Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "medical industry" ...

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
  • Surgeon Scorecard

    ProPublica analyzed Medicare claims data, and published, for the first time, the risk-adjusted complication rates for almost 17,000 surgeons who perform certain elective operations. These operations are: hip and knee replacements, spinal fusions, gallbladder removals, and prostate removals or prostate resections. Until now, there was no national public database that named surgeons who had the lowest and highest complication rates. ProPublica found that patients are at risk of medical mishaps even when undergoing these relatively low-risk procedures. We identified more than 65,000 cases where patients were harmed or died. Surgeon Scorecard allows patients to make better-informed decisions about where to go for care. It also provides surgeons and hospitals with a benchmark for how their performance compares to their peers nationally -- which is important because the medical industry does so little now to track complications. One of our most important findings was about the distribution of these mistakes. Many surgeons had complication rates 2 or 3 times the national average. But these surgeons weren’t exclusively operating at sub-par hospitals. Instead they could be found at prestigious institutions, sometimes in positions of leadership. Even more striking was the variation between high and low complication rate surgeons performing the same procedure at the same hospital.
  • Dead by Mistake

    Studies indicate that the death toll for preventable deaths by medicine has more than doubled in the last ten years. "Death by Mistake" assesses the headway being made in the medical industry to reduce likeliness of preventable death.
  • Suddenly Sick

    In this series, The Seattle Times revealed their findings from an investigation into the medical world. Among other things, they found that: "Pharmaceutical firms have commandeered the process by which diseases are defined." They reported that the World Health Organization and the U.S. Institutes of Health, among others, receive money from drug companies to promote the agendas of those companies. They also found that "some diseases have been radically redefined without a strong basis in medical evidence."
  • As Good As New?

    The recycling and re-use of medical devices labeled for one use only is called reprocessing, and is a controversial practice in the medical industry. Thousands of different devices are re-used by hospitals around the country, ranging from simple blood-pressure cuffs to highly-invasive catheters and biopsy tools. The practice saves hospitals millions of dollars, but consumers generally have no idea.
  • The Body Bazaar

    "Blood, kidneys, eggs, sperm--name a body part, there's a price on it. Think of it as a commodities market for the 21st century." Discover takes a look at the controversy surrounding payment for organ donations and includes the legalities of donating. Advancements and history of organ donations profiled.
  • Medscam

    A Mother Jones investigation found that "the medical industry is the largest business in the land, with nearly $1 trillion in revenue. Of that, an estimated $100 billion or more is lost to insurance fraud. No one is exactly sure how much, because the only ones who know the system are the crooks, who range from hospital executives down to taxicab drivers."
  • (Untitled)

    Common Cause Magazine finds that the inability of the federal government to succeed at serious health care reform is a result of campaign contributions to members of Congress by the medical industry, January/February and March 1992.