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Remaking Health Care

This column explores how health reform is changing the ways in which we pay for and deliver health care in the U.S. It also highlights the ways in which our current system is falling short on measures of coverage, access and affordability. On any given week, that could mean a look at how Republican plans to repeal Obamacare could reshape the individual insurance market, how the safety net system is adapting to new financial pressures, or how the trend of doctors and hospitals merging into ever-larger entities is driving up costs. We also explore health care costs and whether the Affordable Care Act or its successor plans can live up to the promise to rein them in. Throughout, we keep watch on how the goals of health reform intersect with the shaping power of markets and human behavior. Contributors include veteran health journalist Trudy Lieberman and independent health journalist Kellie Schmitt, with occasional contributions from independent journalists such as Susan Abram and Sara Stewart.

Picture of Steven Findlay
High levels of flux in the Obamacare exchanges make it a tough story to cover. Veteran observer Steven Findlay breaks down some of the key trends and offers reporters advice on how to make sense of the confusion.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
Everyone says health care needs more transparency when it comes to outcomes, but how might that work? And what's holding back efforts to improve care by shining more light on health care outcomes?
Picture of Trudy  Lieberman
At its core, l’affaire EpiPen is not about a single drug maker making sky’s-the-limit profits. It’s about how we pay for pharmaceuticals, how we contain price increases, and ultimately, who gets to use the drugs.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
Two rural health researchers from the University of Washington offer their take on how health reform has impacted rural communities, and point to new trends that could improve access and quality of care.
Picture of Trudy  Lieberman
The health insurance co-ops created under Obamacare have largely turned out to be a massive failure. How did so many co-ops run aground so quickly? A look at their short, troubled history.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

In covering the health care workforce beat, just reporting a simple number detailing the size of provider shortages or surpluses can be very misleading, explains researcher Susan Skillman in this tip sheet.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

“We expected to find a larger difference between plans on and off the exchange,” said researcher Simon Haeder. “In both cases, it was very unlikely to get an appointment.”

Picture of David Lansky

The goal of health care spending is to achieve good health results, and that requires measuring and rewarding success. Unfortunately, the measures likely to be used for the next stage of health reform won’t get us there.

Picture of Michael Millenson

Journalists can and should hold local hospitals accountable for matching a stated commitment to transparency with concrete actions. It's a difficult job, but here are some ways reporters can get started.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Leading health policy experts zeroed in on problems with the “pay for performance” health care model in our webinar this week. Here's why they say the program needs to "hit the refresh button," and how reporters can cover it.

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