The Association of Health Care Journalists today unveiled hospitalfinances.org, a website that offers free, searchable financial information on nonprofit hospitals across the United States.
The aim is to make nonprofit hospital finances easier to access, search and analyze. This effort follows years of training by AHCJ to encourage journalists and the public to use nonprofit hospital filings and learn more about hospitals. Continue reading
Two top freelancers at Health Journalism 2018 – Linda Marsa and Heather Boerner – and attorney Ruth Carter offered a series of great tips to help you start thinking of your freelance work as a real business … and make it pay like one.
Marsa kicked off the session, “Unleash your inner entrepreneur,” with advice about getting a good mix of work, and getting paid for it: Continue reading
Beth Kutscher, a Modern Healthcare reporter who recently become the publication’s California bureau chief, has covered health care finance for several years, with a particular focus on for-profit health care.
During her 2015 AHCJ Reporting Fellowship on Health Care Performance, she looked at the impact Medicaid expansion had on hospital finances. And she spent some time reporting on how not-for-profit hospitals have to give back to their communities to justify their tax exempt status.
That’s often through providing charity care or training physicians – but some hospitals are addressing different community needs. One San Francisco hospital, for instance, supports a program that escorts kids after school through a gang-ridden neighborhood, enhancing both their physical safety and their stress levels.
Find out more about how Kutscher explored this topic, and what she learned from it, in her How I Did It essay.
Aging. We all do it; some better than others.
Why do some people keep going strong into their 90s and beyond, while others become frail, infirm, or lose cognitive ability while still a “young-old?” To report on aging is to open a Pandora’s box of related issues, from care delivery to policy matters; insurance, finance, housing, nutrition, family relationships, technology … you name it and chances are there’s a story angle on aging. Continue reading
Most policymakers and experts agree the U.S. needs to do a better job of addressing the rising demand for long-term care services and supports for our senior population. But how? That was one of the key questions at the annual Gerontological Society of America Conference, last month in New Orleans.
As our aging population increases and health care shifts towards an aging-in-place approach, long term care issues become increasingly important. According to USA Today, some 70 percent of seniors will need help with care at some point. How much and when depends on many related factors – chronic disease management, socioeconomics, access to care, housing, age-friendly neighborhoods, caregiving, prevention, transportation, cognitive function, frailty, quality of life, provider reimbursement and of course, cost of care. There are dozens of angles for journalists to pursue.
Should we leave it up to private insurers? Create a new entitlement? Form some type of hybrid? How should it be regulated, if at all?
While The CLASS Act would have addressed many of these questions, it was sacrificed in the final version of the Affordable Care Act. So, what now? Wally Roberts, who attended the GSA conference, developed this tip sheet that highlights why some private insurance consultants don’t see long-term care insurance as a viable option and what happens after the bipartisan Federal Commission on Long Term Care – whose mandate was to come up with a replacement plan – couldn’t come to consensus on how to pay for it.
Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit investigative journalism team, recently published a two-part series on hospitals based on financial data obtained for every hospital in the state. As reporter Clifton Adcock writes in an article for AHCJ, the series revealed that between half and three-fourths of small general hospitals in Oklahoma were losing money, and that hospitals had spent only small fractions of their net patient revenues on charity care.
Hospitals get “disproportionate-share” (DSH) payments from the federal government to help cover costs for treating the indigent. Because Oklahoma was not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, hospital groups said they expected to take a big financial hit from the law’s cuts to DSH payments. Oklahoma Watch wanted to see how much they relied on such payments. Continue reading