Listen up: AHCJ compiles list of health-related podcasts

Cynthia Craft

About Cynthia Craft

Cynthia Craft (@cynthiahcraft) is the director of engagement for AHCJ, joining the organization after an extensive career in daily journalism, including a decade on the health care beat. Craft most recently worked as a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee, having also worked for the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Times Herald and the California Journal.

The universe of podcasts is expanding, with a growing array of choices for health and science journalists eager to absorb new topics, inspiration and trends in storytelling.

Some podcasts focus on a single topic, unfolding a dramatic storyline in a series that has already debuted but is timeless and still worth listening to.

Others are up-to-date with new episodes being produced on a regular basis. Continue reading

IG report: Some states fall short on oversight of surgery centers

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: Hospital UTPL via Flickr

Here’s a somewhat worrisome report from the Office of Inspector General.  Some two-thirds of the ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in the nation are supposed to be surveyed for quality and safety issues by their state health agency, according to Medicare rules. But a troubling number of states seem to be ignoring their responsibility.

Since Medicare reimburses ASCs for certain approved procedures — including some that carry higher risks for complications — federal officials have set requirements for how often and how extensively those state agencies are supposed to inspect those facilities.  One could argue, and many have, that stricter standards should be put into place, but this report is just about the compliance of the ones that do exist. Continue reading

Fellows chosen for 2019 National Cancer Reporting Fellowships

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.

Ten journalists have been chosen for the 2019 class of the National Cancer Reporting Fellowships. AHCJ will be presenting the fellowships with expertise from the National Cancer Institute and others. The program is being supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The fellows will spend four days on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to increase their understanding of and ability to report accurately on complex scientific findings, provide insight into the work of cancer researchers and to better localize cancer-related stories.

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Could financial conflicts be influencing cancer care guidelines?

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: Hloom Templates via Flickr

Physicians in all fields of medicine rely on guidelines developed by professional medical organizations to inform how they care for patients. These guidelines, whether defining what counts as hypertension or laying out how best to care for pregnant women, constitute the standard of care in that particular field. To call them influential is a huge understatement.

Since most of these guidelines discuss treatments, it’s reasonable to pay attention to whether those writing the guidelines might have a bias for or against a particular treatment that’s not based on evidence. It’s impossible to be certain of this for all guideline authors, but ensuring they aren’t receiving big checks from industry is one way to guard against bias. Continue reading

Impairment in mid-life raises risk of hospitalization and death

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: Anne Worner via Flickr

Adults in their 50s and 60s who have trouble with basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing and dressing are more likely to be hospitalized or end up in a nursing home compared with unimpaired adults the same age, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Factors such as chronic disease, depression and obesity can contribute to functional impairment; intervention strategies are needed to prevent adverse outcomes and delay struggles with daily activities that affect health and quality of life. Continue reading

Health is on the agenda at UN Week

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: United NationsTijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks at the high-level meeting on universal health coverage.

Welcome to UN Week in New York City … when savvy residents know better than to venture anywhere near the east side, avoid driving (or cabbing) below 50th Street and that the quickest way to get anywhere is by subway or on foot. Gridlock disaster doesn’t begin to describe it.

It’s a time when global leaders come together to talk about mutually important issues, like climate change (check out Greta Thunberg’s speech), trade, war and peace and world health.

A high-level meeting on universal health coverage, “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World,” brought together heads of state, political and health leaders, policymakers and universal health coverage champions on Monday to advocate for health for all. Continue reading