AHCJ cancels next month’s annual conference

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Due to safety concerns and travel limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists has been canceled. Health Journalism 2020 was originally scheduled for April 30-May 3.

AHCJ is trying to work with the conference hotel, the JW Marriott in Austin, to determine if there is another set of dates later in the year that might work.

“This was a difficult decision,” said Executive Director Len Bruzzese. “The acceleration of the virus reach and an increase in state of emergency declarations across the country meant more and more attendees and speakers could not – or should not – travel. AHCJ did not want to be in a position of placing people in danger.” Continue reading

Panelists advise journalists on how to vet specialists as COVID-19 sources

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.

Webcast Journalists racing to cover the unfolding COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. should carefully vet sources they are quoting to minimize misinformation, two infectious disease experts a journalist told AHCJ members this week.

It’s particularly easy for broadcast and social media to inadvertently amplify the voices of people who may not be experts on COVID-19. That makes it harder for the public to decide how best to protect themselves and their families from contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-19. Continue reading

During COVID-19 pandemonium, be sure to vet your sources for the right expertise

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.

Eric Feigl-Ding

Eric Feigl-Ding

By now, just about every health reporter on the planet probably has written at least one story about the novel coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19. With such a fast-moving story and an audience hungry for accurate information, there is a constant need for finding high-quality sources who can speak to precisely to your subject. Continue reading

How to monitor the effects of insurance mergers

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.

InsuranceCompetition

Photo: Tyler via Flickr

When the American Medical Association publishes its next report on competition among health insurers, notice if Georgia makes into the top 10 among states with the least-competitive health insurance markets.

In the latest AMA report on competition, “The 2019 update to Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets, Georgia had an overall score of 2,284, meaning the market for health insurers was below the highly concentrated level of 2,500 under the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index (HHI).

Continue reading

Drug companies ramp up development of COVID-19 prevention and treatment products

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.

COVID-19

Photo: NIAID-RML via FlickrAn electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 — also known as 2019-nCoV — which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

With the number of COVID-19 cases expanding exponentially, the story about the potential for treatments and vaccines remains a top priority. So does the story of drug pricing.

At a March 5 media briefing on Capitol Hill, biopharmaceutical company executives updated legislaters on potential medical countermeasures for stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

One of the most promising drugs is remdesivir, an antiviral under development by biotech company Gilead Sciences. Continue reading

Oregon considers expanding use of mid-level dental providers

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Oregon considers expanding use of mid-level dental providers

Photo: TheKarenD via Flickr

Dental therapists began serving tribal communities in Oregon under a pilot program in 2016. Late last year, the state’s health authority approved another pilot, based at Pacific University, that is soon set to begin educating a small cohort of new therapists.

Now a state senator is backing legislation that would allow the mid-level dental providers, often compared to physician’s assistants, to work throughout the state. Continue reading