Category Archives: Social determinants

Inspector’s report suggests potential for vape shop quality control issues

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Brad Wilmot via Flickr

A recent report on the results of a series of unannounced “vape shop” visits by federal inspectors raises questions about quality-assurance in the preparation of some e-cigarette products.

Vape shops typically sell products, including electronic nicotine delivery devices and “e-liquids” solutions that are atomized by heating elements within the devices. When inhaled, the resulting vapor delivers nicotine, flavorings and other additives to the user. Continue reading

When covering maternity care, look for local angles such as state rankings, racial disparities

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.

One of the problems with the fee-for-service payment system is that it’s a flawed method of payment for sick patients but it may be ever more flawed as a method of payment for those who are healthy. This point is one Katy B. Kozhimannil, Ph.D., made recently in an article for the American Journal of Managed Care.

An associate professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Kozhimannil wrote that payment models should compensate teams of physicians, midwives, nurses and other providers for delivering evidence-based services during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. These payment systems also should be based on the health risks of the mother and baby, she added. Continue reading

Reporter shares insights on covering cuts to Medicaid dental coverage

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Phil King via Flickr

In a recent story for the Lexington Herald-Leader, reporter Will Wright offered a look at the human toll of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s July decision to cut dental and vision benefits for about 460,000 state Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Republican governor announced the cuts after a federal judge blocked his plan to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program by requiring recipients to work or volunteer and pay monthly benefits. Continue reading

October workshop will explore how urban life affects health

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education 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.

Chirlane McCray

The first lady of New York will keynote AHCJ’s Urban Health Journalism Workshop in October. Chirlane McCray, the founder of comprehensive mental health plan ThriveNYC, as well as the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, will talk about addressing behavioral health issues in the city.

She also spearheads the Cities Thrive Coalition of mayors, with representation from more than 150 cities from all 50 states, advocating for a more integrated and better-funded behavioral health system. Continue reading

HHS session on covering suicide described as new effort to engage reporters

Felice J. Freyer

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president, chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee and a member of the association's Finance and Development Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

Mark Weber

The Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring a seminar for reporters on covering suicide on Tuesday, in what the lead organizer described as an effort by HHS media officials to engage with journalists in new ways.

Mark Weber, the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, said that media officials often interact with reporters in what he called “ATM transactions” – communicating only when one needs something from the other. Continue reading