Reporter finds reviewing comments on federal proposals provided insight into what was to come

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.

What can journalists learn from reading the comments that health care professionals send to federal agencies that propose new rules for health insurers? The short answer is: quite a lot.

Last year, Noam N. Levey poured over about 10,000 comments from health care provider organizations and other groups submitted to federal agencies about their concerns regarding the Trump Administration’s plans to revise the rules for short-term health insurance plans and association health plans. What Levey found was almost unanimous opposition to both proposals. In a new tip sheet, Levey explained what he found while reviewing the comments on both proposals and offered ideas that may be useful for other journalists considering doing a similar review. Continue reading

After appeals court arguments, ACA back in limbo

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

The oral arguments in the Texas v. United States lawsuit aiming to overturn the Affordable Care Act did not go well for backers of the health law on Tuesday. Two of the three judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seemed ready to scrap at least pivotal chunks of the ACA.  (Here’s a wrap from AP.)

But what comes next – or when it happens – is still a guessing game.

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Report: Caregivers tackling complex medical tasks with little training

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, 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.

Half of the nation’s 40 million family caregivers are performing complicated medical/nursing tasks for their family members and friends, including giving injections, preparing special diets, managing tube feedings, and handling medical equipment, according to a recent report from AARP. Additionally, 70% of these caregivers are dealing with the stress of managing pain relief amid a national opioid crisis. Continue reading

Confounding by indication case study 2: Hormonal contraception and risk of depression

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Jess Hamilton via Flickr

I wrote in a previous blog about the importance of understanding confounding by indication and being sure to ask researchers about it when covering observational studies that appear to suggest a particular treatment or intervention might contribute to a specific effect. I’m passionate about this type of study bias because not considering it — which happens a LOT — can lead people to decline otherwise helpful treatments or leave them experiencing more harm and pain because of unfounded fears. Continue reading

AHCJ selects Austin for Health Journalism 2020

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Health Journalism 2020, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, will take place in Austin, Texas, AHCJ has announced.

The conference, which draws attendees from across the United States and several other countries, is slated for April 30-May 3, 2020, at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin. Local sponsors include the University of Texas Dell Medical School, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and the St. David’s Foundation.

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Survey: People trust their smartphones more than hospitals with their personal data

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: HP Samsung Terbaru via Flickr

Nearly half of consumers believe their personal health information is more secure on their personal electronic devices – smartphones, laptops and tablets – than it is on their health care providers’ computer systems.

This high level of mistrust in health entities’ handling of personal data is among the findings of a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by the cybersecurity firm Morphisec. Benjamin Harris of HealthcareITNews reported on the survey. Continue reading