The Town Where Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested

People with cancer, with sick kids and with disabilities are being arrested because of medical debts they cannot pay. In one Kansas town, at least 11 people were jailed in the past year alone, a ProPublica investigation has found. Welcome to Coffeyville, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of…

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Health System Sues Thousands Of Patients, Seizing Paychecks And Claiming Homes

Over six years, the University of Virginia health system filed 36,000 lawsuits against patients seeking a total of more than $106 million in unpaid bills, seizing wages and bank accounts, putting liens on property and homes and forcing families into bankruptcy, a Kaiser Health News investigation discovered. The sheer size of the program dwarfs other…

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Where electronic health records went wrong

The U.S. government claimed that turning American medical charts into electronic records would make health care better, safer, and cheaper. Ten years and $36 billion later, the system is an unholy mess. A joint investigation by Kaiser Health News and Fortune found that instead of streamlining medicine, the government’s EHR initiative has created a host…

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution to share documents from ‘Doctors & Sex Abuse’ investigation

Lois Norder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Documents concerning doctors in every state accused of sexual misconduct are now being made available to journalists and other researchers by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper has created a data portal to share the information, which it gathered in its recent investigation “Doctors & Sex Abuse.” That includes public medical disciplinary…

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IRE Radio Podcast | The Killer That Got Away

How many people in the U.S. die of antibiotic-resistant infections? It seems like a simple question. But when a team of journalists from Reuters set out to gather the numbers, they realized that the answer would be anything but straightforward. They found out no one was properly keeping track of how many people die from…

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IRE Radio Podcast | White Coat Criminals

A team of journalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovered a nationwide phenomenon of sexual abuse in the medical community. Thousands of doctors, many still practicing, had a lurid history of sexual misconduct, their crimes hidden from the public. On this episode, we’re talking to reporter Carrie Teegardin and illustrator Richard Watkins about how they found…

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Use basic Excel tricks to explore health care data

By Jennifer Lu Judging by the “oohs” and “ahhs” of appreciation from the audience, ProPublica reporters Ryann Grochowski Jones and Charles Ornstein reminded us why the humble Excel spreadsheet is still an excellent resource for data journalists. In this hands-on session, they covered how to use Excel for health care reporting. To cover health care…

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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…

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David Dietz Fellowship for 2013 IRE Conference

In 2012 IRE added a new fellowship in remembrance of longtime IRE member and supporter David Dietz. The fellowship honors his memory and legacy by helping a journalist who has demonstrated an interest in financial investigative journalism and who has fewer than 10 years professional experience. This fellowship covers IRE conference registration fees, provides $750 in…

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