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Picture of William Heisel

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the acting president of Public Citizen and the head of its Health Research Group, is a guy you don't want to have as an opponent. He has an encyclopedic command of the facts and a delivery that manages to be both gracious and a little intimidating.

Picture of William Heisel

Public Citizen put together an important report in May that was mostly missed by the press (including me).

It's a comprehensive and critical investigation of The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act 19 years ago, ostensibly to protect patients from rogue doctors.

Picture of William Heisel

New York state has an interesting job that is foreign to most other states, the office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Lucky for health writers, the Inspector General there, James G. Sheehan, believes not only in rooting out people who are ripping off taxpayers, but in sharing his techniques and tactics with reporters.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Lack of primary care and attention to chronic disease are the real ills of the health care system, panelists said at a seminar on health care reform for California Broadcast Fellows.

Anthony Iton, public health officer for Alameda County, says that 3 out of every 4 health care dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. "It is the elephant in the room. If you're not talking about chronic disease, you're not talking about health," he says.

Picture of William Heisel

Anyone who has helped a friend or family member undergo cancer treatment knows the fear and frustration that can consume a patient's life. There are new, experimental treatments being touted every year, many of them only available outside of the United States.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Ouch. Medicare is expected to run out of money in a mere eight years, according to a new report from the trustees who oversee the federal health insurance program primarily for the elderly.

Picture of William Heisel

Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

Picture of DVera Cohn

There’s hardly a health story out there that cannot benefit from some good data – from estimates of the number of elderly Americans to hospital quality ratings for your community.

This article will help you find useful databases and offer guidance on how to use them accurately. The first pa

Picture of Julie Small

Two years ago, poor medical care in state prisons accounted for about one inmate death each week. A federal judge took over and the state terminated about 60 substandard physicians. That's left many prisons without enough doctors, but not the Calipatria prison about 100 miles east of San Diego. KPCC's Julie Small reports on one doctor who's quickly building the staff.

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