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A pilot-"cardiologist" is found to lack a medical degree, and more surprises from our Daily Briefing.

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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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Are mini-med health plans really such a bad option for low-wage workers? Answers and more from our Daily Briefing.

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Despite threats that skimpy Medicare payments would force doctors to drop seniors from their patient rolls, physicians still are seeing them in droves. Plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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Here’s what we’re checking out today:

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Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News and Sarah Varney of KQED Public Radio recently collaborated on a project examining what some hospitals’ newfound market power means for health insurance costs – and your pocketbook. You can find Varney’s piece here and Rau’s story here.

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Here’s what we’re checking out today:

Hospital Charges: BNET’s Ken Terry explains the complexities behind a new study showing “why some hospitals make the big bucks.” (Hint: It’s market power, not excellent care.)

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Here’s what we’re checking out today: Painkillers: Popular (and highly addictive) painkillers Darvon and Darvocet – prescribed to an estimated 10 million Americans in 2009 – will be pulled from the market because they have been linked to potentially fatal heart rhythm problems, reports Andrew Zajac for the Los Angeles Times.
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Here’s what we’re checking out today:

Rehab: Can the hallucinogen ibogaine help drug addicts kick the habit? Keegan Hamilton reviews the evidence on ThePitch. 

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Health reform may go under the knife when Republicans take control of Congress in January – but reform-related scams likely will remain alive and well. Here are some resources for reporting on these scams should they crop up in your community.

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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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