Category Archives: Insurance

#AHCJ18 panel explores prospects for a single-payer health system

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 She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Tom Spaulding via Flickr

Bernie Sanders gave renewed life to the single-payer movement, and it’s likely to play in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

But how will we talk about it? What does “single-payer” mean? Can the United States ever achieve it? Should it? Those were some of the questions raised at the Health Journalism 2018 session in Phoenix, “Is single-payer on the table?” moderated by Julie Appleby, an AHCJ board member and Kaiser Health News correspondent. Continue reading

Gene therapy development on the rise but costs remain an issue

Markian Hawryluk

About Markian Hawryluk

Markian Hawryluk (markianhawryluk) covers health and fitness issues for The (Bend, Ore.) Bulletin. He has won numerous awards for his health writing from AHCJ and the Society of Professional Journalists and won the 2009 Bruce Baer Award for Investigative Journalism. In 2012, he was named a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

After decades of unfulfilled promises and setbacks, the field of gene therapy broke through with three FDA-approved products last year, ushering in what is likely to be a rapid escalation of new treatments for some of the rarest and most debilitating diseases.

“Part of the idea of the Human Genome project was that once we had the identity of all the genes, it would be important and straight forward for us to development more therapeutic options for people with serious inherited diseases, said Katherine High, M.D., president and director of research and development for Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics. “But it turned out this took a little longer to do than the Human Genome project.” Continue reading

Focus shifts to states’ efforts in health policy

Dan Goldberg

About Dan Goldberg

Dan Goldberg is a senior health reporter for Politico New York. Before joining Politico New York, Goldberg was the health care reporter for the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

States are going to have unprecedented opportunities to shape health care policy during the next couple years, as President Trump’s administration approves Medicaid waivers and loosens rules around the Affordable Care Act.

States are going to have tools and options they have never had before, said Joanne Kenen, executive health editor at Politico. Kenen moderated a panel on states and health care in the age of Trump on Friday at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference, Health Journalism 2018, in Phoenix. Continue reading

CMS initiatives may be good news for some beneficiaries

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in, 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: moodboard via Flickr

This post was co-written by Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist and AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at

You may have seen the April 2 press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that highlighted the steps it is taking to, among other efforts, advance a more patient-centered approach, reinterpret standards for supplemental benefits under Medicare Advantage plans, lower prescription drug prices and address the opioid crisis. While that’s a lot to promise in a page and a half, more details are available in CMS’ 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter. Be forewarned, however, that many journalists may need experts to interpret the implications of what CMS calls its call letter. Continue reading

Pittsburgh reporter uncovers how for-profit hospitals differ from nonprofits in how they provide charity care

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

When reviewing just about any hospital bill today, it’s difficult to imagine that hospitals were founded to provide care for the poor. “Hospitals in the United States emerged from institutions, notably almshouses, that provided care and custody for the ailing poor,” says America’s Essential Hospitals, an association of hospitals and health systems dedicated to providing high-quality care for all, including the vulnerable. “Rooted in this tradition of charity, the public hospital traces its ancestry to the development of cities and community efforts to shelter and care for the chronically ill, deprived, and disabled.” Continue reading