Tags : healthcare

Story Shorts highlights lessons from VA investigation

We’re back with another round of Story Shorts, our new video series highlighting investigative reporting tips and techniques. This week we’re going behind the story with CNBC’s Dina Gusovsky and Jeff Pohlman and highlighting lessons from their series "Death & Dishonor: Crisis at the VA".

We’ll be releasing a new video every day this week at 6 p.m. Central. The CNBC team will talk about how to work with anonymous sources, find and vet documents, and identify any potential hidden agendas.

Visit the Story Shorts page to see each new clip as well as our previous ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Hazardous Health Care

It's not easy prying information out of hospitals and health departments. On our podcast this week we’ll hear from journalists who successfully negotiated for the data or documents they needed to fuel an investigation. Here’s the lineup:

  • Gary Dotson of the Belleville News-Democrat shares the paper’s 2012 story about the state’s failure to investigate after disabled adults living at home died from abuse or neglect.
  • Robin Fields of ProPublica explains how she successfully argued for data on dialysis facilities across the country.
  • Ellen Gabler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses “Deadly Delays,” an investigation that ...
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IRE Radio Podcast | Scandals at the VA

Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. We’re excited to announce that this podcast is now available on iTunes. Subscribe to have the latest episode automatically download to your phone, computer or tablet.

This week we’re talking about investigating veterans issues, past and present. Here’s the lineup:

  • Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic discusses how he helped break open the most recent scandal involving falsified wait-time data at the Phoenix VA hospital.
  • Aaron Glantz of The Center for Investigative Reporting talks about benefit backlogs at the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Michael Phillips of the Wall Street ...
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Nurses with criminal records allowed to keep working in Minn.

Our data-driven investigation, “When Nurses Fail,” found that hundreds of nurses with records of unsafe practice, patient harm, criminal charges or convictions continue to practice in Minnesota. A state monitoring program for drug-addicted health professionals allowed nurses to continue despite abusing drugs or alcohol, stealing from their patients and failing numerous drug tests.

Nurses with histories of drug use, crime or neglect were able to obtain licenses and find jobs because of flaws in the state background check system. Patients were unaware that their nurses had troubled backgrounds. One parent inadvertently hired a nurse with a history of making crystal ...

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Inside the IRE Awards: The Prescribers

This week on IRE Radio we’ll be taking you inside the 2013 IRE Awards with audio from some of the reporters, editors and producers who worked on prize-winning stories. View the complete list of winners here.

The Prescribers

ProPublica reporters Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur and others were able to get Medicare Part D data released for the first time. Hear how to use their tools, the FOI process, and an example of a story they found.

Ornstein and LaFleur introduce the database and go over some basics on it's use. The Prescriber Checkup tool is available ...

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Financial data shows Okla. hospitals spend little on charity care

The idea to look at hospital finances and charity care came shortly after Oklahoma decided against expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

After the state’s decision, the Oklahoma Hospital Association and others warned that the state’s hospitals – especially small rural hospitals – were already operating on slim budgets and the decision not to expand Medicaid and give more people health coverage would make the situation worse, including leading to closure of some hospitals.

To test this claim, Oklahoma Watch set out to get financial data for each hospital in the state. Along the way, we also ...

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IRE members win awards for health care reporting

Several IRE members were among the winners of the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The Association of Health Care Journalists received more than 475 entries across 12 categories.

Read more about the awards.

The following IRE members received recognition:

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Google Hangout Dec. 9th with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Deadly Delays Team

On Dec. 9th at 10:00 a.m. CST, IRE will host another live Google+ Hangout with Ellen Gabler and Allan J. Vestal of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Watchdog team.  Tune in as we learn about their Deadly Delays series on processing failures in newborn screening programs.  Topics for discussion will include how the team uncovered delayed testing and how other news teams can use the information to begin their own investigations.

After the broadcast, the recorded Hangout will be posted to ire.org.  Please visit our Hangouts page to view previous sessions on investigating America's worst charities ...

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Behind the Story: Maine pharmacists get licenses despite history of drug abuse

Would you feel safe if your pharmacist had lost his license because of drug abuse or theft, yet had regained it and was dispensing your prescriptions? What about if he had lost his license twice?

Naomi Schalit and John Christie of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting found that since 2003, thirteen pharmacists with histories of drug abuse in Maine were allowed to practice despite having previously lost their licenses. The discovery was part of a broad examination of Maine’s Board of Pharmacy discipline records that resulted in a two-part series published in September. The project was led ...

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Medicare data reveals improper prescriptions

When ProPublica’s Charlie Ornstein filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request for Medicare prescribing data, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

For good reason: the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General has found over the years that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was not monitoring how physicians prescribe under the 10-year-old, $62-billion program.

ProPublica worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to get the data and protect the agency’s concerns.  Reporters met with people from multiple departments to explain why we wanted prescriber data and why the ...

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