Tag Archives: public radio

Hoban compares N.C. mental health system to other states

WUNC’s Rose Hoban took advantage of an AHCJ fellowship to create far-reaching series on what state and local governments are doing to accommodate and treat residents with mental health disorders, particularly in terms of housing.

Rose Hoban

Rose Hoban

I recommend you start with Hoban’s honest and personal explanation of how the series came about. It was facilitated by an AHCJ Media Fellowship on Health Performance, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, but the initial impetus came from Hoban’s 12 years of nursing experience and firsthand experiences with treatment models for the mentally ill.

Her original plan for the fellowship, which called for a broad, systemic analysis, was to compare North Carolina’s health system to that of a an equivalent state elsewhere in the country. As she soon found, it’s not that simple.

… as I started digging, I learned that’s just not possible. States have so many varied ways of organizing mental health care delivery – Local-control or state-control? Combine with substance abuse services and developmental disabilities or not? Pull in lots of federal dollars or depend on state dollars? Rely on institutions or more on community-based services?

On top of that, states have many ways of paying for mental health services – Medicaid? State dollars? County dollars? Private dollars? Public-private-partnerships? Tax dollars? Insurance dollars? Fees?

With the insight provided by that false start, Hoban recalibrated by choosing to compare specific components of the North Carolina system with those of other relevant states. The results, along with some relevant past work and original blog posts, are available on Hoban’s NC Voices: Mental Health Disorder blog.

The centerpiece, a five-part radio series focusing on housing issues for those with mental health problems, aired on North Carolina Public Radio. The links below will take you to stories, transcripts and blog posts.

How the system rewards end-of-life intervention

Caitlan Carroll of American Public Media’s Marketplace tries to explain why, even though “80 percent of patients say they don’t want to be hospitalized or given intensive care during the last phase of their lives,” so many people get intensive medical intervention at the end anyway.

In the end, Carroll finds that family and friends don’t want to lose a loved one, doctors don’t want to lose a patient, and doctors aren’t compensated for hospice and palliative care the same way they are for aggressive intervention.

Carroll’s report is the first installment of a two-part series funded by a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship.

MPR builds health-reform impact calculator

As part of her series on the effects of health care reform on small businesses, Minnesota Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stawicki and Bob Collins created an online calculator/quiz for employers wondering if reforms will apply to them.minnesotapublicradio It’s a simple way to use the Web to personalize health care reform and test the effects of reform.

Tip: If you’re just looking to put the tool through its paces, try the “will you be assessed under pay or play” option. It’s the most fully realized of the four.

Series on drug sales wins national Murrow award

AHCJ member Kelley Weiss of Capital Public Radio in Sacramento has won a national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. The awards recognize excellence in electronic journalism.

Kelley Weiss

Kelley Weiss

Weiss was honored in the investigative category for her series about the hidden world of illegal prescription drugs sold at swap meets and botanicas.

Weiss won first place in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for the same piece. She also was a member of the inaugural class of AHCJ’s Midwest Health Journalism Program Fellows. (Applications currently being accepted for the next class.)