Privacy laws, such as HIPAA, are the bane of health journalism. No matter how fervently you wish to preserve patient privacy, the legal protections often stand between you and a great story.
Unless you know the ways around them.
ProPublica’s Annie Waldman is an expert in overcoming or sidestepping privacy barriers. Continue reading
In honor of Sunshine Week, AHCJ invited organizations devoted to government transparency to write about how their work can help health care reporters. Here is the last of four.
MuckRock, a nonprofit that assists journalists, newsrooms, and others requesting public information, has helped thousands of reporters file public records requests all across America, digging out information from federal agencies and local inspection boards alike.
Time and again, public records break essential stories and shine light on dangerous lapses — but only if someone knows to ask.
Here are some tips on using freedom of information laws to get great stories while juggling everything else you need to get done. Continue reading
In honor of Sunshine Week, AHCJ invited organizations devoted to government transparency to write about how their work can help health care reporters. Here is the third of four.
Government websites are changing the information they supply related to topics such as sexual orientation and women’s health, and the Web Integrity Project (WIP) at The Sunlight Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., has been on a mission to track those changes. Continue reading
It’s Sunshine Week!
This annual celebration of access to public information offers seven days packed with panel discussions, workshops and special reporting efforts, organized by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee, which also advocates for transparency and access to information, is joining this year’s celebration with a weeklong series of blog posts to bolster your efforts to get the facts. Continue reading
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services threatened to ban a reporter from participating in the federal agency’s telephone news conferences after he refused to delete three sentences from a published story that apparently had rankled CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The reporter — Virgil Dickson, Washington bureau chief for Modern Healthcare — believed the agency was making good on its threat on Thursday when, he said, his phone went mute during a CMS press call and a woman’s voice told him he was not allowed to participate. An editor later confirmed with CMS officials that he had been banned from press calls, Dickson said. Continue reading
When the federal government in June began to post a series of maps that showed how many health insurers would participate in the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act, reporters quickly noted that one key element was missing from the posts: the data.
Health care journalists across the country sent inquiries to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the numbers behind the weekly health insurance coverage maps, which projected how many insurers would make options available, county-by-county, for 2018. Continue reading