Category Archives: Core Topics

Experts discussed rural health topics at workshop

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the special projects director for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJHannah Koch, Psy.D., research and technical assistance associate, Mental Health Program, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

AHCJ’s 10th annual Rural Health Journalism Workshop brought journalists to North Carolina’s Research Triangle to hear from experts who offered resources and story ideas about the health challenges facing the United States’ 47 million rural residents.

Nearly 70 attended the all-day workshop, gaining a better understanding of what’s happening – or will be happening – in rural regions. Continue reading

Indictment of Theranos executives offers lessons for journalists

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJWall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou spoke about his award-winning investigation of Theranos at Health Journalism 2018.

The story about the fall of Theranos provides an important lesson for journalists about how we should be more diligent when reporting on the spin that companies use to promote themselves.

Last week, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who served in various roles for the clinical laboratory testing company in Palo Alto, Calif. In an indictment unsealed Friday, the federal Department of Justice announced in a news release that Holmes and Balwani were alleged to have perpetrated multimillion dollar schemes designed to defraud patients, doctors and investors. Note that the release includes a link to a PDF of the indictment itself. Continue reading

States continue to expand Medicaid, with others possibly voting on the issue

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.

Image: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts

There’s been a spurt of Medicaid expansion activity in several states. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have approved expansion (including Maine – more on that below.)

Virginia is the most recent state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam ran last fall on a Medicaid pledge – and the balance of power in his state’s legislature shifted too, with the GOP still in control but now with narrow majorities in both chambers. Continue reading

Pediatricians raise ethical concerns about who can see teen clinical notes online

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Today, more than 21 million patients in 47 states have online access to their physician’s notes documenting their medical visits.

While this online access is broadly seen as a positive step towards better communication between patients and doctors, some pediatricians are raising ethical concerns around teen privacy. Continue reading

Report finds antipsychotic drug use still rampant in some nursing homes

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: peterabbid via Flickr

Despite efforts to curb the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, about 20 percent of residents – more than 250,000 vulnerable individuals – are still given these potent medications, according to a new report from the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC).

While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) estimates that only a very small percentage of the senior population will ever have a condition warranting use of these powerful medications, psychotropic drugs still are being overused among the elderly, especially for those suffering from dementia, the report concluded. Continue reading