It’s Sunshine Week!
This annual celebration of access to public information offers seven days packed with panel discussions, workshops and special reporting efforts, organized by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee, which also advocates for transparency and access to information, is joining this year’s celebration with a weeklong series of blog posts to bolster your efforts to get the facts. Continue reading
One journalist’s deep-dive reporting paid off when she made it to an airport just in time to witness U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price leaving a gold-colored private jet. The ensuing stories revealed Price’s penchant for luxury travel at taxpayer expense and led to his resignation.
A pair of print and television journalists teamed up to uncover how Congressional deal-making torpedoed an opioid crackdown by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Because of their coverage, Rep. Tom Marino, who had championed the deal in Congress, withdrew his name as President Trump’s nominee for U.S. drug czar.
They are among five reporters – experts in prying news out of federal health agencies – who will share their stories and offer advice at Health Journalism 2018, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Phoenix. Continue reading
When newly installed Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar held one of his first meetings with the media on Feb. 8, only three reporters were invited. They got a sneak peek at drug price provisions contained in President Trump’s budget, while other reporters had to wait days to get questions answered.
The topic – tackling the cost of pharmaceuticals – was one of Azar’s signature issues, but he chose to discuss it only with the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Daily Caller. Continue reading
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services threatened to ban a reporter from participating in the federal agency’s telephone news conferences after he refused to delete three sentences from a published story that apparently had rankled CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The reporter — Virgil Dickson, Washington bureau chief for Modern Healthcare — believed the agency was making good on its threat on Thursday when, he said, his phone went mute during a CMS press call and a woman’s voice told him he was not allowed to participate. An editor later confirmed with CMS officials that he had been banned from press calls, Dickson said. Continue reading
When the federal government in June began to post a series of maps that showed how many health insurers would participate in the marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act, reporters quickly noted that one key element was missing from the posts: the data.
Health care journalists across the country sent inquiries to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the numbers behind the weekly health insurance coverage maps, which projected how many insurers would make options available, county-by-county, for 2018. Continue reading
Media officers for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have promised to make top HHS officials available to answer reporters’ questions, after AHCJ President Ivan Oransky, M.D., called for a press conference with the HHS secretary and the administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“We’re looking at ways to make our officials more available in multiple settings,” said Mark Weber, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for human services. “It might not be a press conference but a series of venues.”