The Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of a new class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 12 journalists – supported through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust – will spend four days studying public health issues with experts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The AHCJ-directed fellowship program will include virtual presentations and discussions on COVID-19 issues, epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, chronic diseases, vaccines, influenza, opioids and other topics.
Reading the news about COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts in recent weeks, I learned that my home county of Barnstable (better known as Cape Cod) is the oldest in Massachusetts by residents’ age. The average age of the county’s 213,000 residents is 53.3 years — among the highest in the nation.
That fact helps explain why we see so many television advertisements for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans all day every day during certain times of the year.
Regardless of where these ads run, the problem for senior citizens is that the spots do not tell the whole story about MA. Like most advertisements, they highlight the good news and leave out the bad. Health care journalists have an essential role to play during enrollment season in reporting on how each eligible individual can choose the most appropriate Medicare coverage, despite the advice from aging celebrities on TV. Continue reading
The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance to five journalists who intend to pursue significant projects in 2021. The program, in its 11th year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.
The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.
Photo: GovernmentZA via FlickrSouth African officials inspect a shipment of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently estimates that ending the COVID-19 pandemic will require at least 70% of the world’s 7.8 billion population to have immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which may take until 2023 or longer given the logistical challenges of getting a vaccine from manufacturing plants into people’s arms around the world.
Wealthier nations have contracted with vaccine makers to buy more than half of the world’s COVID-19 vaccine supply of 8.2 billion doses as of mid-February, while less affluent countries have purchased only about 16 percent of the supply, according to Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center. Just 10 countries had administered 75 percent of all vaccine doses, and 130 countries hadn’t administered any doses, the WHO said. Continue reading
It’s still difficult for many eligible older adults in parts of the U.S. to get COVID-19 vaccination appointments. And that’s exactly what con artists are counting on.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) are warning the public — especially elders — about several fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Racial disparities are glaringly obvious when examining COVID-19 caseloads, hospitalizations and deaths. A new study in JAMA Open looks at how these inequalities in the general population may also be associated with differences in mortality among nursing home residents with a COVID-19 infection.
In a cross-sectional study of 13,312 U.S. nursing homes, University of Chicago researchers found that COVID-19 death counts were 3.3-fold higher in facilities with the highest proportions of non-white residents than in facilities with mostly white residents. This difference in mortality was associated with a combination of differences in facility characteristics and location. Continue reading