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 "health care" ...

  • DNAinfo.com New York

    DNAinfo New York reporters Rosa Goldensohn and James Fanelli investigated the private company contracted by New York City to provide health care for inmates in city jails. They uncovered poor medical treatment that led to inmate deaths.
  • Lawmaker, lobbyist brother stymie oral chemotherapy bill

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered that leaders in the Wisconsin Legislature were using a parliamentary trick — a phantom public hearing that was never actually held — to block a vote on an overwhelmingly popular and bipartisan bill aimed at helping cancer patients afford ruinously expensive chemotherapy medications. The articles showed that leaders were not telling the truth when they said they were blocking the bill because the members of their caucuses didn’t support it.
  • Fear at FSU

    These stories exposed the utter failure of a state’s mental health system to aid a sick man who was in crisis and begging for help -- and showed that the cost of that failure was a shooting spree at a major American university. They raised questions about the handling of the shooter's case in New Mexico, stoked a national conversation about the availability of quality mental health care for people in need and spurred a proposal to reform New Mexico state law.
  • All of a sudden there was fire

    This article reports that adoption of precautionary measures to prevent patients from being set on fire in operating rooms across the country has been slow, often implemented only after hospitals experience an accident. Advocates say it’s not clear how many hospitals have instituted the available protocols, and no national safety authority tracks the frequency of surgical fires, which are thought to injure patients in one of every three incidents. About 240 surgical fires occur every year, according to rough estimates. But fires may be underreported because of fear of litigation or bad publicity.
  • Cell of squalor, weeks of despair

    A Harris County jail inmate, jailed on a marijuana charge while on probation and in need of mental health care, was left in his cell for weeks without being let out, living amid heaps of trash, swarms of bugs, and piles of his own feces. When inspectors with a jail compliance team entered the cell of inmate Terry Goodwin on October 10, 2013, he was wearing a filthy, shredded jail uniform in the fetid cell. Shards of his orange uniform were hanging from the ceiling light. His sink, toilet and shower drain were clogged, not just with feces, but with toilet paper in an apparent attempt by Goodwin to cover his own waste and with orange rinds, perhaps in futile effort to mask the smell. That’s when the cover-up began.
  • The Cost of Troubled Minds

    The Cost of Troubled Minds uncovers a crisis involving the treatment of the mentally ill in Texas. Investigative reporter Andy Pierrotti traveled thousands of miles across Texas and neighboring states to conduct interviews, speak to experts and review government documents. The investigation shows the state’s lack of resources, outdated facilities and a shortage of mental health care professionals ultimately cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The stories show how the problem puts a vulnerable population at risk, as told through the people and families impacted by untreated mental illness. A week following the investigation, a state report confirmed our findings and recommended overhauling the agency responsible for treating the mentally ill. In response to our investigations, a state senator filed legislation to help address shortages of mental health professionals in Texas.
  • Investigation of a Community Health Center

    With an infusion of $11 billion, the 1,300 community health centers across the U.S. have been hailed as the backbone of the Affordable Care Act’s plan to leave no one without health care. That’s a lot of money to accomplish a lot of good. It’s also a lot of money to tempt those with larcenous intent. Two years ago, Alabama Media Group discovered that two community health centers -- Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health -- had paid more than $2 million for contracts to companies owned by the centers’ CEO. Now there are indictments and allegations of $14 million in federal funds being diverted to private hands.
  • UNTREATED: How Ignoring Mental Illness Costs Us All

    This devastating Rocky Mountain PBS I-News series examined the state of behavioral health care in Colorado. The costs of untreated mental illnesses in the state run into the billions of dollar each year, factoring in emergency medical expenses, lost wages, disability payments, and the price of housing the mentally ill in county jails and state prisons, among other quantifiable numbers. As big as the financial burdens of untreated mental illness are, the personal costs are greater. In Colorado, people with mental illnesses are more than five times as likely to be in jail or in prison than in a hospital treatment bed. For rural Coloradans, mental health services can be hundreds of miles away, or simply put, unavailable. In a state that has suffered mass shooting tragedies rooted in mental illness, intervention is still exceedingly difficult, and the series explores the reasons why.
  • Poor Health An occasional series about the barriers to health and health care for low-income urban Americans

    Poor Health was the result of a collaboration between the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and faculty and students from Marquette University. Both papers published the series, which had three major parts. The backbone of the series is a set of interactive maps that shows that health care systems have closed hospitals in poor communities in the major U.S. metropolitan areas while opening new facilities in more affluent areas, often communities that already had hospitals; that the residents of the communities in which hospitals closed were less healthy than their more affluent counterparts, and that communities in which hospitals closed were much more likely to be federally designated "physician shortage areas." than communities that retained or gained hospitals. In addition, reporting in several cities shows the health care challenges among the urban poor, the results of those difficulties and the economics that drive the unequal distribution of health care. The final part of the series focuses on solutions. A major story on the effort in Oregon to improve health care for Medicaid recipients while lowering costs is the centerpiece; other reporting on innovative approaches to health care in poor areas includes programs in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
  • Veterans Disability Claims

    Yvonne Wenger’s story for The Baltimore Sun examined the disability claims backlog at the Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Through her reporting and use of an online database, she discovered that the Baltimore office, which services all of Maryland, had the worst backlog in the country and made the most mistakes. Servicemen and women in Maryland were waiting an average of 12 months for an initial decision about benefits; in some cases, it could take years more to receive the payments. Yvonne reached out to dozens of veterans but found that all were fearful to speak to a reporter because they thought doing so would affect their claims. She eventually did find a combat veteran, Robert Fearing, who was willing to be interviewed. He was suffering from paranoia and anxiety and had been waiting 2 ½ years for the Baltimore office to make a decision about his claim. After publication of the article, reaction from Maryland’s congressional delegation was swift. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin both took action to seek changes locally and nationally to address the backlog. And just days after the article was published, Fearing had his claim reviewed and approved.