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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

Q&A: Reporter amasses evidence of dairies’ threat to water supply (Part 2)

Leah Beth Ward's sustained reporting in The Yakima Herald-Republic on the impacts of Washington’s dairy industry has helped spur important changes. In the second half of our Q&A, Ward discusses the reaction to her series, both from the industry and the broader community.

Q&A: Reporting uncovers hidden health threats to drinking water

The Yakima Herald-Republic has an august history of reporting on Washington's dairy industry and its effects on health. Contributor William Heisel interviews the paper's Leah Beth Ward about her reporting on the impacts of such dairies, which has helped prompt new court rulings.

Well Sourced: Find out when patients have been kicked to the curb

A federal law forbids hospitals from simply kicking their patients to the curb, a practice called patient dumping. Hospitals are required to treat patients who arrive at the ER. Here's how to check whether hospitals in your coverage area are violating the rules.

Well Sourced: IRS files help you X-ray health care finances

Even with all the changes in the health care landscape, there are still more not-for-profit hospitals in the U.S. than profit-driven organizations or government-run hospitals. Finding out information isn't always easy, but using IRS 990 forms can offer a powerful window into their workings.

Well Sourced: Why ‘MD’ doesn’t cover all the bases

Doctors usually train in a specialty, but they don’t have to practice in that specialty. And, in most states, they don’t have to tell you how they trained before they treat you. Records from medical specialty boards can help reporters figure out if doctors are board-certified and in which field.

Self-Interest: Medicare balks at tracking costly physician self-referrals

Medicare made more than $583 billion in payments in 2013. But, for one of the fastest rising areas of Medicare spending, the agency has no way of knowing whether all that money was spent wisely.

Self-Interest: Cost of physician self-referral could be better spent

The practice of physicians "self-referring" patients to facilities in which they or their families have a financial stake has dramatically increased in some specialties. The practice increases health costs for procedures and tests that are of questionable benefit to patients.

Self-Interest: More docs recommending care that benefits doctors and their families

A series of reports has found that physicians who "self-refer" are following their financial interests and not always the best interests of their patients. The trend is driving up health care costs and potentially putting patients at risk from unnecessary services.

Well Sourced: Find the history behind health care professionals

There are a range of agencies involved in licensing and disciplining the health care professionals who do the bulk of the work in clinics, hospitals, and other health care settings. Here's how to start tracking down records that can raise red flags and lead to compelling stories.

Well Sourced: State medical boards can illuminate shadowy practices

Every state has some agency that oversees the licensing of physicians. And in those files are dozens of stories you should be writing about. Here's how to start using licensing and discipline records to find story leads and strengthen your reporting.



We're looking for journalists who think big to apply for $2,000-$10,000 grants to report on health care reform, community health or vulnerable children, plus a 4 1/2 day training program. Click here for details.


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Reporting on Underserved Communities

How can journalists and foundations collaborate to deepen and improve reporting on underserved communities? Our USC Annenberg School of Journalism program in collaboration with The California Endowment, the Wyncote Foundation and Media Impact Funders, convened 75 leaders from both fields.

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