Category Archives: Public records

New tools aim to help journalists track removal of information from federal websites

Rachel Bergman

About Rachel Bergman

Rachel Bergman is co-founder and director of programs of the Sunlight Foundation's Web Integrity Project where she leads the research and monitoring of federal agency websites.

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

A week of instruction and inspiration on getting all the facts

Sabriya Rice

About Sabriya Rice

Sabriya Rice (@sabriyarice) is the business of health care reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She’s an AHCJ board member and vice chair of the association’s Right to Know committee.

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

CMS threatens to bar Modern Healthcare from press calls after reporter refuses to alter story

Felice J. Freyer

About Felice J. Freyer

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

Virgil Dickson

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

Tussle over CMS data shows the importance of getting all the facts, without delay

Sabriya Rice

About Sabriya Rice

Sabriya Rice (@sabriyarice) is the business of health care reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She’s an AHCJ board member and vice chair of the association’s Right to Know committee.

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

More hospitals reporting quality data from EHRs but these data are not available by facility

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.

Photo” PINKÉ via Flickr

The number of hospitals voluntarily submitting data on quality generated by electronic health records (EHRs) increased significantly over the past year, according to the Joint Commission, a leading health care facility accreditation organization.

However, these data are not publicly available by facility, according to the Joint Commission. This is unfortunate because the information offers another window into hospital quality. AHCJ has long advocated for the public release of the Joint Commission’s hospital accreditation surveys and complaint reports. Continue reading

New hospital inspection reports added to website

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.

Photo: Norman Mosjos via Flickr

AHCJ has just updated the HospitalInspections.org website. The updated version adds 1,024 records of hospital inspection results, as recent as September. Most of the records show a detailed narrative of each deficiency among hospitals in the United States.

The website includes the results of government inspections of acute-care hospitals, critical-access (rural) hospitals and psychiatric hospitals resulting from complaints. The site now searches through 26,814 records. Continue reading