AHCJ mourns investigative reporter Chedekel

Cynthia Craft

About Cynthia Craft

Cynthia Craft (@cynthiahcraft) is the director of engagement for AHCJ, joining the organization after an extensive career in daily journalism, including a decade on the health care beat. Craft most recently worked as a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee, having also worked for the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Times Herald and the California Journal.

Lisa Chedekel

Lisa Chedekel, an active member of AHCJ and an award-winning investigative reporter on health care systems in Connecticut, died of cancer on Jan. 12. She was 57.

In a 2012 member profile, Chedekel told AHCJ member Andy Miller she naturally gravitated toward health as a beat: “For me, in-depth stories about health had a more universal and compelling appeal than other beats I’d covered,” she said. “Stories on health offer both hard data and real people – the two things that, to me, make the best stories.” Continue reading

Potential pros, cons of those short-term health plans

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

As promised, the Trump administration has released a proposed rule to allow short-term health insurance plans that do not conform to all of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements. The Department of Health and Human Services says it’s necessary to give consumers access to more affordable insurance options; many backers of the ACA say it will further undermine already wobbly ACA markets and leave people with inadequate protections in the case of a serious, costly health problem.

So what is a “short-term plan?” Continue reading

Talking of wishes and waivers in Phoenix at #AHCJ18

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, one of its clear intents was to create a lot more consistency in health coverage across the country. Coverage wouldn’t be completely uniform and 100 percent Washington-imposed. States would still have a lot of regulatory powers over insurers if they chose to exercise it, and some freedom to experiment and modify their own programs, particularly Medicaid. But the state-to-state disparity in uninsurance rates and access to coverage was supposed to have been ironed out.

That’s not what happened – and under the Trump administration states have even more choices – including new options to undermine the ACA. On April 13 at Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix, we’ll have a panel called “States and health care in the age of Trump: Wishes and waivers” to look at what will probably be the most pivotal period of state health care activity yet. Continue reading

NIH to require more transparency for clinical trials

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Iwan Gabovitch via Flickr

The ongoing push for open science and greater transparency in medical research just notched another win following new rules from the National Institutes of Health regarding federally funded research involving humans. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the NIH is broadening the definition of clinical trials for what must be registered and reported at ClinicalTrials.gov.

“Researchers must now report their findings on the site within a year of study completion or risk losing future funding,” wrote reporters Daniela Hernandez and Amy Dockser Marcus. Continue reading

HHS secretary promises ‘open and transparent’ relationship with media

Kimberly Leonard

About Kimberly Leonard

Kimberly Leonard (@leonardkl) is a member of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee and co-chair of the Washington, D.C., chapter. She covers Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services as a health care reporter for the Washington Examiner.

Alex Azar

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pledged in his first on-the-record press conference Tuesday that he will have an “open and transparent” relationship with reporters, and said he does not envision a scenario in which anyone would be banned from covering the agency.

The statement, a welcome commitment to reporters, came one week after the Association of Health Care Journalists sent Azar a letter urging him to hold regular press conferences. Continue reading