Health News Review
  • Oct 4 2013

    Imbalance in reporting on Alzheimer’s PET scan research

    Just two weeks ago, CBS reported on PET scans for Alzheimer’s disease, “New scan may diagnose Alzheimer’s as brain changes occur,” based on a study in the journal Neuron.  (Do they scour this journal all the time?) Just four days ago, the Washington Post reported on “good news on Alzheimer’s: Better ways to diagnose it.“  [...]

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  • Sep 6 2013

    Insurers doing what feds haven’t in refusing to pay for proton beam therapy

    The Los Angeles Times reports, “Blue Shield of California to curb coverage of pricey cancer therapy.” “As hospitals race to offer the latest in high-tech care, a major California health insurer is pushing back and refusing to pay for some of the more expensive and controversial cancer treatments. Blue Shield of California is taking on [...]

  • May 8 2013

    Medicare makes big news with big data dump on hospital charges

    The Washington Post Wonkblog:  “One hospital charges $8,000 – another, $38,000.” The piece contains an interactive graphic to allow readers to check on how much providers charge in their state.  And it used this graphic:   The Huffington Post:  “Hospital Prices No Longer Secret As New Data Reveals Bewildering System, Staggering Cost Differences.” Their graphic: [...]

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  • Mar 17 2013

    New site –

    The Association of Health Care Journalists launched a new website – – that has something to offer not only journalists but the general public as well. AHCJ says the site: “…aims to make federal hospital inspection reports easier to access, search and analyze. This site includes details about deficiencies cited during complaint inspections at [...]

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  • Jan 16 2013

    Trudy Lieberman starts “Medicare Uncovered” series

    Veteran journalist and health policy specialist Trudy Lieberman has begun a new series, “Medicare Uncovered,” on the Columbia Journalism Review website. The first in the series is on “the pain from ‘skin in the game.’ ” In it, she writes: Right before Christmas, when Beltway reporters were absorbed in the fisticuffs on the edge of [...]

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  • Aug 20 2012

    Medicare penalties for hospital readmissions – but don’t forget the patient’s responsibilities

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, who is one of our expert story reviewers on —————————————————- Last week, Kaiser Health News reported on the upcoming reimbursement penalties that most hospitals in the United States are about to incur. Their analysis (pdf file) of Medicare data suggest that 2,211 hospitals will face [...]

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  • Oct 28 2011

    Ethical questions about retired TV anchors pitching for-profit Medicare plans

    “Should a journalist, even one who has been retired from local TV news for nearly four years, leverage the credibility he developed as an objective, independent reporter to tout one insurance company for pay?” That’s the question Eric Deggans, TV/media critic of the St. Petersburg Times asks about longtime Tampa Bay area TV anchor Bob [...]

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  • May 27 2011

    “Shocking chasm between Medicare coverage and clinical evidence”

    That’s a phrase used by Rita F. Redberg, MD, University of California San Francisco cardiologist and the editor of Archives of Internal Medicine, in her New York Times opinion piece, “Squandering Medicare’s Money.” Excerpt: Medicare spends a fortune each year on procedures that have no proven benefit and should not be covered. Examples abound: • [...]

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  • May 9 2011

    Guest blog: Connect the dots on the Provenges, the Makenas, robotic surgery systems & proton beam facilities

    The following is a guest post submitted by Harold DeMonaco, director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital and one of our most active expert story reviewers on————————————————————————————————————————Last week’s New England Journal of Medicine had two rather provocative and thought provoking perspectives. The first relates to a decision by the Center [...]

  • Apr 27 2011

    Costly, non-evidence based interventions for coronary artery disease

    Larry Husten, on his Cardiobrief blog, reports: Drug-eluting stents (DESs) cost Medicare an additional $1.57 billion per year, according to a study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.…In an editor’s note, Rita Redberg wrote that “it is time to clearly define what the value of this extraordinary investment has been in terms of [...]

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