The other Democratic health agenda (hint – it’s not Medicare for All)

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.

With all the attention on Medicare for All, it’s easy to forget that congressional Democrats have another important health care agenda: shoring up the Affordable Care Act.

A bunch of proposals are floating around. It’s worth checking out whether your state legislators or regulators have similar ideas of their own to strengthen their individual markets, such as adding more generous subsidies or forms of reinsurance. Here is a sample of proposals that are at least now getting a hearing in the House. (This list is adapted from a summary issued by the House Energy and Commerce Committee for spring hearing — it’s not all-inclusive of every idea of every Democrat.) Continue reading

Senate Finance Committee hearing focuses on nursing home abuse

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.

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 a 14-year coma at a long-term care facility in Arizona gave birth after being raped.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over mistreatment, neglect and other serious violations at nursing homes, despite years of efforts to enact additional reforms and more government supervision. Continue reading

Experts talk in D.C. about how to get past the A.I. buzz

Tina Reed

About Tina Reed

Tina Reed is executive editor of FierceHealthcare in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was a health care reporter for the Washington Business Journal. She is co-chair of AHCJ’s Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Photo: Kimberly Leonard

Trying to write critically about a new use of artificial intelligence?

Start by asking your sources three questions:

  1. How far they are away from the point of delivery?
  2. How much data are they working with and what is the diversity or scope of the population the data was gathered from?
  3. And finally, what kinds of algorithms did they apply and what sorts of devices are they limited to using?

Continue reading

Oops! That ‘Open Door Forum’ won’t be off the record after all

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.

Reporters were taken aback on Monday when they received an invitation to a national phone call billed as an “Open Door Forum” – with instructions that remarks made on this public call would not be on the record.

After AHCJ inquired, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that the call would, in fact, be on the record and that the off-the-record requirement was included by mistake. Continue reading

‘Sexology’ fraud duped dozens of reporters — don’t be among them next time

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: Nic Price via Flickr

We journalists rely on many tools in our trade: research articles, books, interviews, pen and paper, accumulated knowledge and experience, PR folks, smartphones, software, voice recorders, cameras, etc. But every once in a while, one tool outperforms the rest: our Spidey sense.

I can’t count the times my intuition has nudged me in the right direction or diverted me from the wrong one, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an experienced reporter who would say otherwise. Continue reading

A good story about medical studies begins with a responsible headline

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: Sergio Santos via Flickr

Many journalists have little to do with the final headline that ends up on their story, while others — such as bloggers and regular contributors to certain publications — are almost exclusively responsible for their headlines.

But even in the first case, journalists may submit a working headline with their story and often have some sway over the final headline. Continue reading