As 2011 unfolds, I’d like to share some of my favorite health journalism – some but not all of it policy-related – from 2010. This is definitely not a best-of list, but rather journalism that can inspire and teach us. Here are my first five picks, and below are my second five, in no particular order of importance. Do you have other recommendations for must-read health journalism from last year? Share it in the comments below.
As 2011 unfolds, I’d like to share some of my favorite health journalism – much but not all of it policy-related – from 2010. This is definitely not a best-of list, but rather journalism that can inspire and teach us.
Here are my first five picks, in no particular order of importance. I’ll share the next five next week.
Last week, I posted the first part of my conversation with Dr. Neel Shah, founder and director of Costs of Care, a nonprofit that urges doctors to consider how their treatment decisions affect patients’ pocketbooks and develops tools to help them do so. Shah shares his thoughts on current news coverage of health care costs and offers some story ideas.
When it comes to talking about America’s rising health care costs, many fingers have been pointed at pharmaceutical companies, malpractice lawyers, health insurers and patients themselves. Dr. Neel Shah wants another group to start thinking about its own role in driving up health costs - rank and file doctors. Physicians simply aren’t trained to think about how the treatment decisions they make affect what patients are going to pay.
Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News and Sarah Varney of KQED Public Radio recently collaborated on a project examining what some hospitals’ newfound market power means for health insurance costs – and your pocketbook. You can find Varney’s piece here and Rau’s story here.
Health reform may go under the knife when Republicans take control of Congress in January – but reform-related scams likely will remain alive and well. Here are some resources for reporting on these scams should they crop up in your community.
I was all set to write this post about how journalists could mine the burgeoning field of “health impact assessments” for stories when I noticed that Melissa Sweet of the excellent Croakey health policy blog already had written a great post on the topic. Drat.
Fortunately, Melissa was writing for Australians, so I still can add my two cents.
The recent debate over CT lung cancer screening for heavy smokers is a great example of how big the stakes can be when reporting on medical screening, and how important it is to get the story right. Remember last year’s furious arguments over the merits of breast cancer screening mammograms for women under 50?
For those who have followed the healthcare reform debate from inception to legislation, it often seemed as though there was more misinformation and fear-mongering circulating in the public domain than accurate details.
And with Tuesday's election handing control of the House to Republicans, the divide over healthcare reform — which seems, at times, straight down party lines — will only get more pronounced, leading to the inevitable question: what will become of the healthcare reform bill before it takes effect in 2014?