Tag Archives: galewitz

New AHCJ board seated for 2012-13

Scott Hensley, NPR’s Shots blog writer and editor, joins five incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2012-13 board of directors.

Scott Hensley
Scott Hensley

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include AHCJ Secretary Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News; AHCJ Treasurer Ivan Oransky, M.D., Reuters Health; Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News; Andy Miller, Georgia Health News; and Irene Wielawski, independent journalist. Immediate Past President Trudy Lieberman, a longtime board member and contributing editor for Columbia Journalism Review, chose not to run for re-election.

Hensley has served on AHCJ’s membership committee since 2009 and helped refine its membership rules. Longtime Covering Health readers will remember that Hensley contributed to this blog for several months in 2009.

Before joining NPR in the summer of 2009, he was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog after several years of print reporting for the Journal and previously a reporter at Modern Healthcare and American Banker.

The newly seated board members join those elected last year for two-year terms: AHCJ President Charles Ornstein, ProPublica; Vice President Karl Stark, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Felice Freyer, The Providence Journal; Gideon Gil, The Boston Globe; Carla K. Johnson, The Associated Press; and Maryn McKenna, independent journalist.

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. AHCJ is housed at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Healthcare.gov coming July 1

KHN’s Phil Galewitz previews the July 1 launch of a federal website he says “will give consumers a list of all private and government health care plans for individuals and small businesses in their areas,” a service required by the reform bill, and one that has never before been part of the modern system.

The initial site will just provide basic information on each plan, but a planned October upgrade will include what Galewitz called “detailed cost and benefits information,” the precise nature of which is still being negotiated. Insurance groups, predictably, say that sharing all the information HHS plans to provide will just lead to confusion and higher costs. Consumer groups disagree.

Insurers including UnitedHealthcare and Aetna say HHS is going too far in planning to list certain data, such as the percent of claims that health plans deny, the rate at which they cancel policies after customers get sick and the number of times patients appeal coverage decisions. They say the data would mislead potential customers.

The site can “be the great equalizer so consumers can have equal access to information and be on the same playing field as insurance companies,” says Elisabeth Benjamin, co-founder of Health Care for All New York, a consumer health care coalition. “The government needs to make the information as open as possible.”

Until 2014, when stricter provisions of the reform bill go into effect and such practices are no longer permitted, the site will list only the “sticker prices” of the plans, and insurers will still be allowed to charge sicker patients more.

Galewitz takes job with Kaiser Health News

Phil Galewitz, a health writer at The Palm Beach Post, will join Kaiser Health News as a correspondent on June 15.



“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a team of highly talented and experienced health journalists,” Galewitz says.

Galewitz, a member of AHCJ’s board of directors, is editor of the organization’s newsletter, HealthBeat.

He joins fellow AHCJ board member Julie Appleby, who covers the health care industry, state and national efforts to change the U.S. health system, ways that consumers and employers try to deal with rising costs and other topics.

In 2004-05, Galewitz was a Kaiser Media Fellow and spent the year researching and writing about community solutions to the uninsured. He has been a national health writer with The Associated Press and worked a health writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has contributed to several national magazines, including Self, Redbook and Glamour. Galewitz has won a number of awards for his work.

Kaiser Health News is a new, independent news service that will provide coverage of health policy issues. It is funded by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.