.

Rosenblatt’s tip sheet gives the background needed to understand why Social Security is at a crossroads, as well as numerous resources and story ideas for reporters on the aging beat. Also, you’ll learn details about how benefits are calculated that sheds light on why many older women find themselves unexpectedly impoverished after divorce or the death of a spouse.

The good and bad: How an immigrant’s health can change   Posted: 10/17/12
 

While immigrants often bring with them some health-related disadvantages, such as poverty and a lack of health insurance, plenty of data suggests that Hispanics, at least, have an advantage when it comes to lifespan — a phenomenon known as the Hispanic paradox. While experts have debated its existence, the Hispanic paradox got the backing of the federal government two years ago with the publication of the Hispanic life tables. But what happens when those immigrants — or their children — begin to adopt the sedentary habits and fast-food lifestyle Americans are famous for? And are those extra years of life necessarily healthy ones?

Over the border and into the maw of the machine   Posted: 10/17/12
 

Immigrants face untold dangers on the job. They are more likely than native-born Americans to work in hazardous occupations, such as agriculture and construction, and may perform riskier tasks. Especially if they're undocumented, their employers may be cutting corners on safety. A reporter who has written about immigrants who suffered horrendous workplace injuries, a lawyer for an agency dedicated to protecting workers, and an organizer who's seen firsthand what happens in the construction industry talk about the rights of immigrants in the workplace, the hazards they face on the job, and how you can track down good stories on this under-recognized public safety issue.

Demographics and determinants: A portrait of immigrants and immigrant health   Posted: 10/16/12
 

The San Antonio workshop keynote presentation covering population change and racial/ethnic diversity, immigrants and immigrant diversity and the immigrant health advantage.

Mapping immigrant data for health stories   Posted: 10/16/12
 

The rich collection of Census data include key geographic information ideal for mapping. Combine Google tools with data to create online maps and charts you can tailor.  Learn how to create a map you can use with your online project with a combination of a spreadsheet, Google Fusion Tables and some basic data work.

Immigrant Health and the Affordable Care Act   Posted: 10/16/12
 

The wide-ranging Affordable Care Act has many provisions that touch on issues important to immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Many immigrants and their families rely on safety-net hospitals, along with community clinics, Medicaid and other programs if they don’t have insurance through work. How will the federal health care law play out? Will safety net hospitals get adequate funding to care for the people who remain uninsured? How will community health centers fare? What happens if states like Texas don’t expand Medicaid eligibility? Where will undocumented immigrants turn to for care? Understand the issues involved as the law moves into final implementation in 2014.

Using Census and other data in immigrant health stories   Posted: 10/16/12
 

This hands-on session showcased data sources on the demographics of immigrants, both nationally and in your community, and walked through how to access the numbers you need. It touched on a variety of information available from the Census Bureau, Department of Homeland Security and other sources. Learn how to build a portrait of foreign-born Americans that includes the basics such as race, ethnicity and birth country, as well as find information on specialized topics such as immigrants in health-care occupations, immigrants without health insurance and unauthorized immigration.

Covering the anti-aging movement   Posted: 10/10/12
 

Arlene Weintraub
Arlene Weintraub

The term “anti-aging” often conjures up visions of L’Oréal face creams and Botox, but today’s anti-aging industry encompasses much more than that. Most anti-aging doctors promote a regimen that includes dietary supplements like resveratrol, plus a host of hormone products, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). The scientific validity of claims attached to these substances is highly questionable, yet the anti-aging industry continues to bring in an estimated $88 billion a year in sales.

The seemingly endless search for the fountain of youth offers a host of story ideas for enterprising health journalists. Arlene Weintraub, who has covered health and science for 15 years and is the author of “Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease out of Getting Old — And Made Billions,” offers useful background on the anti-aging movement as well as hot topics, potential story ideas and sources.

10 Local Stories on Health Reform   Posted: 09/28/12
 

Joanne Kenen, AHCJ's health reform topic leader and deputy health editor at Politico, and Stacey Singer, of  The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, presented a session at the Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference. Here are their story ideas and tips for covering health reform on the local level.

Health reform: Resources   Posted: 09/25/12
 

There are ample resources for covering health policy at the state and federal level. Here are some particularly useful ones – but they will lead you to other ones.

Covering hurricanes: Resources and related stories to help your coverage   Posted: 08/27/12
 

We have compiled tip sheets, articles about covering the public health angle of disasters, award-winning stories about health and past hurricanes, as well as links to resources and academic research that should help you report on Tropical Storm Isaac. You should be able to find story ideas and sources to help you evaluate and cover the health response before, during and after the storm.

Latest innovations in Medicare   Posted: 07/17/12
 

Don’t look only to Washington policymakers for strategies to control medical costs and improve care for our aging population. New pilot projects that could accomplish these goals, which are at the heart of health reform, are being tested in communities across the country. In this tip sheet, reporter Susan Jaffe provides an overview of projects sponsored by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, directs journalists to helpful resources, and supplies an extensive list of potential story ideas.

A quick guide to covering the Supreme Court ruling on health reform   Posted: 06/25/12
 

This story will have many dimensions – policy and political – to keep us busy for months to come but here is a quick guide to help you get started on reporting the ruling’s impact on your community.

The ruling is expected on Thursday, June 28. It will be handed down live, from the bench, in sessions that begin at 10 a.m. ET.  The ruling will go up on the court website fairly quickly, and many news organizations will post as well. As most of you know, there is no TV or radio feed, and reporters can’t have cell phones or laptops in the courtroom.

Covering aging-in-place   Posted: 06/20/12
 

Aging-in-place is a broad term for arrangements that allow seniors to remain at home rather than relocate as frailty or disability increases their need for help with daily activities. However, aging-in-place is not easy to achieve. Health care journalist Lani Luciano introduces major resources, information and questions to help reporters explain aging-in-place and examine the issues and trends surrounding the concept.

New understandings in the science of addiction and treatment (Mark Gold presentation)   Posted: 06/11/12
 

Presentation from Mark S. Gold, M.D., distinguished professor and chair of psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "New understandings in the science of addiction and treatment."

Children's Fight Against Childhood Obesity (Stephanie Walsh presentation)   Posted: 06/11/12
 

Presentation from Stephanie Walsh, M.D., medical director of child wellness, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; associate professor at Emory School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Overcoming 'fat fatigue' in our reporting."

Decoding Prime (Lance Williams presentation)   Posted: 06/11/12
 

Presentation from Lance Williams, senior reporter, California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting, who spoke on the panel "Working with geeks to tell new stories."

Economic Status and Children's Health (Kathleen Adams presentation)   Posted: 06/11/12
 

Presentation from Kathleen Adams, Ph.D., professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; health economist, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke on the panel "Economic determinants of child health."

Planning for Success: Mapping Freelance Success Through Business Models and Business Plan   Posted: 06/11/12
 

Presentation from panel "Freelance: Mapping successful business plans and models."

Reporters' guide to hospice and palliative care   Posted: 06/05/12
 

Rosemary Gibson
Rosemary Gibson

As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, Medicare spending will skyrocket. About 30 percent of Medicare’s costs are for care in the last year of life. Research has shown that many people nearing the end of life are not informed of their treatment options and their doctors are unaware of their preferences for treatment, which contributes to a lower quality of life at the end of life.

Every family is touched by the end of life of a loved one. Every reporter who covers Medicare policy and health and aging issues will want to know about hospice and palliative care.

Hunger in the Heartland: Reporting on food insecurity   Posted: 06/01/12
 

Remarks from Enid Borden, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels Association of America, at the 2012 Rural Health Journalism Workshop. She focuses on the health and social implications for seniors living in rural America.

History of Experimental Medicine (Barry Silverman presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Barry Silverman, M.D., Mark Silverman chair of cardiac education, the Piedmont Heart Institute, who spoke on the panel "How will citizen scientists impact medicine?"

Tips to generate clinical research & public health news coverage (Rob Logan presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Robert A. Logan, Ph.D., communication research scientist, National Library of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "From story ideas to sources: Finding hidden gems in PubMed."

The Behavioral Economics and Neuroeconomics of Addiction (James MacKillop presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from James MacKillop, Ph.D., director, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory; associate professor, Department of Psychology; associate director, Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia, who spoke on the panel "New understandings in the science of addiction and treatment."

New and emerging healthcare technologies: Where do health disparities fit? (Vladimir Cadet)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Vladimir N. Cadet, M.P.H., clinical writer/analyst, ECRI Institute, who spoke on the panel "Identifying disparities in diagnosis and treatment."

Health Disparities in Cancer (Theresa Gillespie presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Theresa Gillespie, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, who spoke on the panel "Identifying disparities in diagnosis and treatment."

The Public Health Response to the Rising Morbidity and Mortality from Hepatitis C (J. Ward)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from John Ward, M.D., director, Viral Hepatitis Program, CDC, who spoke on the panel "Hepatitis: New battle lines in war on silent killer."

Hospital Engagement Networks (Sarah Callahan presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Sarah R. Callahan, M.H.S.A., project director, NAPH Safety Network National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, who spoke on the panel "Are your local hospitals targeting health care-acquired conditions?"

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (Bridget Catlin presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Bridget Catlin, Ph.D., M.H.S.A., senior scientist, program director, Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health, University of Wisconsin, who spoke on the panel "Online health data to tap for project ideas."

Towards a Higher Standard: Reflections on Health Care Reporting (Manchanda presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Rishi Manchanda, M.D., M.P.H., founder, HealthBegins, who spoke on the panel "Economic determinants of child health."

Where you Live Matters (David Radley presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from David Radley, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior analyst, The Commonwealth Fund, who spoke on the panel "Online health data to tap for project ideas."

National Priorities Partnership & Partnership for Patients (Karen Adams presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Karen Adams, Ph.D., vice president, National Quality Forum, who spoke on the panel "Are your local hospitals targeting health care-acquired conditions?"

Group Health's Implementation of Decision Aids (Clarissa Hsu presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Clarissa Hsu, Ph.D., research associate, Center for Community Health and Evaluation, Group Health Research Institute, who spoke on the panel "A reporter's guide to medical decision making."

Translational Research: Or Lost in Translation? (Nikhil Khushalani presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Nikhil Khushalani, M.D., associate professor of oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, who spoke on the panel "Translational research: Tracking a drug or therapy through the process."

Five Myths About Medicare (John Rother presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from John Rother, president, National Coalition on Health Care, who spoke on the panel "Seeing through the rhetoric in health reform debates ."

Bias, and Graphics, and Frames: Oh My? (Michael Wagner presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Michael W. Wagner, assistant professor, Department of Political Science and College of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Nebraska, who spoke on the panel "Seeing through the rhetoric in health reform debates."

Translational Research in An Academic Setting: Pros And Cons From A 44-Year Journey (Donald Stein)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Donald Stein, Ph.D., Asa G. Candler Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Translational research: Tracking a drug or therapy through the process."

Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: Current State and Future Possibilities (A. Levey presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Allan Levey, M.D., Ph.D., chair, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine; director, Emory Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, who spoke on the panel "Is earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's around the corner?"

Spinal Fluid and Blood Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease (William Hu presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from William Hu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Is earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's around the corner?"

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (Neil Buckholtz presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Neil Buckholtz, Ph.D., chief, Dementias of Aging Branch, National Institute on Aging, who spoke on the panel "Is earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's around the corner?"

Identifying Disparities in Diagnosis and Treatment: Focus on Sickle Cell Disease (Gee presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Beatrice Gee, M.D., F.A.A.P., associate professor, clinical pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine; medical director, Sickle Cell and Hematology Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, who spoke on the panel "Identifying disparities in diagnosis and treatment."

Plasticity of the brain: Lessons from normal brain & stroke (Cathrin Buetefisch presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Cathrin Buetefisch, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Neuroplasticity 101: It really is all in your head."

Diabetes, Hypertension, and Chronic Kidney Disease (Janice Lea presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Janice P. Lea, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.S.N., professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Renal Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Diabetes' impact on diverse populations."

Current Trends in Autism Employment (Scott Standifer presentation and fact sheet)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Scott Standifer, Ph.D., assistant director, Region 7 Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center; organizer, Autism Works National Conference; clinical associate professor, School of Health Professions, University of Missouri, who spoke on the panel "Is the workplace prepared for an increase in adults with autism?"

Blending Behavioral Health into Primary Care (Parinda Khatri presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Parinda Khatri, Ph.D., director of integrated care, Cherokee Health Systems, who spoke on the panel "Mental health: Integrating behavioral health with primary care."

Unintended Consequences of Clinical Alarms (Marge Funk presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Marjorie Funk, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N., professor, Yale University School of Nursing, who spoke on the panel "Health technology hazards to watch for in your community this year."

Diabetes' Impact on Diverse Populations (Rita Louard presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Rita J. Louard M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., director, Clinical Diabetes Program - Moses Campus, Montefiore Medical Center; associate professor of clinical medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Diabetes' impact on diverse populations."

Brain Health Lifestyle (Paul Nussbaum presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Paul J. Nussbaum, Ph.D., adjunct professor of neurological surgery; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Neuroplasticity 101: It really is all in your head."

Neuroplasticity (Michael Kuhar presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Michael J. Kuhar, Ph.D., researcher, Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Candler professor of neuropharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Neuroplasticity 101: It really is all in your head."

Health Technology Hazards : Pediatric Perspectives and Technologies on the horizon (Paul Spearman)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Paul Spearman, M.D., chief research officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Health technology hazards to watch for in your community this year."

Why Integrated Care Matters (John Bartlett presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from John Bartlett, M.D., M.P.H., senior project adviser, Primary Care Initiative, Carter Center Mental Health Program, who spoke on the panel "Mental health: Integrating behavioral health with primary care."

Helping the Woman with Gestational Diabetes (Connie Crawley presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Connie Crawley, M.S., R.D., L.D., nutrition and health specialist, The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, who spoke on the panel "Helping the Woman with Gestational Diabetes."

Health Technology Hazards: Perspectives on trends and motivating change (Eric Sacks presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Eric S. Sacks, director, Healthcare Product Alerts, ECRI Institute, who spoke on the panel "Health technology hazards to watch for in your community this year."

Helping Children Learn How To Be (not just be) Physically Active (Bryan McCullick presentation)   Posted: 05/10/12
 

Presentation from Bryan McCullick, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology, University of Georgia, who spoke on the panel "Overcoming 'fat fatigue' in our reporting."

Health Impact Assessment: Building new partnerships for disease prevention (A. Wernham presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Aaron Wernham, M.D., director, Health Impact Project, Pew Health Group, who spoke on the panel "Health in all policies."

Food Safety Getting Beyond the Annual Scare (Caroline DeWaal presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Caroline Smith DeWaal, J.D., food safety director, Center for Science in the Public Interest, who spoke on the panel "Food safety: Getting beyond the annual scare."

Advances in FDA’s Drug Safety Program (Janet Woodcock presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Janet Woodcock, M.D., director, FDA Center for Drug Research and Evaluation, who spoke on the panel "Newsmaker briefing: Advances in how FDA monitors drug safety after approval."

Care Delivery Options: Thinking Outside the Box (Barbara Schuster presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Barbara L. Schuster, M.D., campus dean, Georgia Health Sciences University, University of Georgia Medical Partnership, who spoke on the panel "What's the future for primary care?"

Food Safety (Gale Prince presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Gale Prince, president, Sage Food Safety Consultants, who spoke on the panel "Food safety: Getting beyond the annual scare."

What’s the Future for Primary Care (David Satcher presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., director, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "What's the future for primary care?"

Beyond the Annual Scare (Christopher Braden presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Christopher Braden, M.D., director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke on the panel "Food safety: Getting beyond the annual scare."

Medical Artificial Intelligence at the University of Georgia (Michael Covington presentation)   Posted: 05/09/12
 

Presentation from Michael A. Covington, Ph.D., associate director, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, University of Georgia, who spoke on the panel "Future of artificial intelligence in patient care."

HIV Epidemic in the United States (Jonathan Mermin presentation)   Posted: 05/08/12
 

Presentation from Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director, HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke on the panel "Global effort on HIV/AIDS: Lessons learned."

The State of Immigrants Access to Health Care (Sonal Ambegaokar presentation)   Posted: 05/08/12
 

Presentation from Sonal Ambegaokar, health policy attorney, National Immigration Law Center, who spoke on the panel "State crackdowns: Who is caring for undocumented immigrants?"

Patient-Centered Medical Home -- A New Approach For Primary Care Delivery (Don Diego presentation)   Posted: 05/08/12
 

Presentation from Frank Don Diego, M.D., family practitioner; academic chair, combined Floyd Medical Center Allopathic and Osteopathic Family Medicine Residencies, who spoke on the panel "What's the future for primary care?"

Clinical Decision Support: DeepQA   Posted: 05/08/12
 

Presentation from Martin S. Kohn, M.D., chief medical scientist, IBM, who spoke
on the panel "Future of artificial intelligence in patient care."

Award winner Brandon Stahl presentation   Posted: 05/08/12
 

This is the presentation from Brandon Stahl, a winner of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, who spoke on the panel "Award winners speak". 

African-American organizations with health programs   Posted: 05/08/12
 

Some information about African-American organizations with health programs. 

Tech tools for workflow (Maryn McKenna presentation)   Posted: 05/02/12
 

This tip sheet is based on the presentation from Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Atlanta, who spoke on the panel "Global health: How a shrinking world means increasing threats."

Diversity in aging: Putting gray in the rainbow   Posted: 05/02/12
 

Paul Kleyman
Paul Kleyman

Most health journalists know that the U.S. population is rapidly aging thanks to 78 million Baby Boomers who started turning 65 years old in 2011. What’s not as well appreciated is the increasing diversity of our aging population. By mid-century, the proportion of elders from ethnic and racial communities will double.

For health care journalists, the graying of the American rainbow presents a kaleidoscope of story possibilities. Paul Kleyman has contributed this tip sheet to help health reporters cover our increasingly diverse older population. It includes four key concepts and helpful links intended to point the way toward more ethnically representative – and interesting – stories.

Resources for Neuroplasticity 101: It really is all in your head   Posted: 05/01/12
 

The tip sheet offers useful information of neuroplasticity from a variety of sources. 

Dental Therapists -- The Newest Members of the Oral Health Care Team (Michael Helgeson presentation)   Posted: 05/01/12
 

Presentation from Michael Helgeson, D.D.S., chief executive officer, Apple Tree Dental, who spoke on the panel "Moves to address access to dental care."

Evaluating medical evidence for journalists   Posted: 05/01/12
 

Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor of Reuters Health and blogger at Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch, offers advice to journalists on reading studies and reseach, evaluating it and translating it for your readers, viewers and listeners.

Handling the explosion of hospital quality data (Charles Ornstein presentation)   Posted: 04/30/12
 

This tip sheet is developed by Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica, who spoke on the panel "Handling the explosion of hospital quality data."

Making Sense of Hospital Data (Ashish Jha presentation)   Posted: 04/30/12
 

Presentation from Ashish K. Jha, M.D., M.P.H., C. Boyden Gray Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health; staff physician, Veterans Health Administration, who spoke on the panel "Handling the explosion of hospital quality data."

Digging Into Hospital Finances (Karl Stark presentation)   Posted: 04/30/12
 

Presentation from Karl Stark, health and science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, who spoke on the panel "Cracking the code on hospital finances."

Global Diabetes -- A 21st Century Epidemic (Venkat Narayan presentation)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Presentation from Venkat Narayan, M.D., Hubert professor, Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, who spoke on the panel "Global health: How a shrinking world means increasing threats."

Global health in a shrinking world (Paul Emerson presentation)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Presentation from Paul Emerson, Ph.D., director, Trachoma Control Program; co-director, Malaria Control Program, The Carter Center, who spoke on the panel "Global health: How a shrinking world means increasing threats."

Health in All Policies & Advancing the Nation’s Health (Harry Heiman presentation)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Presentation from Harry Heiman, M.D., M.P.H., director, health policy, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, who spoke on the panel "Health in all policies."

 

The Politics of State Insurance Exchanges (Heather Howard presentation)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Presentation from Heather Howard, director, State Health Reform Assistance Network; CHW affiliate, Center for Health & Wellbeing, Princeton University, who spoke on the panel "The politics of state insurance exchanges."

Some key points about public records requests (Charles Ornstein)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Charles Ornstein, a senior reporter from ProPublica, has compiled tips on obtaining public records from all levels of government, with a focus on how to get the most useful documents and data most efficiently.

Communicating Health Messages that People Don't Expect to Hear (Pamela Wescott presentation)   Posted: 04/26/12
 

Presentation from Pamela H. Wescott, MPP, Director, Patient Perspective, who spoke on the panel "A reporter's guide to medical decision making."

A Reporter's Guide to Medical Decision Making (Michael Barry presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Michael J. Barry, M.D., president, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, who spoke on the panel "A reporter's guide to medical decision making."

Getting the documents that make a story sing (Christina Jewett presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Christina Jewett, health and welfare reporter, California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting, who spoke on the panel "The working  journalist's guide to using FOI laws."

The Gap Between Management Science and Patient Safety (Eugene Litvak presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Eugene Litvak, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Institute for Healthcare Optimization, who spoke on the panel "Are your local hospitals targeting health care-acquired conditions?"

Google for Journalists session (Sandra Heikkinen presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Sandra Heikkinen, global communications and public affairs manager, Google Inc., who spoke on the panel "Google tools for health reporters."

Newsworthy issues in oral health (Shelly Gehshan presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Shelly Gehshan, M.P.P., director, Pew Children’s Dental Campaign, Pew Center on the States, who spoke on the panel "Moves to address access to dental care."

The Science of Addiction: What Do We Know? (Nora Volkow presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Nora Volkow, , M.D., director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, who spoke on the panel "New understandings in the science of addiction and treatment."

FOI Laws in Action (Charles Davis presentation)   Posted: 04/25/12
 

Presentation from Charles Davis, Executive Director of National Freedom of Information Coalition at University of Missouri School of Journalism, who spoke on the panel "The working  journalist's guide to using FOI laws."

FOI Laws in Action (Charles Davis tip sheet)   Posted: 04/24/12
 

This tip sheet is based on the presentation of Charles Davis, Executive Director of National Freedom of Information Coalition at University of Missouri School of Journalism, who spoke on the panel "The working  journalist's guide to using FOI laws."

Health Coverage and Care for Low‐Income Immigrants (Samantha Artiga presentation)   Posted: 04/24/12
 

Presentation from Samantha Artiga, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured Kaiser Family Foundation, who spoke on the panel "State crackdowns: Who is caring for undocumented immigrants?"

Understand senior housing and its influence on health   Posted: 03/27/12
 

Richard Peck
Richard Peck

The nexus between housing and health is evident in assisted-living centers or nursing homes, which take care of people with minor or substantial physical limitations who require regular assistance.

But even when older people are independent, housing arrangements can affect health by influencing their access to medical care, engagement in activities, social connections and other components of well-being.

Senior housing options have proliferated over the past several decades and it’s important to understand what’s available or being planned in your community. Richard Peck, who has covered aging-related topics for 30 years as editor of Geriatrics and editor-in-chief/contributing editor of Long-Term Living, offers a general description of the choices available, as well as story ideas and links to useful resources.

Health analyses for any newsroom   Posted: 03/12/12
 

Charles Ornstein, of ProPublica, and Jeff Porter, AHCJ's special projects director, compiled this tip sheet to help reporters find and use data about Medicare, Medicaid, nursing homes and disciplinary actions against health professionals. The tip sheet includes links to the data sets, examples of how they are used in other reporters' stories and advanced tips.

Twitter for health journalists   Posted: 03/08/12
 

Shuka Kalantari of KQED Public Radio introduces the basics of using Twitter and how journalists can use it to stay on top of health news and use it to disseminate their own stories.

Storify for health journalists   Posted: 03/08/12
 

Marian Liu, community manager at Storify.com, introduces ways of telling stories using Storify, a useful tool for health care journalists. It also offers some successful examples of using Storify.

Affordable Care Act & the Supreme Court: What you need to know   Posted: 03/07/12
 

The U.S. Supreme Court
Photo by functoruser via Flickr

On March 26, the Supreme Court starts six hours of oral arguments over three days – its longest case in years – on four separate legal questions arising from the Affordable Care Act. A decision is expected in late June. We talked to T.R. Goldman, a longtime legal journalist who has written about the case.

We asked Goldman to address five questions for journalists:

  1. Is the individual mandate’s “minimum coverage provision” that requires most people to obtain health insurance constitutional?

  2. If not – will the court strike the whole law down, or just certain sections (“severability”)?

  3. What role does Medicaid expansion play in the legal case?

  4. Can the court decide on the constitutionality of the mandate now, or under the Anti-injunction Act does it have to wait until mandate penalties are imposed in 2015?

  5. What are some tips for health reporters trying to cover this – particularly those covering from afar?

Along with his answers, we are including some links to further reading, webcasts and health and legal blogs that may be useful.

Health reform reading list   Posted: 03/01/12
 

Joanne Kenen, AHCJ's topic leader on health reform, has compiled a list of books about health reform in the United States. The list is organized by topics, such as understanding the law, politics and history, criticism of the law and value versus volume.

Materials List - “Implementing Health Reform in the States”   Posted: 02/20/12
 

The list includes resources and information that are about the discussions of challenges, rules and approches to implement health reform in the United States.

How to access health journals and news services   Posted: 02/09/12
 

AHCJ member Maia Szalavitz compiled a reference guide on how to get access to a number of publications that health journalists will find useful. It includes web links, e-mails and phone numbers of relevant contacts for publications that include EurekAlert!, Science magazine, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Neuroscience, Wiley Journals, Science Direct (Elsevier), the American Psychological Association Journals and the Association for Psychological Science Journals. Also included is information on how to get free access to a number of other journals and databases that are included as benefits of being a member of AHCJ.

What reporters should know about Alzheimer’s and related dementias   Posted: 02/02/12
 

Eileen Beal
Eileen Beal

Over the next 20 years, the percentage of Americans age 65 and older will rise from around 13 percent of the population to approximately 20 percent. Along with this increase, there will be a jump in the number of people with Alzheimer’s or related dementias (ADRDs). Estimates vary, but it’s been suggested that as many as 13.2 million Americans could be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 – almost a three-fold increase from 4.5 million in 2000. 

Eileen Beal covers this issue that touches every community and is important to every reporter covering aging and health.

Covering long-term care: Programs, data and questions to ask   Posted: 01/09/12
 

Long-term care has been in the news with the October 2011 demise of the CLASS Act – the first attempt by the government to establish a national long-term care insurance program. Now, the question is how the long-term care needs of people with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease will be addressed going forward as the Baby Boomers enter later years.

This has actually been a pressing, unresolved question for a long time. Although few people realize it, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, for the most part. To be more precise, Medicare doesn’t pay for custodial care; it only pays for medically necessary care at home or in a skilled nursing facility, under limited circumstances.

That leaves middle class seniors having to pick up the tab for long-term care services out of their own pockets. Few people appear to have prepared adequately for this eventuality or to appreciate just how expensive it can be.

Judith Graham, AHCJ's topic leader on aging sorts out the options, the statistics and offers resources to help reporters cover long-term care for their readers and viewers.

What do reporters need to know about Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)?   Posted: 01/09/12
 

You’d think that advance directives signed by people with serious, life-threatening illnesses would ensure their treatment preferences or end-of-life wishes would be carried out. Too often this isn’t the case. One solution lies in Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLSTs), which are summaries of a patient’s advance directives related to their current medical situation. When signed by the patient’s physician (and increasingly, the patient), these summaries become physician’s orders. They are medically and legally recognized documents that are placed up front in the patient’s written and electronic medical records.

Medicare: The basics, the politics and the resources   Posted: 01/08/12
 

Medicare is one of the largest government programs in the United States. Health reporters are bound to hear about it every day. Judith Graham, AHCJ's topic leader on aging, has assembled a quick guide for reporters that nails down the basics of the program, the politics and changing landscape of the program, as well as essential resources and the questions that reporters should be asking and writing about for their news outlets.

Electronic medical records: Promised land or mirage?   Posted: 12/07/11
 

Electronic medical record systems have been touted for years as the way to fix health care. Proponents say electronic prescribing would warn against dangerous drug interactions and electronic access to patient medical information could reduce unnecessary procedures. States and the federal government, particuarly in the Affordable Care Act, are pursuing plans to link hospitals, doctors and patients electronically, dangling incentives for medical providers. Meanwhile, privacy problems continue to surface with information breaches such as occurred at Stanford Hospital, where data for 20,000 emergency room patients was posted on a commercial Web site, including names and diagnosis codes.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, discussed privacy and security concerns, as well as suggesting some possible story ideas for reporters.

Business of Health Care: Tapping the holy grail of hospital data   Posted: 12/07/11
 

How profitable is your local hospital? How much charity care does it provide? Do doctors there implant a disproportionate number of cardiac stents? Is the ER turning a high number of ambulances? This session will show you how to answer these questions and more. Using data from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), this session introduced data sets that journalists can request in other states.

Tips for print, online journalists to embrace broadcast opportunities   Posted: 11/16/11
 

Bruce Japsen
Bruce Japsen

As our media world changes, journalists who have traditionally worked for print outlets are finding themselves with the opportunity to appear on television or the radio to help explain complex health issues to a different audience.

Bruce Japsen, a longtime Chicago Tribune reporter who now contributes to The New York Times, has some tips to help his fellow ink-stained journalists best convey their information and even embrace appearing on on other outlets.

He provides ideas on how to explain complex topics in nuggets of information that are short and sweet enough to get your message across but not so simple that you are insulting an audience.

Business of Health Care: Speakers' Materials   Posted: 11/10/11
 

Lee Tien
Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Handouts and presentations from the October 2011 workshop held in San Francisco.

Topics include hospital data, insurance battles that lie ahead, the future of health care, what to expect of Medicare in the coming months and years, information about the future of pharmaceutical manufacturing and what remains to be seen about how electronic medical records can be used.

Using the data to examine a hospital chain in California   Posted: 11/10/11
 

Investigative reporter Christina Jewett explains how she and other journalists have analyzed data from California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to look at how health care services are being utilized, the profitability of local hospitals, how much charity care they provide and more. This tip sheet is from a presentation at the Business of Health Workshop in October 2011.

Hiding in plain sight: California hospital data   Posted: 09/13/11
 

California journalists are lucky to have the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Despite its bureaucratic and jargony name, it is a terrific resource for facts and figures about health care (particularly hospital care) in the state. A look through its website  can help you discover which hospitals in your community are most profitable, how much they charge for specific procedures, which perform the most C-sections and which are at the greatest risk of collapsing in powerful earthquakes. OSHPD keeps track of data from every region of California – the most urban and most rural.

This tip sheet, a companion to the webinar of the same name, will focus on the hospital utilization data on OSHPD's website and provide tips on how best to use the information.

Tips on covering dental health care and access to care   Posted: 07/12/11
 

Dentist's chair at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.Just as with other aspects of health care, children, older adults, and people who live in rural areas are affected by economic, structural, geographic and cultural factors that limit access to dental health care. A report this week from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council looks at the consequences of inadequate access to oral health care and recommends ways to improve access.

AHCJ has a number of resources, including taped panel discussions, tip sheets, articles and contest questionnaires on reporting on dental health.

Tips on investigating health professionals and the boards that regulate them   Posted: 07/06/11
 

Investigating health professionalsIt's likely you've read some of the stories about health professionals gone wrong in recent months. They include reports by Blythe Bernhard and Jeremy Kohler of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that patients are kept in the dark about problems with their doctors and hospitals and that Missouri's disciplinary system seems geared toward protecting doctors’ livelihoods; a series of articles from Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber of ProPublica showing that patients suffered as problem nurses were kept on the job in California and state agencies have failed to report disciplined caregivers to a federal database; and Bill Heisel's chronicles of "Doctors Behaving Badly" at ReportingOnHealth.org.

Now we have some tips from a number of AHCJ members who have checked up on the medical professionals in their area – and the boards that regulate them.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services news media contacts   Posted: 06/20/11
 

AHCJ now has an up-to-date list of the senior media officials at each division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These are the people reporters should contact when they are not getting meaningful and timely responses from lower-level media officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If your deadline is approaching and you still don’t have what you need, call a contact on this list.

The HHS public affairs office provided the names, email addresses and direct phone lines in response to AHCJ’s continuing efforts to improve reporters’ access to information from the federal government.

Floods, tornadoes and health: Covering disaster preparation and aftermath   Posted: 06/14/11
 

William D. Hacker, M.D., F.A.A.P., C.P.E.; commissioner, Kentucky Department for Public Health discusses the role of public health in response to disaster and disease.

How will rural areas fare after health reform?   Posted: 06/14/11
 

Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for public health at Brown School of Washington University offers an abundance of information on health coverage in rural areas, payment differentials, the health status of chronic disease.

Reporting on people and providers: Medicare's impact in your community   Posted: 06/14/11
 

Tom Dean, M.D., family practice physician Avera Weskota Memorial Medical discusses rural health challenges such as professional recruiting, maintaining services and physical distances.

The food and health disconnection: Hunger in rural America   Posted: 06/14/11
 

Joel Halverson, assistant professor, School of Pharmacy and Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University analyze the nation by county for food insecurity, food availability and health outcomes.

Health Disparities in rural America   Posted: 06/14/11
 

Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Brown School, Washington University discusses determinants of health disparities such as genetic predisposition, social circumstances, behavioral patterns and shortfalls in medical care and more.

Addressing health disparities in rural Missouri   Posted: 06/14/11
 

Ellen Barnidge, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in behavioral science and health education at St. Louis University offers this information on the shortage of physicians, shortage of mental health providers, limited health insurance coverage and poorer health status of rural residents in the U.S. Between one in four and one in five Americans live in rural areas.

Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2011: Speaker materials   Posted: 06/03/11
 

Speakers at this workshop provided handouts, tip sheets and links to relevant information related to their panels.

Workforce stories: When health care becomes scarce   Posted: 06/02/11
 

Resources for reporting on health care workforce shortages from speakers at the 2011 Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

CDC's role in investigating foodborne disease outbreaks   Posted: 06/02/11
 

Handouts and a presentation from Robert V. Tauxe, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from the AHCJ-CDC Fellowship program in 2009. Tauxe details the stages of an investigation and offers useful statistics.

Prescription abuse: A deadly rural problem   Posted: 06/02/11
 

Tips and resources about covering prescription use and abuse, especially in rural areas, from panelists at the 2011 Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Covering disasters: Tips, articles and resources   Posted: 05/26/11
 

Emergency workers on the scene of a deadly tornado in Joplin, Mo.
Photo by KOMUnews via Flickr

As quick-striking tornadoes and slowly rising flood waters affect part of the United States, public health becomes a life and death issue. Water systems fail, leaving no clean drinking water. Roads and bridges are blocked, adding hours to emergency transport times. Floods can contaminate the environment with hazardous chemicals.

Even if you aren't in one of the affected areas, this collection of resources will help you prepare for reporting on future crises. Find out how to prepare ahead of time for a disaster, how to organize coverage of a long-term story, how to evaluate whether your city or region is adequately prepared to handle emergencies and more.

Making sense – and stories – of Medicaid   Posted: 05/17/11
 

Medicaid doesn't get anywhere as much attention as Medicare. That's nothing new – it's been that way pretty much since the twin programs were enacted in 1965. But reporters should pay attention to Medicaid right now, for a lot of reasons:

  • It's smack in the middle of the debt/spending/entitlement debate going on in Washington.
  • It's a lynchpin for the insurance coverage expansion starting in 2014.
  • Keep in mind, too, that the federal stimulus package gave the states a lot of extra Medicaid money – and that runs out at the end of June. States know that's coming, but it doesn't mean they like it or that they are as prepared as they might be.

If it seems like the Medicaid headlines are going in several directions at once – that's because they are. Expand, contract, reinvent, blow up, save, destroy ... What's really going on?

Educating the 21st century doctor   Posted: 05/13/11
 

Dennis H. Novack, M.D., professor of medicine and associate dean of medical education at Drexel University College of Medicine, lays out ways to advance clinical skills education including specific teaching and assessment strategies.

Investigating health professionals   Posted: 05/11/11
 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch staffers Jeremy Kohler and Blythe Bernhard share tips for researching doctors' malpractice histories and hospital actions against employees.

What editors wish writers knew   Posted: 05/05/11
 

Linda Dahlstrom, of MSNBC.com and Today.com, share tips for freelancers on how to approach editors and get assignments.

Three health reform issues to watch in the states (and what to write about them!)   Posted: 05/04/11
 

Politico's Sarah Kliff offers story ideas about health exchanges, insurance rate hikes, medical loss ratio waivers and points readers to some resources to help with those stories in this tip sheet from "Health reform: Repeal, replace or implement?" at Health Journalism 2011.

Sample monthly magazine editorial process   Posted: 05/02/11
 

A sample timeline of the editorial process from a special panel for freelancers called "What editors wish writers knew" at Health Journalism 2011.

Health Coverage under the Affordable Care Act   Posted: 05/02/11
 

Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, of Washington and Lee University, compiled this tip sheet for the Health Journalism 2011 panel "Health insurance: Changes that are coming fast." It outlines how coverage will be expanded, the five categories of coverage, plan requirements as well as pros and cons, and information about enforcement of the Affordable Care Act.

Lessons learned from Massachusetts: Covering the impact of health reform on a local level   Posted: 05/02/11
 

Tips from Karen Brown, of WFCR Public Radio in Amherst, Mass., compiled for the Health Journalism 2011 panel "What we've learned from the Massachusetts experiment." Brown suggests the people you should be talking to and how to find the stories your audience will appreciate.

Covering health reform issues (Tips from Julie Appleby)   Posted: 05/02/11
 

In this tip sheet compiled for Health Journalism 2011, Julie Appleby offers a list of useful websites for covering health reform.

From pee-wees to pros: Head injuries in sports (Margot Putukian presentation)   Posted: 04/28/11
 

The team physician and director of athletic medicine at Princeton University offers information about concussions in young athletes.

From pee-wees to pros: Head injuries in sports (handouts)   Posted: 04/28/11
 

These are handouts that were available at the panel "From pee-wees to pros: Head injuries in sports" at Health Journalism 2011.

Covering Health Care: Six Easy Pieces   Posted: 04/28/11
 

Frank Bass, a reporter/analyst at Bloomberg, offers a set of data-related websites to help report on health care in this tip sheet from the workshop "Mapping and charting health in your area" at Health Journalism 2011.

Study of adolescents’ daily activities and the risk to be assaulted (Douglas Wiebe presentation)   Posted: 04/28/11
 

Douglas Wiebe presents research about the activities of 15-19 year-old subjects, finding that in most instances, four types of locations constituted the place along a subject’s path that was the farthest point from their home: school, work, places of recreation, and food stores and restaurants. He also presents research into alcohol outlet prevalence in subjects’ areas and a survey about children's exposure to gun violence. His conclusion includes key points and questions that researchers and journalists should keep in mind.

States give troubled caregivers a pass (Tracy Weber presentation)   Posted: 04/28/11
 

ProPublica's Tracy Weber presented information from the long-running investigation she and Charles Ornstein have conducted into nurses and other caregivers who are disciplined but still caring for patients while the public is largely unaware of their past problems.

How well does your state oversee nurses (and pharmacists, dentists, psychologists...)?   Posted: 04/28/11
 

Nursing boards - and agencies that oversee such professionals as pharmacists, dentists and psychologists - do not get nearly enough scrutiny. These boards are charged with protecting consumers from unscrupulous or incompetent professionals, but some provide almost no public information about what they do or how they're run. They are sometimes led by ill-qualified political appointees and lack sufficient personnel. But should these boring bureaucracies fail; the implications for patients can be dire.

It's important to remember that nurses, not doctors, provide the bulk of the care patients receive in hospitals and nursing homes. Ensuring that regulators properly oversee nurses is crucial for ensuring quality patient care.

ProPublica's Tracy Weber offers suggestions for how to look into medical professionals and the boards that oversee them.

Affordable Care Act: What is 'premium support?'   Posted: 04/27/11
 

"Premium support" is one of those quintessential Washington phrases. What on earth does it mean?

It's in the news now because House Budget chairman Paul Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a "premium support" program. It's not a totally new idea – House Republicans, including former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas, had somewhat similar ideas that began circulating in the mid-1990s. But the Ryan idea is starker - or bolder, depending on your perspective.

AHCJ's health reform topic leader Joanne Kenen explains what it really means and points members to some resources to help sort it out for readers, listeners and viewers.

Neighborhood indicators for infant and child health (Dan Taylor presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Dan Taylor of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children presented studies and data on the effects of stress on young brains, food insecurity, the likelihood that the children of incarcerated parents will later be incarcerated and more.

One big-ass(arse) database (Maurice Tamman presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Maurice Tamman, of The Wall Street Journal, shares information from that paper's "Secrets of the System" series and the closed federal database it was based upon: Under a three-decade-old court order, Medicare can't publish the billings of individual physicians who participate in the program. His presentation shows what's in the data, how they went about standardizing and analyzing it and more.

Redefining the 'planning' in advance care planning (Rebecca Sudore presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Rebecca Sudore, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco; staff physician, San Francisco VA Medical Center discusses several problems with advance care planning and what she calls a "new paradigm" of advance care planning.

Digging into hospital finances (Karl Stark presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Karl Stark, health & science editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, discusses five key documents in exploring hospital finances and recent trends.

Autism treatments: A parent's perspective (Alison Singer presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, offers this presentation on influences on treatment options.

Direct-care workers and transitional care (Dorie Seavey presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Dorie Seavey, Ph.D., director of policy research at the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, offers key facts on America's direct-care workforce and eldercare and disability services industry.

What are your criteria in reporting on health care research? (Gary Schwitzer presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Gary Schwitzer, publisher, HealthNewsReview.org offers information on intelligently challenging claims, types of claims to look out for and how patients can be harmed by poor reporting.

Evidence-based resources for health care jounalists (Karen Schoelles presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Karen Schoelles, M.D., S.M., F.A.C.P., director, ECRI Institute Evidence-based Practice Center, offers this presentation on what "counts" as evidence, what bias is, factors that contribute to health outcomes and more.

What you need to know about ACOs (Katherine Schneider presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Katherine A. Schneider, M.D., senior vice president of health engagement at AtlantiCare, explains the accountable care organization model and the focus on outcomes for special care centers.

Care transitions: Role of geriatric care managers (Emily Saltz presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Emily Saltz, executive director of Elder Resources, explains the function of geriatric care managers, who exactly their clients are, how services are paid for and their challenges.

Understanding nanotechnology’s role in fighting cancer (panel presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

This panel presentation covers nanotechnology, what it is and its role in fighting cancer.

Mapping and charting health in your area: Business Analyst Online   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Jeff Porter, AHCJ special projects director, offers this guide on how to use this user-friendly web-based demographic, consumer and business data exploration tool.

Tapping into the e-patient phenomenon (John Novack presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

John Novack, director of communications of online health and wellness community Inspire, offers this presentation on online patient communities and their definition, impact, and quick tips for journalists looking for stories.

Neorotheology: Where science and religion meet (Andrew Newberg presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of research, Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College offers this presentation on how the brain is related to religious and spiritual practices and experiences, including studies on changes in the brain.

Traffic crashes kill (Jacob Nelson presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety policy & research, American Automobile Association, offers this presentation on looking at traffic safety as a public health issue and 10 things that can be done to save lives.

Where do they go from the hospital? (Mary Naylor presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Mary Naylor, Ph.D, F.A.A.N., R.N., Marian S. Ware professor in Gerontology, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, offers this information on core components of the transitional care model and its relevance to the Affordable Care Act provisions.

Covering research fraud (Adam Marcus presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Adam Marcus, managing editor, Anesthesiology News; blogger, Retraction Watch, offers this presentation on what constitutes research fraud and tips on how to cover it.

Tips to find clinical and public health research (Robert Logan presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Robert A. Logan, Ph.D., communication research scientist, National Library of Medicine shares step-by-step techniques for using PubMed, Clinicaltrials.gov and MedlinePlus.gov.

What you need to know about accountable care organizations (Steven Lieberman presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Steven M. Lieberman, president, Lieberman Consulting; visiting scholar, Brookings Institution, offers an overview on accountable care organization goals, key innovations and challenges.

CAM treatments in children with autism spectrum disorders (Susan Levy presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Susan E. Levy, M.D., FAAP, at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, offers this information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, with some interesting findings on placebos.

From war's devastation: Advances in surgical care (Michael Weingarten presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Michael S. Weingarten, professor of surgery and chief of vascular surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine, offers this presentation on Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom damage control surgery, transportation for critically ill patients and reducing the "footprint" of hospitals "down range."

 

A safety net system’s experience with electronic medical records (Judy Klickstein presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Judy Klickstein, of the Cambridge Health Alliance, offers this overview of the organization's integrated health care and electronic records system.

Going mobile: The new telemedicine (Joseph Kim presentation)   Posted: 04/27/11
 

Joseph Kim, vice president of medical affairs and technology at Medical Communications Media and founder of MedicalSmartphones.com, MobileHealthComputing.com, MedicineandTechnology.com, NonClinicalJobs.com, offers information on medicine-related apps.

Hospital to home: Tomorrow's transitional care models (Kathleen Kelly presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Kathleen Kelly, executive director of the National Center on Caregiving, offers this presentation on family caregivers, the challenges of caregiving and take-away information on policy.

Prospects for an HIV vaccine (Jeffrey Jacobson presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Jeffrey Jacobson, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, explains viral characteristics that make developing an HIV vaccine such a challenge.

Harnessing stem cells for the treatment of neurologic disease (Lorraine Iacovitti presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Lorraine Iacovitti, associate director and laboratory head of Farber Institute for Neurosciences, gives an overview of the state of stem cell research.

Incorporating neighborhood context into the study of reproductive outcomes (Culhane presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Jennifer F. Culhane, associate professor in the department of pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, offers this presentation on the impacts of infant and child health on adult health.

Antibiotic uses in animal production (Gail Hansen presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Gail Hansen, senior officer for Human Health and Industrial Farming, Pew Health Group, offers this presentation on the effects of industrial-scale animal antibiotics on human health.

Can advance care planning help you avoid the treatment trap? (Rosemary Gibson presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Rosemary Gibson, author of The Treatment Trap and Wall of Silence, offers 10 points on end-of-life care and health reform.

Undertold stories in health care finance (Thomas Getzen presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Thomas Getzen, professor of risk, insurance and health management, Fox School of Business, Temple University and previous member of a 35-hospital system board offers brief information on health care finance.

The future of nursing is already here (Patricia Gerrity presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Patricia Gerrity, professor, associate dean for community programs, Division of Graduate Nursing, Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, offers this presentation explaining how the future of nursing will likely make significant changes in health care, and what journalists need to know to cover the story.

Developing HIV vaccine: Understanding of the issues (Steven Douglas presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Steven Douglas, professor and associate chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, offers this overview of the current state of the search for a vaccine for HIV. 

Use of HealthNewsReview.org criteria to evaluate a medical research study (DeMonaco presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Harold DeMonaco, director of the Innovation Support Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, offers a presentation on the 10 criteria used by HealthNewsReview.org to evaluate research and reporting on research.

Vetting the polls 101: Asking smart questions about surveys (Claudia Deane presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

Claudia Deane, representing the American Association for Public Opinion Research, presents on making good decisions on reporting - or not reporting - poll results.

Office of Research Integrity (John Dahlberg presentation)   Posted: 04/26/11
 

John Dahlberg, Ph.D., and director of the Division of Investigative Oversight of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, presents on the Office of Research Integrity's tips on spotting fraud in research.

Future of nursing: Campaign for action (Susan Hassmiller presentation)   Posted: 04/25/11
 

Susan B. Hassmiller, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior adviser for nursing and director of the Initiative on the Future of Nursing at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, offers these brief slides on the campaign for action state-by-state involvement and state-by-state access to care.

Exceptional opportunities in biomedical research (Francis Collins presentation)   Posted: 04/25/11
 

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the Director of National Institutes of Health and oversees the 27 institutes and centers of NIH and led the effort to successfully map the human genome. He offers this extensive presentation on biomedical research challenges and opportunities.

Working with online patient communities (Dan Childs presentation)   Posted: 04/25/11
 

Dan Childs of ABCNews.com Health offers this presentation on tapping into the e-patient phenomenon.

Accountable care organizations: Impact on hospitals (Lawton Robert Burns presentation)   Posted: 04/22/11
 

Presenter Lawton Robert Burns, Ph.D., MBA and The James Joo-Jin Kim Professor of the Department of Health Care Management at The Wharton School, spoke on what questions to ask policymakers, doctors and hospital executives about ACOs.

Health insurance: Changes that are coming fast (Jack Burke presentation)   Posted: 04/22/11
 

Presentation by Jack Burke, F.S.A., M.A.A.A., principal and consulting actuary of Milliman, Inc., on changing insurance practices.

From super crops to super bugs: Experience with insect microbes (Aqeel Ahmad presentation)   Posted: 04/20/11
 

Presentation from Aqeel Ahmad, Ph.D., a research entomologist, Agronomic and Environmental Assessment Sciences Center, Monsanto Company, who spoke on the panel "Antibiotics: The food animal-human connection" at Health Journalism 2011.

Antibiotics: The food animal-human connection   Posted: 04/20/11
 

Recent coverage and resources from Tom Laskawy, Grist Magazine contributing writer, for a panel of the same name at Health Journalism 2011.

Gene therapy: From bust to boom? (James M. Wilson presentation)   Posted: 04/20/11
  Gene therapy was a hot area for research until the 1999 death of Jesse Gelsinger at the University of Pennsylvania. After the field seemed to languish for a decade, researchers have scored several recent successes, causing some to hype the field once again. Not so fast, says James Wilson, who led the Penn research and now lectures medical students on the case. While he sees progress, Wilson believes reporters should avoid repeating the unbridled enthusiasm of the 1990s.
Health Journalism 2011: Stories, tip sheets & presentations from the sessions   Posted: 04/20/11
 

A collection of tip sheets, articles and presentations from the annual conference.

Deciphering hospital quality data   Posted: 04/18/11
 

Charles Ornstein of ProPublica offers comprehensive information about how to use publicly available resources to examine the quality of local hospitals, as well as the drawbacks to each of them. (Updated April 28, 2011)

Affordable Care Act: The politics of health care, year two   Posted: 03/31/11
 

The Affordable Care Act just hit the one-year mark, but that's not likely to change the political dynamic in D.C. and many state capitals. Indeed, it may intensify as the 2012 campaign approaches. Following the complex legislative and budgetary procedures in Congress from a distance can be daunting. Here's a brief guide to some of what's unfolding and likely to unfold in the next year or two.

The Affordable Care Act: What to cover at the one-year mark   Posted: 03/10/11
 

Covering health reformThe Affordable Care Act became law nearly one year ago, on March 23, 2010. The biggest provisions – the state-based exchanges and the subsidies for low and moderate income people to buy insurance – don't go into effect until 2014, but dozens of lesser known programs and provisions are already under way, and most states (including some that are fighting health reform in court) are working on implementation plans.

As the anniversary approaches, AHCJ's new health reform topic leader, Joanne Kenen, shares some topics that reporters may want to look at in their states and communities, as well as resources for covering them.

Using Census data for health reporting   Posted: 10/21/10
 

American Community Survey dataThe U.S. Census Bureau puts together a wealth of health-related information from its American Community Survey and decennial Census. You can track down ages, types of disabilities, poverty status and even health insurance for most places. While Census data has a well-deserved reputation for complexity that often requires advanced computer skills, you can find useful information with just a few mouse clicks – if you know where to look.

In this tip sheet, veteran reporter Frank Bass shows you – step by step – what you can learn from Census data and how to find that information. 

Covering a new flu season   Posted: 09/30/10
 

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are ramping up the campaign for flu vaccinations, with a webcast this week, updates to Flu.gov, blog posts about protecting the public from the flu and more. This year the CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months get vaccinated. Get resources for reporting on the new recommendations and information to share with your readers and viewers.

Presentations from the 2010 Influenza Workshop for Journalists   Posted: 08/27/10
 

AHCJ sponsored 14 journalists to take part in a two-day workshop in August 2010 at the CDC about covering influenza. Public health experts provided a primer on the flu, examined how it is being tracked, expectations for vaccines and antivirals, and what communities can do to deal with the fallout. The speakers' PowerPoint presentations from that workshop include:

  • The Life of a Flu Virus – virology, origins of viruses, how they circulate, how they change
  • How CDC Tracks Influenza
  • Reports from the lab
  • Influenza Education and Outreach
  • Vaccine Update – Panel with NIH and FDA
  • Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness and Safety
Reporting on the intersection of health and the environment   Posted: 07/08/10
 

Some of the hottest topics in news these days are at the intersection of health and environmental beats. Drinking water that's fouled by pesticides, dry-cleaning chemicals or factory farm waste. Plasticizing chemicals that cause breast development in boys. Finding fish that's safe to eat and sustainably caught. Reporters can help connect these dots for readers, making the link between their morning grande latte or aspirin, and the caffeine or pharmaceuticals measured in the lake or bay down the street.

Veteran environmental reporter Lisa Stiffler looks at some of the hottest issues and offers a number of great resources for other reporters covering the intersection of health and the environment.

Transcript: What’s next? Reporting on health reform between now and 2014   Posted: 07/06/10
 

Some top Washington, D.C.-based journalists discussed implementation deadlines, how to tie local issues to reform, Medicare reimbursement rates, what reporters should look for in their states and more. A recording of this briefing and a resource list are available. The event was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "What's next?" was sponsored by AHCJ, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Investigating alternative treatments for autism   Posted: 06/30/10
 

Trish Callahan & Trine Tsouderos, of the Chicago Tribune, won an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for "Dubious Medicine," a look at the world of alternative treatments for autism, treatments that are often risky and unproven. At Health Journalism 2010, they shared how they reported the project and distributed this tip sheet for reporters.

Covering cuts to Medicare reimbursements   Posted: 06/15/10
 

Doctors who treat Medicare patients were facing a 21 percent cut in the reimbursements they receive, effective June 1. On June 24, Congress approved a six-month plan to prevent the cuts. Critics say such cuts could lead to doctors dropping or refusing to see Medicare patients, and patients having to hunt for new providers to pick up their care. The patients involved are seniors and military families covered by the Tricare health insurance program.

National Rural Health Association Resource List   Posted: 06/08/10
 

This list of resources was distributed at the 2010 Rural Health Journalism Workshop by speaker Rosemary McKenzie, the NRHA's minority health liaison and program services manager. It includes information about a number of Rural Health Research Centers.

National Rural Health Association's Multiracial and Multicultural Policy Positions   Posted: 06/08/10
 

This list of policy positions was distributed at the 2010 Rural Health Journalism Workshop by speaker Rosemary McKenzie, the NRHA's minority health liaison and program services manager.

Mental Health Care in Kansas: Roy W. Menninger, M.D.   Posted: 06/08/10
 

Roy Menninger, M.D., chairman of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition, spoke at the 2010 Rural Health Journalism workshop about the special needs of rural residents who need mental health care. Menninger outlined the pressing mental health care needs in rural areas and reviewed potential solutions. Drawing from his lengthy career as a psychiatrist and his continued work in the public mental health arena, he offered insight on how journalists can approach stories in their own communities.

Reporting the science behind public health slogans   Posted: 06/02/10
 

It’s hardly news that we’re supposed to eat better and exercise regularly. So how can we tell our readers, viewers and listeners something fresh about preventive measures that can help them live longer and be healthier? Delving into the research backing public-health slogans, and probing the vested interests that may be pushing such campaigns, can help us show what works and debunk questionable claims. The data can also help us answer important questions about what drives health problems in the communities we cover.

These experts, who spoke at Health Journalism 2010, offer tips and resources for doing just that.

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Mike Shields   Posted: 05/27/10
 

The federal government and states are scrambling to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed.

Apart from being a policy story, it's of great interest to all your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.

In this tip sheet, Mike Shields, managing editor of the Kansas Health Institute News Service, shares some story ideas, suggestions and resources.

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Dave Hage   Posted: 05/27/10
 

The federal government and states are scrambling to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed.

Apart from being a policy story, it's of great interest to all your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.

In this tip sheet, Dave Hage, health editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, shares some story ideas, suggestions and resources.

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Tips for reporters   Posted: 05/20/10
 

The federal government and states are scrambling now to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed.

Apart from being a policy story, this is a topic of great interest to all your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.

To help our members cover this issues, AHCJ has asked some reporters covering the topic for story tips, suggestions and resources.

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Sarah Varney   Posted: 05/20/10
 

The federal government and states are scrambling to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed.

Apart from being a policy story, it's of great interest to all your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.

In this tip sheet, Sarah Varney, of KQED Public Radio and The California Report, shares some story ideas, suggestions and resources.

Covering high-risk insurance pools: Victoria Colliver   Posted: 05/20/10
 

The federal government and states are scrambling now to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed. Apart from being a policy story, it’s of great interest to your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.

In this tip sheet, Victoria Colliver of the San Francisco Chronicle offers some tips on what reporters should be looking at, story ideas, suggestions and resources.

Assessing Claims of Functional Foods and Nutritional Supplements (Bruce Silverglade presentation)   Posted: 05/13/10
 

Bruce Silverglade, legal director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, looks at some of the regulatory issues involved with supplements and functional foods.

Resources for reporting on functional foods and nutritional supplements   Posted: 05/13/10
 

Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., the nutrition education manager and a product formulator for NOW Foods, a natural products manufacturer in Bloomingdale, Ill., compiled this list of sources for a panel on assessing claims of functional foods and nutritional supplements at Health Journalism 2010.

Suggested dos and don'ts and resource for reporting on supplements   Posted: 05/13/10
 

AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione offers advice for reporters who are writing about functional foods and nutritional supplements.

Building a blog/Web site: How to publish and promote your work online (Christine Capaiulolo)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Cupaiulolo gives advice to health care journalists entering the blogosphere.

Using Cochrane Library resources (Tim Powers presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Powers teaches reporters to use Cochrane Library resources.

An Overview of Vaccinology (Walter Orenstein presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Orenstein explains why and how vaccines work, then gives evidence to back those claims up.

Vaccines 101: Complete Reporter's Guide to Vaccines (Katharine Kripke presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Kripke explains how vaccines work and how they're developed.

Vaccinology for Dummies (Arthur Allen presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Allen provides a brief history of vaccines and the controversy that now surrounds them, then outlines the consequences of going unvaccinated.

A Public Health Model for the Scientific Approach to Prevention (Steven Kelder presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Kelder helps reporters understand public health problems from an epidemiological perspective.

The Role of Media Campaigns and Branding in Health Promotion and Prevention (Jennifer Duke)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Duke discusses what goes into a successful public health media campaign.

Reporting on public health campaigns (Robert Davis presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Davis exhorts reporters to look for bull, balance and bias when reporting on public health campaigns.

Dubious medicine (Trine Tsouderos and Patricia Callahan presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

The Chicago Tribune's Trine Tsouderos and Patricia Callahan explain what went into their award-winning "Dubious medicine" package.

State fiscal conditions, health care for low-income people: What's the story? (Joy Johnson Wilson)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Johnson Wilson provides a national perspective on state budget cuts and their impact on health-related programs, primarily Medicaid.

Medicaid and State Budgets:The Crunch Continues (Barbara Lyons presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Lyons explains the impact of cuts to state Medicaid programs.

The Human Face Behind State Budget Cuts to Health Care Programs (Allison Herschel presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Hirschel talks about how a little-noticed state spending cut slashed a program providing important Medicaid extension services.

Assessing Claims of Functional Foods and Nutritional Supplements (Neil Levin presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., of the American Nutrition Association and NOW Foods, reviews the controversy surrounding dietary supplements and their efficacy and regulation.

Arrogance without accountability? Where is the media? (Peter Pronovost presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

A leader in improving patient safety, Dr. Pronovost tells his story and urges a commitment to accountability.

Understanding Hospital Issues (Samuel Steinberg presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Steinberg explains current issues facing hospitals, with a particular emphasis on independence versus affiliation.

MRSA Surivors Network (Jeanine Thomas presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Thomas talks about MRSA from a patient perspective.

Citizens for Patient Safety (Patty Skolnik presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Skolnick talks about the path that led to Colorado's medical transparency law.

How a Hospital Failed a Boy Who Didn't Have to Die (Helen Haskell presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Haskell talks about the hospital errors that she says contributed to her son's death.

Reducing Health Disparities in the US: what can we do? (Christopher Murray presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Murray uses graphics and statistics to explain what might be done to correct health disparities in the United States.

The National Healthcare Reports (Ernest Moy presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

AHRQ's Dr. Moy explores the links between disparities, data, health care and actual health.

Racial & ethnic disparities in Organ Donation and Transplantation in Hispanics (Juan Carlos Caicedo)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Caicedo explains disparities in organ transplantation specific to America's Hispanic population.

Opportunities and Pitfalls of Spotlighting Regional Cost Differences (Patrick Romano)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Romano supplies caveats to those looking to interpret health care spending data.

MedPACReport: Measuring Regional Variation in Medicare Service Use (Mark Miller presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Miller takes on cost variation from the perspective of a federal study.

Understanding variations in spending (Elliot Fisher)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Fisher helps reporters understand health care spending data in context.

Northwestern University super-aging study (Emily Rogalski presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Rogalski explains the background and construction of one major study of super-agers.

Are genetics involved in super-aging? (Michael Province presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Province explores the role of genetics in aging, and efforts to track to the responsible genes, assuming they exist.

Living well -- Aging well, probabilities and possibilities (Barbara Hawkins presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Hawkins uses famous examples to explain what we can learn from super-agers.

Understanding the fundamentals of health insurance & implications for reform (Tim Lee presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Actuary Tim Lee explains the underpinnings of health insurance, risk and the current system.

Why the mass media should help advance health literacy (Andrew Pleasant)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Pleasant makes the case for a media commitment to advancing health literacy.

Health Literacy & Public Reporting of Quality Measures for Medical Rehabilitation (Allen Heinemann)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Heinemann discusses reporting on health care quality in general and rehabilitation in particular.

The palliative care experience of two patients (Sean O'Mahony)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

O'Mahoney combines anecdotes and statistics to paint a picture of palliative care and its importance.

Will More Physicians Improve the Health of Patients? (David Goodman)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Goodman answers the question posed in the title of his presentation, namely "Will More Physicians Improve the Health of Patients?"

Assessing Health Reform: Is There a Looming Doctor Shortage? (Kevin Barnett presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Barnett argues for a comprehensive approach to addressing California's health care workforce needs.

Spotting Conflicts of Interest (Lisa Baro presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Bero points reporters to the best places to look for conflicts of interest.

What’s News in Childbirth? (Alan Peaceman presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Peaceman describes the three biggest childbirth-related problems in America today.

Safety in Childbirth (Mark Chassin presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Chassin discusses Joint Commission efforts to make pregnancy and childbirth safer.

Understanding studies, journal practices, how this stuff becomes news (Gary Schwitzer presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Schwitzer gives a road map to the most common mistakes made when interpreting (and publishing) medical studies.

How to Read Medical Studies (Ivan Oransky presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Oransky's classic presentation on how to dissect a medical study.

The Community Health Perspective (Linnea Windel presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Windel presents a nursing-based strategy for meeting the needs of an aging population.

Aging and Ability: The trends & challenges in rehabilitation medicine (Santiago Toledo presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Toledo brings a rehabilitation focus to the discussion of baby boomer health care.

Geriatricians and the Aging Population (Herbert Sier presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Sier explains the background and benefits of specialized geriatric medicine.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Workforce (Valerie Gruss presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

As baby boomers age, Dr. Gruss said, the nursing shortage will only become more acute -- particularly in the arena of long-term care.

Why Is It So Difficult to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses? (Michael Doyle)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

A food safety researcher answers the question posed in the title of his presentation, namely "Why Is It So Difficult to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses?"

FDA Reform: The Time Has Come (Nancy Donley presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

A food safety advocate makes the case for FDA reform and directs journalists to resources for covering food safety from a patient perspective.

Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction: America’s Hidden Disabilities (Colleen Fitzgerald presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

Dr. Fitzgerald makes the case for women's health rehabilitation.

The NIH Women's Health Research Agenda: The Coming Decade (Janine Austin Clayton presentation)   Posted: 05/10/10
 

An NIH representative presents the general direction of that institution's women's health research, as well as specific issues and research goals.

Tracking health-related stimulus money   Posted: 05/03/10
 

ProPublica's Michael Grabell offers tips and tools for tracking exactly where stimulus/ARRA money is going, both locally and nationally.

Writers' software suggestions   Posted: 04/28/10
 

Independent journalist Maryn McKenna, a member of AHCJ's board of directors, offered this handout during the "Surviving and thriving as a freelancer" panel at Health Journalism 2010. It lists useful software for both Macs and PCs to help writers with tasks like dictations, creating bibliographies, scheduling and more.

Health care reform has passed: What's next?   Posted: 03/22/10
 

AHCJ is working to compile useful information for journalists covering the health care reform vote. We are adding advice from journalists on the front lines who have advice and suggestions on what needs to be covered next and how to approach this complex topic.

We have gathered links to source documents, news stories, a contact list of sources and background on the health care debate.

Veteran editor offers tips for finding health stories on any beat   Posted: 03/11/10
 
All reporters and assignment editors should look at the broad topic of health as a thick thread that runs through just about every newsroom beat.
"... look at the broad topic of health as a thick thread that runs through just about every newsroom beat." (Photo: parl via Flickr)

In newsrooms across the country that are shedding staff, teams of health and medical reporters have been reduced to a solitary, overworked journalist left to cover the gamut of health-related stories – a beat that is too big for any one person.

Others can help fill the void if they are attuned to how health and medical stories intersect with their own beats and how such stories touch the lives of real people. All reporters and assignment editors should look at the broad topic of health as a thick thread that runs through just about every newsroom beat.

This tip sheet is meant to be a primer to editors and reporters in newsrooms big and small to start thinking differently about their beat coverage and to identify health stories on "non-health" beats.

Ideas, resources and tips for finding health stories on any beat   Posted: 03/11/10
 

California Watch's Mark Katches asked some experienced reporters for their tips on finding health stories, no matter what beat you normally cover.

Health and education: Two intersecting beats   Posted: 02/25/10
 

Health on the education beat Almost everywhere on the education beat, from the state policy level to inside classrooms, health issues abound. Cover education long enough and you’re likely to write about physical education classes or sex education, school nurses or school lunches.

Dallas Morning News education reporter Holly Hacker writes about how to cover the stories that intersect on the education and health beats – things including childhood obesity and physical activity, sex education classes, children with disabilities, alcohol and drug abuse and infectious diseases.

Health and education: Reporting resources   Posted: 02/24/10
 

This list of resources and story ideas should help reporters find and cover those stories that intersect on the education and health beats – things including childhood obesity and physical activity, sex education classes, children with disabilities, alcohol and drug abuse and infectious diseases.

Reporting on the business of health care   Posted: 02/18/10
 

Financial documentsCovering the business of health care is a challenge, whether reporting on insurance companies, service providers, consumers, pharmaceutical companies or other aspects. Various parts of the health care industry are regulated by federal, state and local governments. They have pricing structures that vary widely and are a mystery to most consumers.

There is scarcely any area of business that is untouched by health care, yet the industry is unlike most any other business.

AHCJ member Tammy Worth has written a guide to to help reporters tackle this complex topic – including what kinds of documents to look for and what they will tell you – as well as a list of resources and a glossary of terms to help navigate the jargon that comes with the beat.

Reporting on the business of health care: Resources   Posted: 02/18/10
 

Covering the business of health care is a challenge, whether reporting on insurance companies, service providers, consumers, pharmaceutical companies or other aspects. In addition to a guide and glossary, we offer this list of resources to help reporters tackle this complex topic.

Reporting on the business of health care: Glossary of terms   Posted: 02/18/10
 

Covering the business of health care is a challenge, whether reporting on insurance companies, service providers, consumers, pharmaceutical companies or other aspects. In addition to a guide and list of resources to help reporters tackle this complex topic, we offer this glossary of terms to help navigate the jargon that comes with the beat.

Health reporting resources for journalists on state and local government beats   Posted: 02/11/10
 

Statehouse Health is an essential part of the beat for reporters covering state and local government, even more so as media shrinks and traditional health reporter slots go unfilled. The health sector consumes a big chunk of government budgets. And it’s what people are talking about.

The good news: There’s a wealth of government and nongovernmental organization resources to draw from on health topics.

Veteran reporter Nancy Cook Lauer has tips and an extensive list of resources for government reporters who find themselves covering the unfamiliar territory of health care.

National Radon Action Month: What you need to know   Posted: 01/07/10
 

The Environmental Protection Agency has proclaimed January to be National Radon Action Month. What do you and your readers need to know about this preventable health hazard? AHCJ has gathered some resources about radon, the health risks associated with it, how consumers can test for it and journal articles about the gas.

Resources for covering mental health and the military   Posted: 11/06/09
 

The Association of Health Care Journalists offers resources to help journalists cover the wide range of health topics, including those surrounding the military, veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder. Members and other journalists write articles and tip sheets specifically for AHCJ about how they have reported a story, issues that our members are likely to cover and other important topics.

What follows is a selection of tip sheets, articles, Web sites and reports that we feel could be helpful as journalists cover the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings. Some of these resources are normally available only to AHCJ members but we are opening them up to nonmembers for one week to help journalists cover this important topic.

Sources and resources for journalists covering aging   Posted: 10/22/09
 

AHCJ member Eileen Beal, an independent journalist who has covered aging issues since the late 1990s, compiled this list of resources for reporters covering issues related to aging. This tip sheet was distributed at the Aging in the 21st Century workshop in October 2009.

Aging in the 21st Century: Presentations and Tip sheets   Posted: 10/22/09
 

Sam Grogg, dean of the University of Miami School of Communication, left, moderates a session with Thomas Prohaska of the Center for Research on Health and Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Sara Czaja of the Center on Aging at the University of Miami.These presentations and tip sheets were prepared for the Aging in the 21st Century workshop in October 2009.
Topics include:
• Demographics of an aging society: What will we look like?
• Aging in the ethnic community
• Is the health care workforce prepared for a shift in aging?
• Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke: Cutting-edge brain research
• Finding the money to pay for senior health
• Community efforts to accommodate aging
• Elder abuse: Confronting the challenges

Problems Faced by Ethnic Minority Elders   Posted: 10/22/09
 

In this tip sheet, prepared for the"Aging in the 21st Century" workshop, Conchy Bretos, of MIA Consulting, offers a case study that exemplifies many of the issues that aging people of varying ethnicities - and their caregivers - face. Following the case study, Bretos lists the issues and solutions to them.

Community Efforts to Improve Aging   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Diffusing Geriatric Nursing Knowledge   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Caring for our Parents and Grandparents (and Ourselves)   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Aging in the 21st Century: Is the Healthcare Workforce Prepared?   Posted: 10/17/09
 
University of Miami Center on Aging: Demographics of an Aging Society   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Global Population Aging   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Coming Soon: Slowing Human Aging   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Suffering in Silence   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Confronting the Challenges of Elder Abuse   Posted: 10/17/09
 
Reporting Health Stories from any Beat   Posted: 10/16/09
 

These presentations are from the California Chicano News Media Association's Job Opportunities Conference, Oct. 15 & 16, in Los Angeles. With all the cutbacks at media outlets, many reporters are being asked to cover multiple beats. The panelists provided tips on how to find those stories and how to write them without being an expert.

Digging Into Hospital Finances: Recent trends and five key documents   Posted: 10/15/09
 

Covering hospital financeKarl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer has written an extensive tip sheet on covering hospital finances - an especially daunting subject.

Stark discusses the new Schedule H information on the 990 form hospitals must file with the IRS, including what reporters can learn from the form.

He also includes key trends that reporters should be aware of and this tip sheet is FULL of story ideas and examples of how reporters have used these key documents to investigate their local health care systems.

How well does your state oversee nurses?   Posted: 09/01/09
 
nurses

Photo by fyunkie via Flickr

Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber of ProPublica reported a series of stories about breakdowns in California's oversight, finding that the California Board of Registered Nursing took years to discipline nurses convicted of serious or multiple crimes and took more than three years, on average, to investigate and discipline errant nurses. They found numerous other problems and prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace the majority of the nursing board and pledge wholesale reform of all health licensing boards in the state after determining that they suffered from many of the same problems as the nursing board.

In this tip sheet, Ornstein and Weber share what they learned when reporting these stories to help other reporters evaluate how well other states oversee nurses.

Reporting on sports injuries in school-age children   Posted: 08/20/09
 

Photo by Schlüsselbein2007 via FlickrAs kids start heading back to school, the annual rituals of football two-a-days and cheerleading practice are also getting under way. Other sports will be gearing up soon as well. But some recent research finds that kids are more likely than ever before to be injured in school sports and a national group of trainers is sounding alarms about the risks that two-a-days (a time-honored tradition in which football teams hold two practices a day) pose to young athletes. Learn about the latest research and practices for school athletics.

Mining NLM databases: PubMed, Medline and more   Posted: 08/13/09
 

Speakers came to Health Journalism 2009's "Mining Pub Med Central and MedlinePlus" panel armed with information to help journalists better use NLM resources like PubMed Central and MedlinePlus for health and medical news reporting and editing. The session included some usage tips and notes some of the site’s interactive features.This tip sheet includes much of the information included in that session.

Domestic violence, budgets and the economy   Posted: 08/06/09
 

Domestic violence is a threat to public health that often only reaches our consciousness when death or celebrity are involved. As anxiety over economic stress grows nationwide and budget shortfalls force some states to cut funding to women's shelters and prevention programs, this is one public health issue that threatens to bubble to the surface just in time for domestic violence awareness month in October.

Covering health reform   Posted: 07/23/09
 

As the debate continues and proposals are brought forth, here are some sources of information for journalists to use to follow the health care reform process. It includes some sources from the journalism world as well as some nonpartisan foundations and think tanks, with their missions clearly described. We also highlight some recent stories that reporters should pay attention to while following the process.

Finding patterns and trends in health data: Pivot tables in spreadsheets   Posted: 05/28/09
  Excel pivot tables are a powerful way to organize, interpret and manipulate numerical data. In this tip sheet, reporters will learn the skills necessary to apply these tables in real-world situations.
Uwe Reinhardt: Health care sails into a perfect storm: will Obama come to the rescue?   Posted: 05/22/09
 

In his keynote speech at Health Journalism 2009, Uwe E. Reinhardt (Ph.D., James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University) one of the nation's leading authorities on health care economics, discussed health economy and the prospect for health reform. He argues that health care is the best investment to revive the United States from recession.

Cassie Sauer: Washington State's death with dignity act   Posted: 05/22/09
 

Cassie Sauer (vice president, communications, Washington State Hospital Association) came to Health Journalism 2009's panel on "Bioethics for journalists: Communicating the tough cases" to deliver a presentation concerning "Washington State's death with dignity act." Sauer described the details of the act, which took effect in March 2009, and then gave reporters tips for covering the story and others like it.

Duff Wilson: Investigating health care fraud   Posted: 05/20/09
 

Duff Wilson (investigative reporter, The New York Times), part of the "Master class in health care fraud" at Health Journalism 2009, detailed the anatomy of a health care fraud investigation and pointed reporters to useful Web sites and resources.

Susan Foote: Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century   Posted: 05/20/09
 

Susan Foote (professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health), part of the "Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century" panel at Health Journalism 2009, related the rising costs of health care and health care journalism to health care innovation and regenerative medicine.

Buddy Ratner: Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century   Posted: 05/20/09
 

Buddy Ratner (bioengineering professor and director, University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials program) part of the "Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century" panel at Health Journalism 2009, gave a presentation on tissue engineering and the healing properties of biomaterials . Ratner talked outlined just how such materials can be improved and used for increasing life expectancy and repairing damaged tissues, among other things.

Anthony Atala: Regenerative medicine: New approaches to health care   Posted: 05/20/09
 

Anthony Atala (M.D., director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine; chairman, department of urology, Wake Forest School of Medicine) part of the "Rebuilding the baby boomer: Spare parts for the 21st century" panel at Health Journalism 2009, delivered a presentation titled "Regenerative medicine: New approaches to health care." In his presentation, Atala explained the history and specifics of regenerative medicine and tissue regeneration, helping the assembled journalists better understand this growing field.

Laura Koutsky: HPV vaccines: Science smothered in the blogosphere?   Posted: 05/19/09
 

As a participant in the "Vaccines: Filtering the noise" panel at Health Journalism 2009, Laura Koutsky (researcher, University of Washington) delivered a presentation titled "HPV vaccines: Science smothered in the blogosphere?" Koutsky worked to cut through some of the controversy by focusing on the science behind HPV vaccination.

Peter Korn: State oversight of health professionals   Posted: 05/19/09
 

At Health Journalism 2009's "State oversight of health professionals" panel, Peter Korn (reporter, Portland Tribune) presented tips for reporters looking to investigate health-related government agencies. Korn tells journalists where to look and what to look for.

Gina Barton: State oversight of health professionals   Posted: 05/19/09
 

At Health Journalism 2009's "State oversight of health professionals" panel, Gina Barton (investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) provided reporters with a tip sheet including her recommendations on how to go about investigating health professionals. She details the data reporters need to find and tells them how best to find it.

Pat Hagan: Eliminating waste in hospital administration   Posted: 05/19/09
 

On the "Efforts at improving hospital patient safety" panel at Health Journalism 2009, Pat Hagan (president and chief operating officer, Seattle Children's Hospital) spoke with the assembled journalists about eliminating waste in hospital administration and health care delivery. Hagan detailed the gains in patient safety his hospital had achieved by applying the Toyota production system and helped listeners understand how those gains were made.

Peter Rabinovitch: 'Wear and tear' with aging: The free radical theory of aging   Posted: 05/14/09
 

As part of Health Journalism 2009's "Biology of aging" panel, Peter Rabinovitch (M.D., Ph.D., director, University of Washington Nathan Shock Center for Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging) delivered a presentation titled "'Wear and tear' with aging: The free radical theory of aging." Rabinovitch's presentation laid out both sides of the discussion surrounding the free radical theory of aging, one of the oldest, most popular and most contentious fields in the study of aging.

Introduction to the biology of aging   Posted: 05/14/09
 

As part of Health Journalism 2009's "Biology of aging" panel, George M. Martin (M.D., professor emeritus, Department of Pathology, University of Washington; adjunct professor of genome sciences (retired) and director emeritus of University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center) presented an "Introduction to the biology of aging" discussed the genetic basis for aging and potential related research.

Matt Kaeberlein: Programmed aging   Posted: 05/14/09
 

As part of Health Journalism 2009's "Biology of aging" panel, Matt Kaeberlein (Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Pathology, University of Washington) explained the evolutionary and physiological basis for aging in the presentation "Programmed aging." He also explained possible methods to slow aging or delay aging-associated diseases.

Carl Eisdorfer: Observations on aging   Posted: 05/14/09
 

At Health Journalism 2009, Carl Eisdorfer (M.D., Ph.D., Knight professor and director, University of Miami Center on Aging) shared his "Observations on aging" as part of the "Biology of aging" panel. Eisdorfer's presentation covered a wide range of topics, from the reasons for the aging of the American population to general life lessons.

Using Nursing Home Compare   Posted: 05/13/09
 

Charles Ornstein of ProPublica offers some tips on using the government's site to evaluate nursing homes. He identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the data and gives information about some other sources of information about nursing homes.

Biology of Aging: Sources and Resources   Posted: 05/01/09
  Health Journalism 2009 Biology of Aging panel moderator and independent journalist Eileen Beal proves basic articles, books, journals, national organizations and even a few story ideas for journalists who cover aging and related issues.
The reluctant freelancer: Tips for rebranding and marketing yourself in an uncertain economy   Posted: 04/28/09
 

Barbara Feder Ostrov didn't come to the freelance life by choice. She was four months pregnant when laid off from the San Jose Mercury News and was thrown into freelance writing reluctantly. What she found out is that even reluctant freelancers can make a living, but it takes preparation and marketing to make it work. In this tip sheet, she offers advice for freelancers and other journalists who may find themselves freelancing in the future.

Resources for covering H1N1 flu, pandemics and preparedness   Posted: 04/26/09
 

As journalists may be preparing to cover the outbreak of H1N1 [SO], also known as swine flu, that has been identified in Mexico and the United States, AHCJ has some resources to offer. Resources include tip sheets, conference presentations, links and more that have important information about pandemics, reporting about public health emergencies and potential sources.

Tip sheets, presentations from Health Journalism 2009   Posted: 04/21/09
 

Many speakers at Health Journalism 2009 shared their tip sheets and presentations. You'll find links to many of them on this page and we will continue to add to the offerings.

Observations on Aging   Posted: 04/20/09
 

Presentation from Carl Eisdorfer, Ph.D., M.D., Knight Professor and Director, Center on Aging, University of Miami, on "Observations on Aging" at Health Journalism 2009. (PDF, 492 KB)

Sorting out hospital rankings   Posted: 04/06/09
 

Some of the most common questions and discussions on AHCJ's electronic discussion list involve the various hospital rankings, such as those from HealthGrades, Solucient and the Beacon Awards. To avoid unnecessary discussion on the list, we've compiled some information here about hospital rankings.

Online technology tip sheet   Posted: 03/03/09
  Links to help journalists learn more about social networking software and sites.
Covering health reform and Obama's proposed budget   Posted: 02/26/09
 

President Obama has presented his budget proposal to Congress just days after a speech in which he vowed to reform health care. See what he proposes to finance such reform.

Twitter for health journalists   Posted: 01/15/09
 

More and more journalists and people in communications are using Twitter, an Internet-based messaging and microblogging service. However, Twitter can be difficult to understand at first and many journalists wonder just how they would use it. Here are some tips especially for health journalists on using Twitter.

Sustainable Slimming: Toward a Healthier Urban Environment   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Lynn Dee Silver, M.D., M.P.H., assistant commissioner, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Health and the Built Environment   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Hal Strelnick, M.D., director, Division of Community Health, Department of Family & Social Medicine; Montefiore Medical Center, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Medical Care Behind Bars   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Naseem Sowti Miller, health reporter, Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Health Care on Rikers Island   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Courtney Gross, city government editor, Gotham Gazette, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

What's the Real Story on ERs?   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Michael Carius, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, Norwalk Hospital, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Access, Health Disparities, Primary Care, and the Patient-Centered Medical Home   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Peter Selwyn, M.D., M.P.H., chairman, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Independent Doctors of New York: Introduction and Overview   Posted: 11/17/08
 

Presentation given by Albert B. Knapp, M.D., F.A.C.P.,clinical professor of medicine, New York University School of Medicine, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Looking at Health Indicators by Zip Code   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Jennifer LaFleur, director of computer-assisted reporting, ProPublica, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Building a Real-Time National Health Monitoring System: The Evolution of an Idea   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Gary Puckrein, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, National Minority Quality Forum, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Accessing Community-Level Health Data in New York City   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Carolyn Olson, M.P.H., director, community epidemiology unit, New York City Health Department, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

How the “aging in place” trend affects senior health   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Mia Oberlink, M.A., senior research associate, Center for Home Care Policy & Research, Visiting Nurse Service of N.Y., at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Asthma Program   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Ray López, environmental program manager, Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service Inc., at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Why is Asthma Difficult to Control in Hard Hit Communities?   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Sebastian Bonner, Ph.D., investigator, Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Achieving Asthma Control for Inner-City Children   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Karen L. Warman, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Montefiore Medical Center, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

The Impact of Violence on Neighborhood Health   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Mary Vriniotis, M.S., research specialist and communications liaison, Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center, Center for Prevention of Youth Violence, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Some Implications of Violence on Health in Urban Communities   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Philip J. Leaf, Ph.D., professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; senior associate director, Center for Prevention of Youth Violence, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

The State of Urban Hospitals’ Financial Health   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Alan M. Zuckerman, president, Health Strategies & Solutions Inc., at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Digging Into Hospital Finances: Five key documents for reporters and recent trends   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Karl Stark, health and science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

2008 Urban Health Journalism Keynote by Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Keynote speech given by Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Computer-assisted reporting basics: Investigating health data using spreadsheets   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation, tip sheet and data files from Jeff Porter, AHCJ special projects director, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Montefiore School Health Program: Introduction to School Health   Posted: 11/12/08
 

Presentation given by Margee Rogers, F.N.P., training and education coordinator, Montefiore School Health Program, at the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop. Includes audio and a multimedia presentation of one of the schools.

Concussions in young athletes   Posted: 11/04/08
 

Tom Wyrwich of The Seattle Times writes about high school football players who sustain repeated concussions and suffer from a rare condition - almost unheard of in adults - called second-impact syndrome. AHCJ has compiled some relevant resources and stories for other reporters interested in writing about concussions in young athletes.

Presentations, resources from 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop   Posted: 10/21/08
 

These are just some of the presentations and resources from the 2008 Urban Health Journalism Workshop. More audio files are expected to be added.

Melamine: A primer on the contamination of food   Posted: 09/25/08
 

Nearly 53,000 children in China have become ill after consuming products that contain melamine, a chemical that is widely used in plastics, adhesives, countertops, dishware and whiteboards, according to the World Health Organization. Find out what the FDA, WHO, the European Food Safety Authority and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency say about the contamination – as well as ideas on how to localize this international story.

Resources for covering Obama's health care proposal   Posted: 09/18/08
 

Election 2008: Health CareThis collection of resources includes studies that break down the impact of Obama's plan, Congressional testimony, a list of expert sources and how to contact them, and much more.

Bisphenol A: Understanding the studies   Posted: 09/17/08
 

With news of a new bisphenol A study on effects of the chemical on the body, here are some tips to help reporters interpret and write about studies.

Gymnastics injuries: Compilation of the literature   Posted: 08/15/08
 

The American women's gymnastics team's success, despite several injuries, in the Olympics may once again ignite debate over whether gymnasts are pushed too far and what damage their bodies are sustaining. Read what studies and literature reviews have found about gymnastics injuries with this compilation of articles about the subject.

2008 International AIDS Conference   Posted: 08/13/08
 

The XVII International AIDS Conference has concluded but complete coverage of the conference is available, provided by kaisernetwork.org. Links to all webcasts, newsmaker interviews, news reports and more can be found on this page.

Beating the heat: Resources for reporting on extreme heat   Posted: 08/07/08
 

Extreme heatA recent Associated Press article says that "In recent years, deadly heat waves have killed dozens to hundreds of people at a time in various U.S. cities, often catching local officials unprepared. Climate scientists say more killer heat waves lie ahead with global warming, and city officials are taking note."

So far, about 50 people have died this year from the heat according to the AP. North Texas, where heat has claimed the lives of at least six people in recent days, has seen temperatures above 100 degrees for 12 consecutive days. There have been two, possibly three, heat-related deaths in Kansas City this week and three in Oklahoma. Here are some resources to help reporters cover the recent heat wave as well as the public health aspect of climate change.

New journalism is not just about glitzy story-telling   Posted: 07/24/08
 

David Poulson of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, spoke at the 2008 Rural Health Journalism Workshop and handed out these tips on using four Web tools for reporting. He discusses tagging, RSS feeds, social media and Twitter and explains how they could be used for reporting and finding sources.

Google for journalists   Posted: 07/24/08
 

David Poulson of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism spoke at the 2008 Rural Health Journalism Workshop and handed out these tips on using advanced search techniques with Google to get more focused results and do much more. Identify cars from VIN numbers, track planes and packages, look up who's calling you and much more.

Agreement reached on bill to improve coverage of mental health issues   Posted: 07/11/08
 

The House and Senate have come to agreement for legislation that will require employers and health insurers to put mental-health coverage on par with that for physical coverage. AHCJ offers many resources on covering mental health issues that should help you localize this important story.

What reporters should know about rural residents and rural health   Posted: 06/27/08
 

Presentations by Charles Fluharty, president emeritus and director of policy programs, Rural Policy Research Institute and Patricia Thomas, Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, University of Georgia from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Diabetes prevention and treatment in susceptible communities   Posted: 06/27/08
 

Presentation by Patty Johnson, R.N., B.S.N., C.D.E., diabetes nurse educator, PRIDE Initiative, University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute Ross Building from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

How Medicare drug and fee plans affect rural health   Posted: 06/27/08
 

Presentation by Bonnie Burns, training and policy specialist, California Health Advocates from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Addressing current and future health workforce hurdles   Posted: 06/25/08
 

Presentation by Michael Evans, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.C.H.E., Maxine Clark and Bob Fox dean and professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

After the storm: Reporting on the health impacts of flooding   Posted: 06/19/08
 

Flooding in the MidwestWith floods come major health risks, including drowning, injury, contamination or shortages of water and food, infectious diseases, extreme heat and mental stress. There are a number of resources available to reporters covering the health effects of flooding in the Midwest.

Intro to investigating health data using spreadsheets   Posted: 06/09/08
 

Excel tutorialThis exercise is designed to give you an introduction to using Excel spreadsheets to make some basic calculations to find patterns and trends in health data. Spreadsheets are available to download so you can work step-by-step through the tutorial. The illustrated guide includes a glossary of terms, best practices when working with data, calculating differences, rates and ratios, percentages, using functions, filtering data and creating charts.

Issues facing female veterans and women on active duty   Posted: 05/28/08
 

More than 182,000 women have deployed to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom respectively. Tia Christopher, program associate for Swords to Plowshares, has prepared a report detailing many issues female soldiers and veterans face. This report addresses contributors to health problems specific to women as well as PTSD. There is a special focus on Military Sexual Trauma, sexual assault and sexual harassment in a military setting.

Brain tumors: Resources for following Ted Kennedy diagnosis   Posted: 05/20/08
 

In light of the senator's diagnosis, AHCJ is gathering information that might help journalists cover the story accurately and offer resources for their readers.

Hot topics: The future of employee health benefits   Posted: 05/15/08
 

Presentation from Andrea O'Brien, Esq., partner, Venable LLP, on the "Future of employee health benefits" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Global health: We are all connected   Posted: 05/13/08
 

Presentation from Daniel Epstein, information specialist, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas, on the "U.S. roles in global health: Which direction?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Oral health - Starting points   Posted: 05/08/08
 

Tip sheet from Eric Eyre of The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette from the panel "Status of oral and visual health in rural America" at the Rural Health Journalism Conference in May 2008.

Myanmar Cyclone Nargis   Posted: 05/08/08
 

Cyclone NargisSurvivors of the cyclone in Myanmar, where as many as 100,000 people may have died, will continue to face many health-related challenges. Similar to the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, people in Myanmar could be susceptible to diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, malaria, dengue and yellow fever. AHCJ has gathered resources about the Myanmar situation as well as articles and resources about the health effects of the 2004 tsunami.

Bringing international stories home   Posted: 05/07/08
 

Information from the panel "Bringing international stories home: How to develop, report and write overseas stories that resonate with local readers" at the "Covering Global Health - A Primer for Journalists" event in Seattle, May 2 & 3, 2008.

Data and mapping: Resources for visualizing rural health   Posted: 05/04/08
 

Demonstrations and tip sheets from:

  • Christopher Fulcher, director, Community Information Resource Center, University of Missouri's Rural Policy Research Institute
  • Dave Poulson, associate director, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism
  • Jeff Porter, special projects director, Association of Health Care Journalists

All were provided at the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Immigration's challenge to rural health   Posted: 05/04/08
 

Presentations by Eduardo D. Crespi, R.N., director and founder, Centro Latino de Salud, Columbia, Mo.; Michael Kennedy, M.D., assistant dean of rural health education, University of Kansas School of Medicine and Carol Miller, M.P.H., executive director, National Center for Frontier Communities from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Are services keeping up with an increasingly aging population?   Posted: 05/04/08
 

Presentations by Don Sipes, vice president, regional services and CEO, Saint Luke's Northland Hospital-Smithville campus, Kansas City from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Visual health in rural America   Posted: 05/04/08
 

Presentations and tip sheets by Dewana Allen, program manager, Eye Care Community Outreach, Indiana University School of Optometry and Eric Eyre, health reporter, The Charleston (W.V.) Gazette
from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Mental health: From substance abuse to access barriers   Posted: 05/04/08
 

Presentation by Lee Flamik, M.S., director of customer services, Larned (Kan.) State Hospital from the Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

Health Care Costs 101   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Presentation from Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., president, Center for Health System Change, on the "Economics of health 101" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

AHRQ's Health IT Program   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Presentation from P. Jon White, M.D., health IT director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, on the "Interpreting health information technology for reporters" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Connecting to Better Health Care   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Presentation from Secretary Michael Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during his press briefing at Health Journalism 2008.

Writing health stories with impact   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Tip sheet from Deborah Potter, executive director, NewsLab, in the "Making broadcast stories sizzle" session at Health Journalism 2008.

Expanding the donor supply   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Tip sheet from Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D., instructor, pulmonary & critical care medicine senior fellow, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, on the "Current controversies in transplantation" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Medical Tourism Takes Flight: International Medical Care is Now an Option for Employers   Posted: 04/30/08
 

Presentation from David Boucher, assistant vice president for health care services, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, on the "Medical tourism: trend or aberration" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Justice for all   Posted: 04/29/08
 

Tip sheet from Mary Kay Henry, international executive vice president, Service Employees International Union, on the "Future of employee health benefits" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Bariatric surgery: Resources and story ideas for reporters   Posted: 04/24/08
  Tip sheet on covering bariatric surgery

Robyn Shelton of the Orlando Sentinel recently wrote a series about bariatric surgery – also known as weight-loss surgery. She looked at the increase in such surgery, complications and concerns, the discrepancy in quality between hospitals performing the surgery, the insurance industry's reluctance to cover bariatric surgery and the increasingly popular gastric banding. Shelton shares her sources and some story ideas with AHCJ members in this tip sheet and AHCJ provides additional resources on the subject.

Commenting on "No Comment"   Posted: 04/21/08
 

Tip sheet from Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, Oncology Times, on the "Getting quotes despite government refusals to comment" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Private Health Insurance 101   Posted: 04/21/08
 

Presentation from Paul Fronstin, senior research associate, Employee Benefit Research Institute, on the "Economics of health 101" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Medical tourism: Trend or aberration   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Presentations and tip sheets from Wouter Hoeberechts, chief executive officer, WorldMed Assist, on the "Medical tourism: trend or aberration" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Primary health care in the Netherlands   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Two presentations from Paul Thewissen, counselor, Health, Welfare & Sport at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington, D.C., on the "What health systems of other developed nations can teach us" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Tips for Covering Capitol Hill   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Tip sheet from Jill Gerber, press secretary, Committee on Finance, Ranking Member Sen. Grassley, on the "Tapping the best of Washington from outside the Beltway" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

The French national health insurance system   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Tip sheet from Victor Rodwin, Ph.D., professor of health policy and management, New York University, on the "What health systems of other developed nations can teach us" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Which way health reform?   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Presentation from Karen Davis, president, The Commonwealth Fund, on the "Election 2008: Which way health reform?" roundtable at Health Journalism 2008.

Ripping the cover off hospital finances   Posted: 04/18/08
 

Presentation from Gita Budd, principal, ECG Management Consultants, on the "Ripping the cover off hospital finances" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

The medical system's looming military-related demands   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Jose Ramos, veteran, President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, on the "The medical system's looming military-related demands" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Immunization: Making it Work   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Melinda Wharton, M.D., M.P.H., Centers for Disease Control, on the "Clinical research into vaccines for cancer and other diseases" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Benefits of Writing for Trades   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from David Bronstein, editorial director, Hospital Group, McMahon Publishing, on the "Freelance: finding success through the trades" panel at Health Journalism 2008. 

International Medical News Group   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Mary Jo Dales, editorial director, International Medical News Group, on the "Freelance: finding success through the trades" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Inside consumer-directed care   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Jim Gutman, vice president and executive editor, Atlantic Information Services Inc., on the "Medical tourism: trend or aberration" panel at Health Journalism 2008. (PDF, 153)

Life After Cancer: Survivorship Planning   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Priscilla A. Furth, M.D., professor. Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, on the "Life after cancer: survivorship planning" panel at Health Journalism 2008. (PDF, 113)

New Science Behind Obesity: What happens when our fat gets stressed?   Posted: 04/09/08
 

Presentation from Zofia Zukowska, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Physiology & Biophysics; director, Stress Physiology and Research Center; Georgetown University Medical Center, on the "Obesity interventions: science, policy, environment" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Traumatic Brain Injury: Impact, mechanism, therapeutic opportunities   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Alan I. Faden, M.D., professor of neuroscience, neurology and pharmacology, Georgetown University Medical Center, on the "Medical system's looming military-related demands" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

GIS for Health Organizations   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Chris Kinabrew, M.P.H., M.S.W., public health specialist, ESRI Inc., at the special workshop on mapping health at Health Journalism 2008.

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Ann Peters, development director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, on the "Bringing home the globe: pitching and covering international health stories" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Why Public Reporting is Critical to Eliminate Health Care Associated Infections   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Chesley Richards, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director, Division of Health Care Quality Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the "Mandatory reporting of health care infections: why or why not?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

New Research and Compelling Economic Data in Support of Infection Prevention   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., CEO and chair, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, on the "Mandatory reporting of health care infections: why or why not?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Medicare and Medicaid 101   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., senior fellow, Project Hope, on the "Economics of Health 101" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Economics of Health 101   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Joy Drass, M.D., president, Georgetown University Hospital, on the "Economics of Health 101" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

The NIH flat-funded: life one the ground level   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Peter Cariani, Ph.D., consultant, former NIH-funded researcher, on the "Flattening federal research funding: the local angle" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Research Training and Career Development   Posted: 04/08/08
 

Presentation from Jane Scott, Sc.D., director, Office of Research Training and Career Development, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, on the "Flattening federal research funding: the local angle" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

The Science Supporting the Social Determinants of Health   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from A.H. Strelnick, director, Institute for Community & Collaborative Health, Montefiore Medical Center, on the "Community...the health story" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Exploring the sociological issues around breast cancer   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., assistant professor, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University at Health Journalism 2008.

Ten Comments on the Health Risks of and Public Health Responses to Climate Change   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Kristie Ebi, M.P.H., Ph.D., consultant, on the "Intersection of global climate change and health" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Policy and Problems in Long-Term Care   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Joshua M. Wiener, Ph.D., senior fellow and program director, Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, RTI International, on the "How will retiring boomers affect the national health agenda?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

How will retiring boomers affect the national health agenda?   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Daniel Perry, executive director, Alliance for Aging Research, on the "How will retiring boomers affect the national health agenda?" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Off-Label Promotion of Drugs: A Brief Overview   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from John S. McInnes, M.D., J.D., associate, Arnold & Porter, on the "Big pharma and medicine: understanding the relationship " panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Working Your Way Through the FDA   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Julie Zawisza, Ph.D., assistant commissioner for public affairs for the FDA, on the "Tapping the best of Washington from outside the Beltway" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Veterans Health Administration: Quality and Innovation   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Gerald Cross, M.D., principal deputy under secretary for health, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, on the "Medical system's looming military-related demands" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Prevention and Treatment of Obesity: Lessons from the Schools   Posted: 04/07/08
 

Presentation from Gary D. Foster, PH.D., director, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, on the "Obesity intervention: science, policy, environment" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

Ethical Evolution of Living Donor Transplantation   Posted: 04/02/08
 

Presentation from Lynt Johnson, M.D., chief, Division of Transplant Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, on the "Current controversies in transplantation" panel at Health Journalism 2008.

New transplant frontier: Small intestine   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation from Thomas Fishbein, M.D., Georgetown University Hospital, is from the Breakfast with the Experts session "New transplant frontier: Small intestine" at Health Journalism 2008. (PDF, 3.22 MB)

Violence and mental illness: 'Just the facts' on prevalence, prevention, and prediction   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation from Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, is from the panel "Violence and mental illness: How strong is the link?" at Health Journalism 2008.

Nursing innovations: Bank Your Health at Home Program Outcomes Snapshot   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation by Connie Burgess, M.S., R.N., managing partner, Health InterConnexions, is from the panel "Efforts to improve health care through nursing innovations" at Health Journalism 2008.

Violence, Crime and the Mentally Ill: Myths and Truths   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation from E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., founder and president, Treatment Advocacy Center, is from the panel "Violence and mental illness: How strong is the link?" at Health Journalism 2008.

Cancer Screening: The Clash between Intuition and Science   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation from Barnett Kramer, M.D., director, Office of Disease Prevention, National Institutes of Health, is from the panel "Lies, damned lies and medical statistics: How to interpret the evidence" at Health Journalism 2008.

Programs that Improve the Mental Health of American Children, Teens & Parents   Posted: 04/01/08
 

A presentation from Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., F.N.A.P., F.A.A.N., dean and distinguished foundation professor in nursing, Arizona State University, for the panel "Efforts to improve health care through nursing innovations" at Health Journalism 2008.

Teaching the public what to expect in a good doctor: Sir Donald Irvine   Posted: 04/01/08
 

This presentation (PDF, 863 KB) is from Sir Donald Irvine, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.C.G.P., FMedSci, former president, General Medical Council, United Kingdom, from the panel "Teaching the public what to expect in a good doctor" at Health Journalism 2008.

Multimedia tools for telling stories: Shooting your own stories with a camcorder   Posted: 04/01/08
 

Reporter/anchor Joy Robertson of KOLR-Springfield, Mo., shoots "Personal Portraits" using her small digital handheld recorder. She finds that shooting a story alone allows for a personal fly-on-the-wall touch, and the story subject tends to relax. Robertson says you can capture offbeat moments and remarks you might miss otherwise. She shares some tips on shooting with a handheld camera.

Tips for Web writing, headlines, blurbs   Posted: 03/31/08
 

Amy Eisman of American University offers tips for writing for the Web.

Multimedia and social networking for health journalists   Posted: 03/30/08
 

Resources for Multimedia tools for telling stories.

Covering health care in jails   Posted: 01/22/08
 

Health care in jailsCorrectional health care is complex, costly and politicized. Many jails outsource medical operations to private companies, because they come in with the promise of streamlining services and controlling costs. Critics say the profit motive that drives these companies leads them to cut corners on inmate care to save money and keep their investors happy. Naseem S. Miller of the Ocala Star-Banner recently reported on deaths and complaints about health care in the local jails. She shares what she learned, including sources, with AHCJ members.

Covering nursing homes and other issues of aging   Posted: 01/18/08
 

A compilation of links to stories, tip sheets, Web sites and other resources dealing with aging, nursing homes and assisted living.

Primer on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)   Posted: 01/10/08
 

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusMaryn McKenna, a freelance journalist and author and a contributing writer at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy who is writing a book on drug-resistant staph, prepared this comprehensive primer for AHCJ members. It covers the science and history of MRSA, as well as treatment, drug development and reporting legislation. McKenna includes a thorough bibliography.

Foster children and psychiatric drugs   Posted: 01/03/08
 

childMichelle Cole and Brent Walth of The Oregonian found that children in foster care are being placed on psychiatric drugs (or psychotropic drugs, as they’re often called) far more often than other kids. Many children in protective custody do face more serious mental health problems – they’ve either witnessed abuse and neglect, or have been victims themselves. But when the state plays the role of guardian, who makes the decision to put a child on a powerful psychiatric drug, and why? Cole and Walth share how they reported the story.

Focusing on the health effects of anabolic steroids   Posted: 12/12/07
 

Steroids in baseballFormer Sen. George Mitchell released the results of his investigation into steroid use in major league baseball - revealing the names of some high-profile athletes he alleges have used steroids. The highly anticipated report puts anabolic steroids in the headlines again. Be prepared to report on the health aspects of steroids with these resources.

Indentured doctors: Foreign-born doctors exploited by U.S. physicians   Posted: 12/06/07
 

Marshall Allen of the Las Vegas Sun uncovered abuses of the J-1 visa waiver program, a system that allows foreign doctors to practice in the United States after they complete their residency - as long as they work in areas where there is a shortage of doctors. Allen explains the program and how other reporters can look into exploitation of the program in their own areas. The tip sheet includes Web links to help in reporting on the J-1 program.

Mapping prescription drug patterns: An illustrated tutorial   Posted: 11/15/07
 

Frank Bass of The Associated Press offers a step-by-step explanation of how and where he got data and analyzed it to uncover an increase in the use of pain medication. The tutorial explains how Bass converted more than 3,000 pages from PDF to Excel spreadsheets, a readable format for analysis; imported the data into SAS statistical software; and used Arcview mapping software to visualize the spread of painkillers.

New York State's School-Based Health Care Program   Posted: 11/08/07
 

New York State's School-Based Health Care Program is made up of 196 School-based Centers (SBHCs). They provide comprehensive primary health and mental health services to over 200,000 underserved youth in rural, urban and suburban areas of the State. SBHCs provide free care to every child who enters their door. This is a handout from the panel "Covering children's access to care" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop in October 2007.

Looking closer at multicultural health   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Sheree Crute, independent journalist in Brooklyn, N.Y., speaks about going beyond the statistics in multicultural health at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Mental Health in Prison Systems   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Mary Beth Anderson, mental health attorney with The Legal Aid Society, speaks about the state of mental health care in jail and prison systems at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

The Homeless Mentally Ill   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Jill Maddox, psychiatrist at the Center for Urban Community Services and the Project for Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless, speaks about mental health issues in urban areas at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Health Disaster Planning   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Brian Currie, senior medical director at the Montefiore Medical Center, speaks in the panel "How prepared is your city for a disaster" at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Age-Friendly Cities   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Victor G. Rodwin, director of the World Cities Project of International Longevity Center and NYU, speaks about the importance of age-friendly cities at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Urban Aging   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Allen Glicksman, director of research and evaluation at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, speaks about the aging populations in urban areas at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

The impact of the aging on health care   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Mary Jane Koren, assistant vice president of the Quality of Care for Frail Elders program, The Commonwealth Fund, speaks about aging at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Type 2 Diabetes at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Richard Perez-Pena, a reporter for the New York Times speaks about Type 2 Diabetes at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.  

Keynote speech at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop   Posted: 10/30/07
 

Mary T. Bassett, deputy commissioner for the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, addresses attendees of the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Quick health data guide for WomensHealth.gov   Posted: 10/23/07
 

A how-to guide provided by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health.

Diabetes in NYC: Surveillance and epidemiologic findings from new data sources   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation from Lorna Thorpe, Ph.D., M.P.H., at the session "Coming to grips with the obesity-linked diabetes epidemic" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Thorpe is deputy commissioner of the New York City Health Department. The presentation shows statistics for diabetes in New York City and the rest of the country.

Telling stories with maps   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by A.H. Strelnick at the session "Mapping health data for local stories" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Strelnick is director of the Institute for Community & Collaborative Health at the Montefiore Medical Center. The presentation shows maps of different epidemics throughout history.

Disaster planning: Questions, concerns and Clayton County   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Mike Stobbe at the session "How prepared is your city for health disasters?" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Stobbe is a reporter for The Associated Press in Atlanta. The presentation describes the reporting behind an AP project on one Georgia county.

Why urban health is different: A view from Harlem   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Peggy Shepard at the session "Why is urban health different?" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Shepard is executive director and co-founder of We Act for Environmental Justice in West Harlem. The presentation outlines environmental aspects of an urban society that can contribute to health problems.

School-based health program in New York City   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Roger Platt, M.D., at the session "Covering children's access to care" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Platt is director of the Office of School Health for New York City. The presentation describes the New York City school health program and outlines the most prominent health problems in children.

Addiction and urban health   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Joshua Lee, M.D., M.S., at the session "Tackling mental health issues in your city" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Lee is an assistant professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. The presentation shows addiction statistics and breaks down the science behind addiction.

How prepared is your city for a health disaster?   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Kim Elliott at the session "How prepared is your city for health disasters?" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Elliott is the deputy director of Trust for America's Health. The presentation describes the realities of epidemics and public health preparedness.

Diabetes in the South Bronx   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Germaine Desjarlais-O'Kane, R.N., C.D.E. at the session "Coming to grips with the obesity-linked diabetes epidemic" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Desjarlais-O'Kane is a diabetes educator at the All Med Clinic in the Bronx. The presentation focuses on the eating habits and lifestyles of minorities living in the Bronx with diabetes.

Reporting on medical apartheid in New York City   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Neil Calman, M.D., for "Overcoming cultural barriers in your coverage" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Calman is president and CEO of the Institute for Urban Family Health; and professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Yeshiva University. The presentations cites racial discrimination and disparities in urban health care.

Urban health: Why is it different?   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Greg Burke, M.P.A., for "Why is urban health different?" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Burke is the vice president of planning at the Montefiore Medical Center. This presentation shows the differences between urban health and the prevailing model of suburban health, namely in population and delivery systems.

What's different about urban health?   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D. at the session "Why is urban health different?" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Boufford is president of the New York Academy of Medicine. Gives information about public health, expenditures and causes of premature death.

Health care coverage for kids   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by Georges Benjamin, M.D., for the session "Covering children's access to health care" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Benjamin is executive director of the American Public Health Association. Gives information on uninsured children in the U.S., the effect the implementation of SCHIP had on the numbers, and an overview of where SCHIP stands now.

Long-term sustainability and growth of school-based health centers   Posted: 10/18/07
 

A presentation by David Appel, M.D., for the session "Covering children's access to health care" at the Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2007. Appel is director of the Montefiore Medical Center's School Health Program. Gives information on the benefits of school-based health centers in children's health care.

The Immigrant and Refugee Guide to Affordable Health Care in New York State   Posted: 10/17/07
 

A presentation from Adam Gurvitch at the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop for the panel "Overcoming cultural barriers in your coverage." Gurvitch is the health advocacy director for the New York Immigration Coalition. Gives information about patients' rights and the availability of health care for immigrants and refugees in New York Sate.

Mapping health data for local stories: Links to GIS software, data and resources   Posted: 10/09/07
 

Brian Kaplan, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compiled links to GIS journals, software, data and other resources for the 2007 Urban Health Journalism Workshop.

Lessons learned at the Age Boom Academy   Posted: 10/08/07
 

Tips from the Age Boom AcademyTop scientists, academics and other experts spent a week talking about trends in their fields, trying to persuade a dozen journalists from across the country to increase and improve coverage of issues surrounding aging and longevity. Among the issues mentioned: depictions of aging and the aged as "pathetic and dreary;" a lack of attention to recent news about U.S. life expectancy; news agencies' focus on younger audiences; and understanding the science.

An AHCJ member who was there reports on what she learned about those issues and other tips to improve coverage of aging and the elderly.

Avian & pandemic flu resources   Posted: 09/26/07
 

AHCJ has compiled extensive resources for members who are covering flu and pandemic issues. We offer tips for smaller news organizations and dozens of links to information about preparedness plans, understanding the science, public health and more.

Is your hospital laying off workers? A primer on where to look   Posted: 09/14/07
 

A tip sheet from Karl Stark, pharmaceutical reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, lays out steps to take when beginning an investigation of hospital layoffs. These nine steps include documents to look at, where to find them and who to talk to to make the most of an investigation.

Multicultural health: The untold story   Posted: 09/13/07
 

Three dozen journalists gathered on Sept. 11, 2007, at the San Francisco Chronicle for a workshop on multicultural health issues in the Bay Area. The workshop, while specifically looking at issues on the Bay Area, provided a number of ideas for covering diverse communities around the country. We offer audio of the sessions, as well as links to a wide range of resources. This workshop builds on AHCJ's multicultural health resource guide, supported by The California Endowment.

Pandemic preparedness: Tips to cover recent supplemental funding to states   Posted: 08/31/07
 

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Aug. 30 that $75 million in supplemental funding is being made available to states for pandemic flu preparedness. AHCJ has many resources to help you report the story locally.

NIH releases FOIA case log   Posted: 08/07/07
 

The National Institutes of Health has released its aggregated FOIA Case Log for all the NIH institutes for 2005-07. It was released in paper form, not in electronic form. NIH uses a centralized FOIA tracking database.

Epidemiological consultations: When the Army consults on serious medical situations   Posted: 08/07/07
 

The U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine recently released a printed list of its Epidemiological Consultation (EPICON) Reports. The 67-page list, and nearly all of the reports themselves, have never been released to the public before now.

Tools for covering hospitals: Financial documents   Posted: 08/03/07
 

This tip sheet, from Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer, details five financial documents to review on your local nonprofit hospital, including what to look for and how to get them. Some documents for covering for-profit hospitals are included as well.

Disaster coverage: Is your newsroom prepared?   Posted: 08/01/07
 

In light of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, this might be a good time to review the role of health journalists in disaster coverage and plan for such events. Joe Hight, managing editor of The Oklahoman and president of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, recently presented a disaster and trauma brainstorming session.

Drug safety regulation and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act   Posted: 07/26/07
 

Audio icon

The Washington, D.C., chapter heard a lively and informative panel discussion on the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) on July 18, 2007. Audio of the panel is available for download.

PDUFA, which has been passed in different forms in the House and the Senate, is currently in a Congressional conference committee. The law regulates how the Food and Drug Administration pays for reviews of new drug applications and addresses drug safety issues such as post-marketing reviews of new drugs and reviewing direct-to-consumer drug advertisements.

'A Hidden Shame:' Tips for reporting on deaths in mental hospitals   Posted: 07/10/07
 

Alan Judd and Andy Miller of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported a series about deaths in Georgia's mental hospitals. They shared how they did the story, including these tips for reporters pursuing similar stories.

Advocacy and lobbying groups   Posted: 05/03/07
  Find out about the membership and funding sources for health-care-related nonprofit advocacy groups.
The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It   Posted: 04/23/07
  AHCJ cosponsored a 2006 conference at the Nieman Foundation about news coverage of the next big health crisis, with a focus on the emergence of the next influenza pandemic. The event, presented by the Nieman Foundation, sponsored by the Dart Foundation, and cosponsored by AHCJ and the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis brought journalists together with scientists, public health officials, medical experts, academic researchers, law enforcement officers, public policy experts, and Homeland Security officials to talk about how best to prepare for the possible arrival of pandemic flu. We offer edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from the event, as printed in the Spring 2007 issue of Nieman Reports.
Avian flu: Interactions of journalists and sources   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers discussed how what has transpired between journalists and sources during past disasters and crises can illuminate the challenges confronting the press as it seeks reliable information from expert sources. Some of these lessons are shared by those who spent time retracing what happened and thinking about what we should learn from what didn’t work well before.
Avian flu: A focus on the science   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, two infectious disease specialists describe and discuss what the scientific community knows about the avian flu virus H5NI and how pandemic influenza might emerge.
Avian flu: Understanding the risk - What frightens rarely kills   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers addressed how to communicate with people about risk, how and why people respond in the ways they do to messages they receive about danger. An expert in risk communication explains the connection between risks that kill people and those that upset them, and he describes how best to approach audiences based on their beliefs about the risks they face.
Avian flu: Reacting to the crisis   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers addressed how people react and respond to disasters and lessons that can guide journalists in understanding better what they can expect to happen if pandemic flu occurs.
Press lessons from the 1918 pandemic flu   Posted: 04/23/07
  Excerpts from "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History," by John M. Barry, that were reprinted in the Spring 2007 issue of Nieman Reports as part of a report about "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation.
Preparing for pandemic flu   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers addressed what journalists and news organizations should be doing to prepare for covering pandemic flu.
Avian flu: Reporting from the frontlines   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, reporters and editors discussed how they have covered disaster situations, including those in which people were infected by the H5N1 virus. They talk about preparations they are making at their news organizations for coverage of pandemic flu.
The many dimensions of the avian flu story   Posted: 04/23/07
  Reporters from the United States, China and Germany discuss how a story about a health issue such as avian flu can be covered competitively, with its web of connections that make it an economic, political, scientific and global news story. This is a part of edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation.
Avian flu: Communicating news of an outbreak   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers addressed the relationship between journalists and those who will communicate with journalists during an outbreak of pandemic flu, the preparation that comes in the daily exchanges they are having already with reporters and in working internally to establish guidelines for how best to get information out to the public in ways that are trustworthy and timely.
Avian flu: Preparing for the crisis   Posted: 04/23/07
  Edited excerpts from a lengthy transcript from "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation. In this session, speakers addressed tasks and topics that should be examined by reporters, who could use them to investigate how well their community planning is proceeding.
Books about influenza   Posted: 04/23/07
 

A list of books suggested by Kaiser media fellow Maryn McKenna at "The Next Big (Health) Crisis - And How to Cover It," a conference cosponsored by AHCJ at the Nieman Foundation.

Dangers, efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance   Posted: 03/18/07
 

A handout from Teresa Y. Morishita, D.V.M., Professor, Poultry Medicine and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., for a panel, Latest dangers, latest efforts to combat antibiotic resistance, at Health Journalism 2007.

Freelancing: Minimizing isolation, maximizing networking   Posted: 03/18/07
  Notes from a panel of the same name at Health Journalism 2007. Panelists were: Eileen Beal, independent journalist; Jeanne Erdmann, freelance medical science writer; Tami Dennis, health section editor, Los Angeles Times; and Kathryn Foxhall, independent journalist.
How to turn your story into a book   Posted: 03/17/07
  Suggestions offered by book agent Betty Amster at Health Journalism 2007.
How to write a successful book   Posted: 03/17/07
  Jonathan Cohn, author of Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis — And The People Who Pay The Price (HarperCollins), offers his insight into writing a book. Material includes coming up with a idea, writing the proposal, selling your idea, finding agents and editors, researching, writing and revising.
Consumer-Directed Health Plans: What are they and what do we know about their effects?   Posted: 03/17/07
  Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin, Ph.D., a health economist with Rand Corporation, made this presentation at Health Journalism 2007. Topics covered include: What is consumer-directed health care, characteristics of consumer-health plans, what do we know about the effects, older studies of cost-sharing, results from early adopters, what don't we know about CDHC, policy questions, future research and information sources about CDHC.
Cervical cancer prevention strategies for Africa, Asia, and Latin America   Posted: 03/17/07
  A presentation from Scott Wittet, HPV vaccines project, PATH, at Health Journalism 2007 for the panel: Global health: Access, money and politics in HIV and HPV treatment.
Increasing access to antiretroviral therapy and HPV vaccines   Posted: 03/17/07
  Presentation by Isabelle de Zoysa, M.D., senior adviser for HIV/AIDS, Office of the Assistant Director-General for Family and Community Health, World Health Organization, for the panel Global health: Access, money and politics in HIV and HPV treatment, at Health Journalism 2007.
Impact of Medicaid cost cutting: Thoughts from a provider   Posted: 03/17/07
  A presentation by Patrick T. Dowling, M.D., chair, Family Medicine, UCLA, on the impact of continued Medicaid cost cutting, a panel at Health Journalism 2007.
Impact of continued Medicaid cost cutting - Venice Family Clinic   Posted: 03/17/07
  A presentation by Therese A. Hughes, government relations, Venice Family Clinic, on the impact of continued Medicaid cost cutting, a panel at Health Journalism 2007.
Narrative medical journalism: Through Hell and High Water   Posted: 03/17/07
  Reporter Jane O. Hansen's presentation from a class about narrative medical journalism at Health Journalism 2007.
Stem cell research in California   Posted: 03/17/07
  A presentation by Zach W. Hall, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, offered at a plenary on stem cell policy at Health Journalism 2007.
Lifting the shroud: Using multiple-cause-of-death data   Posted: 03/17/07
  Thomas Hargrove of Scripps Howard News Service presented a class on using multiple-cause-of-death data at Health Journalism 2007.
How to cover your local nursing home   Posted: 03/16/07
 

Extensive list of sources and what to look for, from the class "Tools for covering nursing homes" at Health Journalism 2007. By Trudy Lieberman, director, Health and Medicine Reporting Program, City University of New York; Charles Bell, programs coordinator, Consumers Union; and Charlene Harrington, Ph.D., R.N., associate director, Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, University of California, San Francisco.

Autism 101   Posted: 03/16/07
  Background on autism from Health Journalism 2007 from Pauline A. Filipek M.D., director of the Autism Program for OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Ctr and associate professor of clinical pediatrics & neurology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine.
Using the immune system to treat brain tumors   Posted: 03/16/07
  Background on brain tumors from Behnam Badie, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Program at City of Hope. Presented at Health Journalism 2007.
A new model of care for Los Angeles uninsured children   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Alice Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., from the panel "Covering kids: Health coverage for low-income children" at Health Journalism 2007.
Childrens coverage: Progress and challenges   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Barbara Lyons, Ph.D., vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and deputy director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. From the panel "Covering kids: Health coverage for low-income children" at Health Journalism 2007.
Key issues in SCHIP reauthorization   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Cindy Mann of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. From the panel "Covering kids: Health coverage for low-income children" at Health Journalism 2007.
Improving patient safety through health information technology   Posted: 03/16/07
  Presentation from Rainu Kaushal, M.D., M.P.H., director of pediatric quality and sSafety, KCCH at NYPH Department of Public Health, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. From the panel "Health IT and electronic medical records" at Health Journalism 2007.
Updates: HIV/AIDS - A Potpourri of Clinical Aspects   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., chief medical officer, City of Hope National Medical Center, at Health Journalism 2007.
Reporting on HIV in Africa   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Mia Malan, Internews Network, from Health Journalism 2007.
Hollywood and Health: Entertainment media as a health information source   Posted: 03/16/07
  Presentation by Vicky Rideout, director of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health, at Health Journalism 2007.
Maintaining vitality: The promise and perils of testosterone   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Christopher S. Saigal, M.D., M.P.H., director of UCLA's Integrative Urology Program, at Health Journalism 2007.
The health of America's minority populations - Michael V. Drake   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Michael V. Drake, M.D., chancellor at University California, Irvine, at Health Journalism 2007.
Integrative East-West medicine: Bridging the cultural divide   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Ka-Kit Hui, M.D., F.A.C.P., professor and director of the Center For East-West Medicine at UCLA, from Health Journalism 2007.
Patient- and family-centered care   Posted: 03/16/07
  Donna Smith, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, made this presentation during a panle about patient-centered care at Health Journalism 2007.
Patient-centered care: Susan Frampton   Posted: 03/16/07
  Susan B. Frampton, Ph.D., president of Planetree, made this presentation during a panel about patient-centered care at Health Journalism 2007.
Patient-centered care: How well are hospitals doing? What does it take?   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Dale Shaller, M.P.A., of Shaller Consulting and managing director, National CAHPS Benchmarking Database, at Health Journalism 2007.
Mental health issues in OIF/OEF veterans   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from the panel "New generation of veterans deals with post-traumatic stress" at Health Journalism 2007, about the mental health of veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. From Larry Albers, M.D., chief of the Mental Health Care Group, Long Beach VA Healthcare System.
PTSD in veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Mark Barad, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, from a panel at Health Journalism 2007: "New generation of veterans deals with post-traumatic stress."
Public health crisis preparation: Following the money   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation from Health Journalism 2007 by Kristi L Koenig, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., professor of emergency medicine and director of Public Health Preparedness, Disaster Medical Sciences Center at the University of California at Irvine.
Public health crisis preparation: Linda Rosenstock   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H., dean of UCLA's School of Public Health, from a panel called "Public health crisis preparation: Following the money" at Health Journalism 2007.
Is your city, county or state ready for a biological attack or major infectious disease outbreak?   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Jeffrey Wasserman, Ph.D., a senior policy researcher for Rand Corporation, from a panel called "Public health crisis preparation: Following the money" at Health Journalism 2007.
Conquering infectious diseases   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and CEO of City of Hope, for a panel called "Global health: Access, money and politics in HIV and HPV treatment" at Health Journalism 2007.
The workplace in disease prevention: Susan Heller   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Susan Heller, program manager of the Ventura County (Calif.) Wellness Program, from the panel "Role of the workplace in disease prevention" at Health Journalism 2007.
Corporate wellness   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Bonnie Lewis, senior business development manager at the Dole Nutrition Institute, for a panel called "Role of the workplace in disease prevention" at Health Journalism 2007.
Wellness initiative: UCLA Hospital System   Posted: 03/16/07
  A presentation by Mark Speare, senior associate director of patient relations and human resources at UCLA Medical Center, for a panel called "Role of the workplace in disease prevention" at Health Journalism 2007.
Understanding the scientific article   Posted: 03/15/07
  From a panel at Health Journalism 2006 called "Interpreting scientific studies: A primer." Ruth SoRelle of the Baylor College of Medicine offers pointers on evaluating newsworthiness of studies with some specific criteria.
Genetics of prostate and breast cancer   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation by Brian E. Henderson, M.D., of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, from a panel on covering health in a multicultural society at Health Journalism 2007.
Covering health in a multicultural society   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation by Andrew Holtz at a workshop, Covering health in a multicultural society, at Health Journalism 2007.
Understanding medical publications   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation from Roy M. Pitkin, M.D., editor emeritus, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and professor emeritus, UCLA, at a workshop, Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals, at Health Journalism 2007.
Statistical errors even you can find   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation by Tom Lang, author of How to Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors and Reviewers; from the workshop Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals at Health Journalism 2007.
What you need to know about risks, rates and ratios   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation by Tom Lang, author of How to Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors and Reviewers; from the workshop Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals at Health Journalism 2007.
Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals   Posted: 03/15/07
  Presentation from the workshop Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals at Health Journalism 2007.
Aging Nation: Troublesome Health Care Issues   Posted: 02/28/07
 

Presentation from Robert H. Binstock, Ph.D., Professor of Aging, Health, and Society, at Case Western Reserve University, from the panel "Covering the aging population" at AHCJ's 2006 Regional Conference.

Headlines an advocate for seniors would like to see   Posted: 02/28/07
  Belle Likover, an advocate for seniors and member of the Ohio Department of Aging's Advisory Council suggested some stories she would like to see covered when she appeared in the panel "Covering the aging population" at AHCJ's 2006 regional conference.
Covering obesity at the local level   Posted: 02/28/07
  Tip sheet by Eileen Seeholzer, M.D., MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, from the panel "Covering obesity at the local level" at AHCJ's 2006 Regional Conference.
How to cover obesity science   Posted: 02/28/07
  Tip sheet by Paul Ernsberger, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Nutrition, Case Medical Center, from the panel "Covering obesity at the local level" at AHCJ's 2006 Regional Conference.
Interrelationships between obesity and health disparities   Posted: 02/28/07
  Tip sheet by Paul Ernsberger, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Nutrition, Case Medical Center, from the panel "Covering obesity at the local level" at AHCJ's 2006 Regional Conference.
Tracking deadly infections: Ali Khan, M.D.   Posted: 10/28/06
  From a presentation at the 2006 Regional Conference by Ali Khan, M.D., M.P.H., acting deputy director of the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases.
Tracking deadly infections: Steven Gordon, M.D.   Posted: 10/28/06
  From a presentation at the 2006 regional conference by Steven Gordon, M.D., chairman of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Avian and pandemic influenza tip sheet, by Maryn McKenna   Posted: 07/06/06
  A primer created by Maryn McKenna to assist fellow health reporters in covering the realities and risks of the avian flu, as well as offering dozens of links to information about preparedness plans, understanding the science, public health and more.
Covering avian flu and pandemics: Tips for smaller newspapers/broadcast operations   Posted: 07/06/06
  Some thoughts to help smaller news outlets prepare for a public health emergency before it happens.
Understanding HIPAA: A brief overview   Posted: 07/01/06
  A primer by AHCJ's Freedom of Information & Advocacy Committee, compiled with support of The Associated Press, that explains the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and how it relates to journalists.
Tools for covering hospitals: Hospital stories to do   Posted: 03/20/06
  Tip sheet from Karl Stark, national/foreign editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and AHCJ board treasurer, from the panel "Tools for covering hospitals" at the 2006 Regional AHCJ Conference.
Katrina health impacts   Posted: 03/18/06
  Information about issues and challenges in post-Katrina Louisiana, from David Rousseau of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Freelance: A survival guide for brain and bank account   Posted: 03/18/06
  Information about freelancing from Stefanie Friedhoff, a writer based in Cambridge, Mass., and Ann Arbor, Mich.
HIPAA: Good intentions and unintended consequences   Posted: 03/18/06
  Jessica Bernanke, of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington, D.C., outlines HIPAA's privacy rule - scope, covered entities, purpose, what information is considered to be protected, compliance, permitted disclosures and more. Also includes brief list of sources.
Nanotechnology: The big story in biotech   Posted: 03/18/06
  News release from MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas: Researchers have found a way for viral and gold particles to "directly assemble" and potentially seek out and treat disease in the body. From a panel at Health Journalism 2006
Preparing your community for pandemics   Posted: 03/18/06
  Background and planning from the Harris County (Texas) Department of Public Health and Environmental Services. From a panel at Health Journalism 2006.
Pandemic/avian influenza: Epidemiology and challenges   Posted: 03/18/06
  Presentation from Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner, M.D., FACP, of the University of Texas. From a panel at Health Journalism 2006.
Pandemic influenza: Planning and coordinating the response   Posted: 03/18/06
  Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association was on a panel on preparing your community for pandemics at Health Journalism 2006.
Future of cancer research   Posted: 03/17/06
  Tip sheet and presentation from the panel "The future of cancer research" at Health Journalism 2006.
Medicaid basics and beyond   Posted: 03/17/06
  From a panel of the same name at Health Journalism 2006.
Adolescent mental health issues   Posted: 03/17/06
  From a panel of the same name at Health Journalism 2006. Information and media contacts from the Menninger Clinic as well as some guidelines for dealing with substance abuse in adolescents.
Is cross-border care the next big trend? (Ana Andrade, Health Net of California)   Posted: 03/17/06
  From a panel at Health Journalism 2006.
Is cross-border care the next big trend? (Jim Arriola, Sekure Healthcare)   Posted: 03/17/06
  From a panel at Health Journalism 2006
Health law and medical ethics   Posted: 03/17/06
  Timeline of the Terri Schiavo case, from a panel at Health Journalism 2006.
Medicare Part D: What are the concerns   Posted: 03/17/06
  From a panel at Health Journalism 2006
Exploring the health challenges of Hispanic Americans   Posted: 03/17/06
  Information about alcohol consumption in the Hispanic American population, from a panel at Health Journalism 2006.
Evidence-based medical reporting   Posted: 03/16/06
  Tips from Barbara Gastel of Texas A&M University, that she shared at a workshop presented at Health Journalism 2006.
What to do if a law enforcement officer asks you to hand over notes or tapes   Posted: 01/01/06
  While RCFP doesn't know of a situation under federal or state law that gives law enforcement a legally defensible right to seize a tape or require a reporter to erase it, that does not means they cannot or will not arrest you if you refuse.
Covering Medicare's Part D prescription benefit   Posted: 06/01/05
  Timeline, from 2005, on the Medicare drug law.
Investigating health care: Essential public records   Posted: 04/01/04
 

Quick guide to data and documents to look for when investigating health care, from Michael Berens of the Chicago Tribune.

HIPAA Boot Camp: The Basics of HIPAA for Health Care Journalists   Posted: 03/17/03
  A presentation from AHCJ's 2003 national conference, by Jim Moynihan of McLure-Moynihan Inc.
How to understand a 990   Posted: 01/01/00
  The 990 is a tax return for a tax-exempt organization. The same way you file a Form 1040 as an individual, your local tax-exempt hospital, health plan or foundation files a Form 990. Since the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the 990 is required to be publicly available to anyone who asks, with certain restrictions.

 

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