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health policy

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When it comes to talking about America’s rising health care costs, many fingers have been pointed at pharmaceutical companies, malpractice lawyers, health insurers and patients themselves. Dr. Neel Shah wants another group to start thinking about its own role in driving up health costs - rank and file doctors. Physicians simply aren’t trained to think about how the treatment decisions they make affect what patients are going to pay.

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I was all set to write this post about how journalists could mine the burgeoning field of “health impact assessments” for stories when I noticed that Melissa Sweet of the excellent Croakey health policy blog already had written a great post on the topic. Drat.

Fortunately, Melissa was writing for Australians, so I still can add my two cents.

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Gov. Joe Manchin's support for federal health-care reform has come under attack as Republicans try to tie the U.S. Senate hopeful to President Obama, but those who have worked with the Democratic governor on state health issues say a closer look at his time in office reveals a fiscally conservative record with mixed results.

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Here's what we're reading and listening to today:

Prison Health: In our online chat TODAY at 11 a.m. PST., get tips on covering prison health from KPCC’s Julie Small, whose “Prison Affliction” investigation has been airing this week.

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Peter Harbage is president and founder of Harbage & Associates, a health care consulting firm with a client list that includes the California Department of Insurance, the New America Foundation and the Institute for Health Policy Solutions. He has more than a decade of experience in health care policy, most recently as a top health care advisor to Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C. He also has served as assistant secretary of health for the state of California, managing health insurance coverage programs for low-income and working families.

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Rural adults are older, sicker, less educated, less well paid and less likely to have health insurance than their city counterparts. Here are some great tips for covering rural health issues — and avoiding common misconceptions — from veteran health journalist and journalism professor Patricia



U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.


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