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hospital closures

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The city has long struggled to make progress in improving the health of mothers and newborns. Do these shutdowns lead to worse care?
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Simon Haeder has studied narrow health insurance networks for years, but it wasn’t until the professor's 4-year-old son cracked his tooth that he really appreciated the practical implications.
Picture of Elizabeth Zach
In California’s Central Valley and rural north, more than a dozen hospitals have closed since the early 2000s. The closures often limit care options and inflict economic misery — some communities never recover.
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Nearly 60 hospitals have closed in the U.S. since 2010. In reporting on how hospital closures affect poor patients in Rust Belt towns, reporter Sean Hamill found first-person accounts to be crucial. But backing up those stories with data and geographical comparisons also provided essential context.

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As hospital closures and physician shortages continue to afflict rural and low-income areas, Walmart is announcing an expansion of in-store primary care clinics in states such as Texas and South Carolina. Will this be the new face of primary care in rural regions?

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ER visits are growing and the number of emergency departments is shrinking. Does that mean more people will be denied urgent care and suffer or die as a result? The effects might be smaller than you think, and a good reminder to question our assumptions as reporters.

Picture of William Heisel

When a hospital closes in a low-income area, reporters often assume that the care was essential for the poor communities it was serving. But there are several problems with that assumption, including the equation that health equals health care.

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A private company bought the local hospital from a community group in Belhaven, North Carolina, and then announced it was closing the facility. Many in the community were outraged. But what obligations do private companies have to the community in such cases?

Announcements

“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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