New rule allows Medicare reimbursement to ambulatory surgery centers for knee replacements, stents

Cheryl Clark

About Cheryl Clark

Cheryl Clark (@CherClarHealth) is AHCJ's core topic leader for patient safety, a MedPage Today contributor and inewsource.org investigative journalist. For most of 27 years, she covered medicine and science for the San Diego Union-Tribune. After taking a buyout in 2008, she became senior quality editor for HealthLeaders Media.

Knee replacement surgeries and stenting procedures will now be reimbursed in free-standing ambulatory surgery centers for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries as of Jan. 1 under a new rule finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday.

The controversial policy shift will mean hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of older patients will now have these complex procedures in a facility not attached to a hospital, and will go home the same day. Continue reading

Getting to the truth when covering measles outbreak

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

Photo: CDC/PHIL

A basic tenant in reporting is that there are two sides to a story, but in public health, that may not always be the case, says Melba Newsome, a Charlotte, N.C.-based freelance health care journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, O magazine, Time, and other publications.

Newsome was confronted with this challenge when writing an in-depth story for CQ Researcher on the recent measles outbreak, and the story behind how the contagious disease has made a come back in the era of modern medicine. Continue reading

Tip sheet, article focus on creating a podcast about aging

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.

Photo: Matthew Keefe via Flickr

Ever thought about starting a podcast? You’re not alone. There are an estimated 750,000 podcasts, and 30 million episodes available across various platforms, according to Podcast Insights. Podcasts come in all lengths, formats, and subjects imaginable — and maybe even some you’ve never thought about.

But doing a podcast well and gaining a steady audience require a little more than you and your beer buddy hanging out in your basement with a microphone and recording device. How to best break through and get noticed? Continue reading

AHCJ selects second class of International Health Study Fellows

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.

The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded its AHCJ International Health Study Fellowships to four journalists who intend to pursue significant projects in the first half of 2020. The program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is meant to help veteran U.S.-based journalists compare elements of the U.S. health system with those of other countries.

The program for mid-career journalists is intended to give print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to study how one element of the U.S. health care system is handled in another country and to report on the differences. Fellows will interview patients, health care providers and policymakers in the United States and abroad.

Continue reading 

Expert panel tackles elder abuse at workshop on aging — part one

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.

It’s hard to fathom how someone could abuse a vulnerable older person, especially a family member. Unfortunately, elder abuse is growing – by some estimates, one in 10 Americans 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Funding needs to increase at the federal, state, and local levels to address the causes, consequences and solutions to this issue. As a society, we need to come to terms with this challenge and do a better job of taking care of our elderly population, according to panelists at AHCJ’s October workshop on aging and health in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Veteran reporter offers tips to keep yourself safe covering wildfires

Cheryl Clark

About Cheryl Clark

Cheryl Clark (@CherClarHealth) is AHCJ's core topic leader for patient safety, a MedPage Today contributor and inewsource.org investigative journalist. For most of 27 years, she covered medicine and science for the San Diego Union-Tribune. After taking a buyout in 2008, she became senior quality editor for HealthLeaders Media.

Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA via Flickr

So you’re working away — perhaps at home — on a story about vaping or high prescription costs or results from a new clinical trial, not paying much attention to the news. All of a sudden your editor calls to tell you that winds have stoked a grass fire that’s now raging and headed your way. Your editor wants you to jump on it. All the other reporters are out covering other blazes or emergencies.

But you’re a health reporter, not a fire reporter! What do you know about covering this stuff? And oh, by the way, an hour later, you learn you’re going to have to evacuate your family and precious belongings from your own home as well. Continue reading