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Los Angeles Times

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A judge this week rejected an attempt by the state of California to temporarily ban Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Now the ball is in the Medical Board of California’s court. The board rightly sought to use the criminal justice system first to stop Murray from practicing.

But few reporters picked up on the fact that the criminal system isn’t the only route.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

I’d like to believe that dangling financial incentives in front of medical groups and doctors shouldn’t influence the quality of my health care for better or worse.

But they apparently do exactly that, according to some intriguing new research on how financial incentives influenced health screenings and treatment for millions of patients at Kaiser Permanente, the giant HMO based in California.  

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

During its six-month pilot project, the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Reporting on Health at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quietly produced in-depth journalism with California newspapers. Now, the Center has gone public with a new website and high-profile hires, including editor-in-chief David Westphal.

Picture of William Heisel

The annual Association of Health Care Journalists conference has become indispensable in a way conferences never are.

Far from just an excuse to see old friends and drink too much, the AHCJ conference is always so packed with great speakers and workshops that writers find themselves wishing for a baby monitor they could set up in one session while they attend a different session down the hall.

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If the ProPublica experiment with nonprofit investigative journalism is teaching us anything, it is the importance of follow-through.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Health care reform, and the ideological, political and public health battles that surrounded it, reached a fever pitch in the media by the time the legislation reached the House of Representatives in March. Many members of ReportingonHealth were watching and chronicling these events closely. Here, a cross-section of reporters discusses their experience working on these complex stories.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Sorry, Jody Ranck. I’m giving up on NetVibes for right now and will stick to my Google and Yahoo readers.

Picture of Angilee Shah

On a Saturday morning, four people wait outside the front door of a converted mini-mall in Rosemead, CA. Ten minutes later -- the doors open exactly at 9 a.m. -- the two women and two men file into the lobby to sign in for their appointments at the Asian Pacific Family Center. The front desk is covered with pamphlets in the many languages of the significant Asian immigrant populations of the San Gabriel Valley. The clinic operates in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese. Cambodian Chiu Chow, Japanese and Korean, serving over 1,700 immigrant Asian Pacific outpatient families per year.

Picture of William Heisel

When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

Picture of William Heisel

Because of the intense media swarm around Michael Jackson’s death, it might have seemed inevitable that the physician who administered the fatal dose of anesthesia to the pop singer would be charged with a crime.

But there’s a reason Dr. Conrad Murray was not formally accused of anything until nearly eight months after Jackson’s death. Doctors who screw up are rarely charged with crimes, unless they have committed insurance fraud.

Mostly, this makes sense.

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As public health officials like to say, "COVID-19 isn't done with us." And journalists know that we're not done with COVID-19. Apply now for five days of stimulating discussions on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color -- plus reporting and engagement grants of $2k-$10k and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project.

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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