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As part of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.
Carsten Koall/Getty Images Interventions that head off medical costs can be deceptively simple.
When it comes to "super-utilizers," improving health and saving money is the only measure of success for many in the industry. Some programs have achieved those twin objectives, but some wonder if that bar is too high for a group of patients who've often endured decades of poverty and trauma.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images Proper care for certain patients could save $300 billion annually, says consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
The idea is simple: Health care providers leave the exam room and spend more time developing relationships with patients in their kitchens and living rooms. But can such an approach actually keep chronically ill patients from landing in the hospital over and over again?
Jodi Hilton/Getty Images Dr. Seth Berkowitz at Massachusetts General Hospital is piloting a program that he thinks just might work for his diabetic patients. As part of the program, patients have medically tailored meals delivered to their homes.
Can the American health care system save money and improve health by spending more on social services for the most expensive patients, the so-called super-utilizers? It sounds like a promising approach, but as Marketplace's Dan Gorenstein reports, the challenges are fierce.
Juana Garcia, 49, watches as volunteers Donna Johnson, 72, center, and Ruben Perez, 68, deliver non-potable water to barrels on her back porch in East Porterville, California on June 4, 2015. Garcia, who suffers from lupus and arthritis, has difficulty lifting heavy objects and making the 15 minute walk with her children to a local church for showers several times a week. | SILVIA FLORES sflores@fresnobee.com
Nearly a year and a half after the Central Valley town of East Porterville reported its first dry well, residents and experts say not having running water and breathing increasingly dusty air is worsening their pre-existing health issues and contributing to the development of new ones.
In recent years, Fresno County has seen an alarming number of new HIV and AIDS cases. Among the concerns: More young people are becoming infected, programs that had been helping patients for decades have had their budgets slashed, and many people aren't receiving treatment.
Bishop Jaime Soto of the Sacramento Catholic Diocese waits to speak at a Sacramento County supervisors workshop held to consider options for restoring healthcare assistance to immigrants in the country illegally. (Lezlie Sterling)
Facing a $55-million deficit during the Great Recession, Sacramento County officials made a choice: To save money, they would close their free health clinics to people who entered the country illegally. Six years later, they want to reverse that decision.
SHAWN ROCCO / DUKE MEDICINE PHOTOGRAPHY William Thorpe, 64, left, speaks with Dr. Michael Lipkin, a urology specialist from Duke, after a prostate examination during the Mens' Health Day at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham in September 2014.
While North Carolina has some of the nation’s worst rates of prostate cancer among black men, it also has some of the country’s best intellectual resources to fight the disease.
Sujey Becerra, an uninsured immigrant living in San Bernardino County, was unable to pay for the removal of ovarian cysts and now lives in constant pain after emergency surgery. She's shown with her sons Alexandre, 10, left, and Gonzalo Cervantes, 16. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
For uninsured California immigrants, which side of a county line they live can significantly affect the care available when they're sick. And Obamacare reforms are complicating choices for local officials as they consider what, if any, healthcare should be provided for the remaining uninsured.
Portrait of Juan España Jr., 16, at his home in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, May 31, 2015. Every two weeks for the past five years, 16-year-old Juan España Jr. s family in San Jose must drive him to Los Angeles to receive a special day-long dialysis-like treatment that cleans his blood of high levels of LDL cholesterol. There are no facilities in the Bay Area that can treat him and will accept his Medi-Cal plan. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group) (Josie Lepe)
Some state lawmakers are trying help Californians by expanding the number of Medi-Cal providers following the explosive growth of the state's health plan for the poor under the Affordable Care Act. California's Medicaid program now serves almost a third of the state's population.
Walter Shearin talks with his customers about prostate cancer at his store, Walt's Diversity Barber Shop, in Roanoke Rapids.
Using barbershops as channels for reaching black men with health information is a proven public health technique, one funded by government grants and charities in parts of North Carolina.

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