Biotechmedia.com bills itself as a “marketing resource site for the medical, pharmaceutical, biotech and veterinary industries,” but AHCJ member Eileen Beal points out that it’s also a fantastic reference for freelancers. On the site, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of health-related trade publications and journals, from “Cosmetic/Personal Care Packaging” to “Lab Automation & Robotics.” Savvy writers will see potential outlets everywhere on the page.
At the very least, the site’s worth a quick scan, if only to get a better impression of just how many health-related publications are out there. Biotechmedia’s descriptions of each publication tend toward “here’s how much you’d pay for a subscriber list,” but the links and titles alone are enough to broaden horizons and generate ideas.
The case for freelancing with trade publications
Health Journalism 2010 attendee L. Michael Posey, R.Ph., is editorial director of periodicals at the American Pharmacists Association, as well as a graduate student in the University of Georgia Health and Medical Journalism Program. On his blog, Oconee County Health Beat, Posey explains to journalists both why they should want to freelance for trade publications and how to go about doing so.
Directory of freelance health journalists – AHCJ members can be listed in this directory for free. Editors are encouraged to use it to find the right person for their assignment.
For The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., Hiran Ratnayake dug through more than 100 complaints filed last year against the state’s insurers for undue delays in payment. In them, he finds some key anecdotes and little hope that companies’ responses would speed up in the future.
State law requires that claims be paid within 30 days, and at least three insurers who do business in the state were handed significant fines for a “pattern of delays.” Ratnayake tells the stories of patients whose claims have been approved but who have made dozens of calls when their insurance companies don’t receive payment and other tactics that appear to be intended to delay payments.
Furthermore, Ratnayake quotes an expert who predicted that “delays will become more frequent as more people become insured under the [health care reform] act.” The act does not address prompt payment regulations, Ratnayake reports.
In addition to his local reporting, Ratnayake used HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ speech at Health Journalism 2010 to provide national context.
Sebelius said recently that the federal government would engage in “hand-to-hand combat” with health insurers over problems related to policyholders’ plans.
Prompted by Peter Pronovost’s keynote speech at Health Journalism 2010, The Oregonian‘s Joe Rojas-Burke has been digging through the data on hospital infection rates to be released in accordance with an Oregon law that went into effect last year. The final statewide reporting date comes later this month, but The Oregonian has early results for 11 local hospitals.
Peter Pronovost, M.D., delivers the keynote speech at Health Journalism 2010. (Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ)
As part of the story, Rojas-Burke profiled hospitals with particularly low infection rates, especially one which had joined the Stop BSI network championed by Pronovost last month at AHCJ’s conference in Chicago. AHCJ members can see a copy of Pronovost’s presentation here.
The story builds on several things Pronovost shared at the conference, including the program’s background and state-by-state participation statistics.
Other stories and blog posts related to Pronovost’s presentation:
AHCJ members can read more stories from the conference
A number of AHCJ members volunteered to write about Health Journalism 2010 for AHCJ.
Many others used information they learned at the conference to write stories for their own publications.
We’re in the process of compiling those reports, as well as photos and video from the conference. Visit our conference news page to read more about the event.
Video from Health Journalism 2010
- During a newsmaker briefing, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the role of health journalists in communicating about the H1N1 pandemic and health reform to the public.
- In a panel about “Guidelines for writing about preventive health guidelines,” Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., M.A.C.P., deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, acknowledged the difficulty of conveying changing guidelines.
Coverage from Health Journalism 2010