Tuesday, September 02, 2014. Last Update: Tue 7:00 AM EST

The Second Opinion

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New York Times story questions Obamacare’s nursing-home ratings

Facilities have learned to game the system, so five stars may not mean much

Katie Thomas' piece in Monday's New York Times undermined what has become a pillar of the standard nursing-home story of... More

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The cost battle between insurers and hospitals spills into the press

In Nebraska, public radio captures the plight of the patients caught in the middle

It's not often that a nice succinct story about hospital consolidation, high out-of-pocket costs, and limitations on patient choice comes... More

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Medicare fraud stories ignore larger issues of reform

The problem is well-established; what to do about it is not

This has been a summer for Medicare fraud stories. In the past week alone, there were stories from The Wall... More

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Why did one regulator order a health insurer to set its rates higher?

An unusual case in Oregon draws some good coverage, and deserves sustained attention

A little drama over insurance rates came to a head earlier this week in Oregon, with a result you might... More

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How do you catch a candidate and pin him down?

MinnPost asked Sen. Al Franken’s challenger nine times what he’d do about Medicare and Social Security. The exchange is illuminating for reporters and voters.

Eric Black, a political columnist for MinnPost, offered a great example recently of how to pin down (or, at least,... More

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Why we should be wary with a new survey showing a spike in uninsured Kansans

“It’s a weird one,” the research director says of a surprising result in the Sunflower State

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “Bottom line, Rep. [Tim] Huelskamp appears to be utterly full of hooey,” Charles Gaba of ACASignups.net told... More

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The Boston Globe owned the health policy beat once. Where did that tenacity go?

The paper’s coverage of big health news in Massachusetts is now too often ho-hum

As goes Massachusetts; so goes the nation--at least when it comes to healthcare. In 2009 and 2010, in the midst... More

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Dangerous drug side effects will no longer be secret in Canada

Kudos to the Toronto Star for dogged investigations and pressure on a reluctant government agency

Last fall on a visit to Canada, I spotted a first-rate piece in the Toronto Star by Diana Zlomislic,... More

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The Associated Press factchecks a couple ‘Mediscare’ ads in Kentucky

As the midterm campaign gets underway, some familiar talking points come out again

Bravo to The Associated Press! As soon as dueling ads for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his challenger in the... More

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Medicare isn’t doing its own ‘truth checking.’ Why?

Kudos to ProPublica for “Examining Medicare,” but there’s more to this story than the bad apples

In April, the Department of Health and Human Services released its great Medicare data dump unlocking a treasure chest of... More

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If it sounds ‘too good to be true…’

How Health News Florida flubbed the rate story last week and what all reporters can take away from it

Remember those seven tips I offered earlier this month for how to report on health insurance rate proposals? I have... More

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Six times Medicare caved

A pattern for reporters to dig in to

Reporters don't often cover the rule-making process that goes on at government agencies. If they do, they typically borrow from... More

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Investigating a $150 billion ‘black box’

CPI did stellar reporting on the Medicare Advantage “money grab,” despite agency stonewalling— here’s how others reporters can dig in

In a year-long investigation of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin, and Chris Zubak-Skees of... More

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Virginia’s governor didn’t say he’s going to ‘expand Medicaid’

But he won’t say he’s not, either! What’s a reporter to do?

CHARLESTON, SC -- It depends on what the meaning of the word "expansion" is. That might be the most appropriate... More

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Sticking with Washington’s ‘whistleblower judge flap’

Puget Sound Business Journal’s Valerie Bauman reported the heck out of a state insurance commission saga—and the broader issue of narrow networks

There are different ways to tell the story of what's happening with Washington's insurance exchange, a state marketplace called... More

Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products

Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles

Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist

Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’

Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies


The impact of watching executions (PSmag)

“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”

Times of India demands employee social media passwords (Quartz)

The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge

Reconnecting with a story source, 17 years later (Hartford Courant)

“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”

The McDonald’s in Ferguson (LAT)

“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

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Questions and exercises for journalism students.