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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

William Heisel, former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes about investigative health reporting. He is currently the director of global engagement at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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Hiding causes of death can become a major hurdle in getting accurate reads on health problems. Calling suicides something else on death certificates or striking the word “suicide” from the public record will have a similar effect.

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Spending money to track hospital-acquired infections and complications could save money in the long run.

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When the country's top patient-safety advocates went to address U.S. senators in July, only three out of nearly two dozen committee members bothered to attend. The no-shows missed urgent testimony and tragic stories of deaths that should've been prevented.

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Can doctors learn to use patients’ newly available consumer data to improve care while maintaining a bedside manner that effectively communicates the steps a patient should take to realize a healthier future? It's a delicate challenge.

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Futuristic data-mining experiments could give providers new ways of preventing health problems. But the latest digital tools won't lessen the importance of good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations with one's doctor.

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Will the increasing use of consumer data in health care create new exclusions and disparities or lead to a future of better care and better health outcomes? A new report outlines the risks and promises of this brave new health care world.

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Facebook's study on emotions ignited a flurry of criticism. But were the Facebook users involved really unsuspecting? Sacrificing a little privacy for answers to social science and health questions isn't a terrible tradeoff. Companies just need to communicate better.

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We have no problem opting-in to privacy policies from iTunes or Angry Birds, and yet many express unease at the idea of hospitals using our data to intervene in our health care. Do health providers just need better incentives to get people to share?

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Imagine a future where you get a call from your doctor when you stop going to the gym or buy too many candy bars. Some hospitals have already started using predictive analytics to avoid bad health outcomes. But what's at stake for patients?

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Can health insurance premiums actually be too low? Veteran reporter Jordan Rau's recent piece for The Atlantic investigates that very question, and in doing so, provides a master class in reporting on health insurance markets in a post-reform world.

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