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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

Medicare tries to improve health care by paying for quality

Medicare made a huge step forward this week in announcing that it would no longer pay for health care without taking into account whether the care was any good. The move could dramatically accelerate changes to how we pay for health care in this country.

Well Sourced: Strengthen your health reporting by using discharge data

Learning how to locate and use patient discharge data will make your reporting stronger and provide you with objective evidence for evaluating hospitals' claims. Such data can also lead to new story threads. Here's a quick-start guide.

Well Sourced: How to analyze health facility data to find local trends

A recent Sac Bee investigation revealed disturbingly high staff turnover rates at a number of California nursing homes. You can discover similar trends by learning how to navigate the data in California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and similar agencies nationwide.

A Public Death: Will Rivers’ death be the exception to the patient safety rule?

Every time someone famous dies after a medical error, hopes rise that we will see a meaningful response that will improve patient safety conditions. Joan Rivers' death has, in an incredibly quick time frame, led to some significant consequences for those involved.

Bedside Manners: How do we get the worst physician groups to improve?

In California, the range of physician performance is surprisingly wide, according to a recent survey that ranked groups on a 100-point scale. More than 40 physician groups scored below 60. Where might we find insights into how to help these low-performers improve?

Bedside Manners: Should we score doctors the way we score quarterbacks?

A recent California survey found that even the highest-rated provider group received only a C+ rating from its patients. Does this reveal deep flaws in the way care is delivered or have patients come to expect too much from health care providers?

Bedside Manners: In California, even the best doctors leave one-quarter unhappy

Health care providers aren't perfect. None of us are. But in a recent report on patient experiences, California physician groups were assigned a rating on a scale of 0 to 100. Not one group managed to score in the 80s or 90s. What's going on here?

Three deaths from past year that spotlight ongoing health problems

Three high-profile deaths that occurred over the past year are worth noting as reminders of the larger topics that should be top of mind for health writers.

Bedside Manners: Lessons from Consumer Reports patient safety survey

A good friend of mine recently underwent a significant surgery. Several weeks out, he was still experiencing some negative side effects. When he asked the surgeon about it, he didn’t get much more than a blank stare.

Deer hunts, juvenile halls and healing: My favorite health stories of 2014 (Part 2)

Contributing editor William Heisel shares a few of his favorite health stories from the past year in the second of two posts.



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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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