Health reform comes with new rules for nonprofit hospitals

When I first started covering health care, I thought that a nonprofit hospital was one that didn’t make any money. It took longer than I should probably admit to come to understand that nonprofit/nonprofit status isn’t about making money. It’s mostly about paying taxes. As this excellent recent story by M.B. Pell in The Atlanta […]

Evaluation of nonprofits’ charity care continues

If you’re keeping a list of issues that have been rejuvenated through inclusion in the Baucus bill, you can safely add Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s crusade to keep nonprofit hospitals accountable for the provision of adequate amounts of charity care. According to the Chicago Tribune‘s Bruce Japsen, the proposed bill includes Grassley’s provision to “improve […]

Pulitzer finalists explain how to use court documents to cover hospitals’ predatory billing practices

Court documents are among the best sources for journalists covering the aggressive tactics tht hospitals and health systems use when seeking payment from patients who owe them money. This advice comes from two Kaiser Health News journalists — senior correspondent Jay Hancock and data editor Elizabeth Lucas — who were Pulitzer Prize finalists this year […]

Drug pricing bill faces uphill climb in an impeachment-focused Congress

With the news out of Washington coming at us fast and furiously, it may have been easy to miss the introduction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new proposal to curb the cost of prescription drugs. Drug pricing is an especially important issue for older adults, many of whom are on multiple medications and take more […]

When reporting on efforts to reduce drug prices, be skeptical and follow the money

The Trump administration has been talking tough on drug prices for many months and, of course, pharmaceutical companies and other organizations have pushed back because they mostly oppose controls on the free market for prescription drugs. For health care journalists covering these proposals, it’s essential to remain skeptical of any group that offers support or […]

Senate Finance Committee hearing focuses on nursing home abuse

Compelling, heartbreaking stories of abuse and neglect from the daughters of two elderly women drove home a call for tighter regulations, better oversight and more careful screening of nursing home staff during a Senate Committee on Finance hearing on March 6. The hearing comes in the wake of another horrific story, when a woman in […]