Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Although incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election, two have decided not to run again this year.
Health journalists across the country have been reading ProPublica’s accounts of the lengths to which hospitals pursue low-income patients for payment.
Earlier this year, ProPublica revealed that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., had filed thousands of lawsuits against patients, including its own employees.
In the latest dispatch about medical debt, ProPublica reports that “thousands of people are jailed each year for failing to appear in court for unpaid bills,” citing a court in Coffeyville, Kan., “where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.”
Drawn by an influential lineup of speakers and panels – plus an intriguing offering of field trips – more than 800 conference-goers helped make AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2019 in Baltimore a record-setter in attendance.
In AHCJ’s 20 years of annual conferences, the increase in attendance has mirrored the public’s level of interest in health news and need for clear, accurate health care reporting. Today, health-care pocketbook issues, partisan politics and worrisome matters such as the re-emergence of measles and stubborn drug dependence epidemics are seen as topics likely to be front and center in upcoming elections.
From May 2 to May 5, health journalists attended more than 60 panels, including a carefully curated lineup guiding independent journalists toward success and informative sessions on how to cover aspects of the scientific revolution of genetics.
The Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring a seminar for reporters on covering suicide on Tuesday, in what the lead organizer described as an effort by HHS media officials to engage with journalists in new ways.
Mark Weber, the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, said that media officials often interact with reporters in what he called “ATM transactions” – communicating only when one needs something from the other. Continue reading
AHCJ has strengthened its ethical standards on funding for the annual conference, enhancing the ethics code established at our inception 20 years ago to guard against undue influence by outside groups or the perception of such influence.
One of the biggest challenges of covering rural America – including its health issues – is one that plagues journalism at large: cost and access.
One Texas media outlet is taking direct aim at the challenge with a new infusion of funding, according to Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan.
The Emerson Collective, a group founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has given the Texas Observer enough funding to boost its coverage of rural issues, including a full-time reporter supplemented by a network of freelancers, Sullivan wrote earlier this month. Continue reading