In April, Anna Wolfe, who covers health care for the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, started reporting on what appeared to be staggeringly high bills for using the emergency room at the Batson Children’s Hospital, in Jackson. The hospital is part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the only academic medical center in the state.
Parents who brought their children to the ER were being charged thousands of dollars in unreasonable emergency room facility fees that do not match the level of care received, Wolfe reports. Since that article was published April 15, Wolfe has continued to cover the complex ways the hospital calculates its charges. In the bills Wolfe reviewed, the hospital adds facility fees for ER visits, fees that are based on the level of care administered. Continue reading →
Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.
If you are like me, you’ve noticed a steady increase this year of press releases announcing deals between ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft and hospitals.
Ridesharing for medical appointments is being tested at hospitals all around the country. At HIMSS18, the leading health IT conference, held in Las Vegas in March, both Uber and Lyft had significant presences and unveiled new initiatives and partnerships in the health care space. Continue reading →
Jeff Porter is the special projects director 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.
Hospital inspection records from this year have been added to the searchable HospitalInspections.org website. The site, created and run by the Association of Health Care Journalists, now has 29,428 records of hospital inspection results, covering from January 2011 into March 2018. Most of the records include a detailed report on each deficiency found in hospitals.
The site uses a file from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site, open to the public, allows searches by keyword, city, state and hospital name.
Rachel Crosby, a metro reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reviewed her Twitter feed from her coverage of the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas as part of her talk for Health Journalism 2018. The panel, “Finding organization in the chaos of mass violence,” offered a look at how journalists and health systems prepare and respond to mass tragedies.
Reporters everywhere increasingly must cover mass violence and other chaotic situations, and should make a plan before any news erupts, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Rachel Crosby told attendees at Health Journalism 2018.
Whether it’s a mass shooting, disease outbreak, natural disaster or other major event – take time now to figure out how your newsroom would report on it and how you can be best prepared, Crosby, a former crime reporter now on the metro desk, said at AHCJ’s annual conference in Phoenix. Continue reading →
When reviewing just about any hospital bill today, it’s difficult to imagine that hospitals were founded to provide care for the poor. “Hospitals in the United States emerged from institutions, notably almshouses, that provided care and custody for the ailing poor,” says America’s Essential Hospitals, an association of hospitals and health systems dedicated to providing high-quality care for all, including the vulnerable. “Rooted in this tradition of charity, the public hospital traces its ancestry to the development of cities and community efforts to shelter and care for the chronically ill, deprived, and disabled.” Continue reading →