Tags : healthcare

Nurses with criminal records allowed to keep working in Minn.

Our data-driven investigation, “When Nurses Fail,” found that hundreds of nurses with records of unsafe practice, patient harm, criminal charges or convictions continue to practice in Minnesota. A state monitoring program for drug-addicted health professionals allowed nurses to continue despite abusing drugs or alcohol, stealing from their patients and failing numerous drug tests.

Nurses with histories of drug use, crime or neglect were able to obtain licenses and find jobs because of flaws in the state background check system. Patients were unaware that their nurses had troubled backgrounds. One parent inadvertently hired a nurse with a history of making crystal ...

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Inside the IRE Awards: The Prescribers

This week on IRE Radio we’ll be taking you inside the 2013 IRE Awards with audio from some of the reporters, editors and producers who worked on prize-winning stories. View the complete list of winners here.

The Prescribers

ProPublica reporters Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur and others were able to get Medicare Part D data released for the first time. Hear how to use their tools, the FOI process, and an example of a story they found.

Ornstein and LaFleur introduce the database and go over some basics on it's use. The Prescriber Checkup tool is available ...

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Financial data shows Okla. hospitals spend little on charity care

The idea to look at hospital finances and charity care came shortly after Oklahoma decided against expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

After the state’s decision, the Oklahoma Hospital Association and others warned that the state’s hospitals – especially small rural hospitals – were already operating on slim budgets and the decision not to expand Medicaid and give more people health coverage would make the situation worse, including leading to closure of some hospitals.

To test this claim, Oklahoma Watch set out to get financial data for each hospital in the state. Along the way, we also ...

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IRE members win awards for health care reporting

Several IRE members were among the winners of the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The Association of Health Care Journalists received more than 475 entries across 12 categories.

Read more about the awards.

The following IRE members received recognition:

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Google Hangout Dec. 9th with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Deadly Delays Team

On Dec. 9th at 10:00 a.m. CST, IRE will host another live Google+ Hangout with Ellen Gabler and Allan J. Vestal of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Watchdog team.  Tune in as we learn about their Deadly Delays series on processing failures in newborn screening programs.  Topics for discussion will include how the team uncovered delayed testing and how other news teams can use the information to begin their own investigations.

After the broadcast, the recorded Hangout will be posted to ire.org.  Please visit our Hangouts page to view previous sessions on investigating America's worst charities ...

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Behind the Story: Maine pharmacists get licenses despite history of drug abuse

Would you feel safe if your pharmacist had lost his license because of drug abuse or theft, yet had regained it and was dispensing your prescriptions? What about if he had lost his license twice?

Naomi Schalit and John Christie of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting found that since 2003, thirteen pharmacists with histories of drug abuse in Maine were allowed to practice despite having previously lost their licenses. The discovery was part of a broad examination of Maine’s Board of Pharmacy discipline records that resulted in a two-part series published in September. The project was led ...

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Medicare data reveals improper prescriptions

When ProPublica’s Charlie Ornstein filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request for Medicare prescribing data, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

For good reason: the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General has found over the years that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was not monitoring how physicians prescribe under the 10-year-old, $62-billion program.

ProPublica worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to get the data and protect the agency’s concerns.  Reporters met with people from multiple departments to explain why we wanted prescriber data and why the ...

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ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting discuss elder care in America

ProPrublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting are holding a discussion today at 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET on the state of elder care in America. Both news organizations have recently published projects on the topic. Read the investigations here:

Reporters Ryan Gabrielson of the Center for Investigative Reporting and A.C. Thompson of ProPublica will be answering questions about how to improve regulation and better protect America's elderly.

Click here to ...

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Updated FDA Medical Device Reports (MAUDE) available in the data library

The NICAR Database Library has just updated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database(MAUDE).

WHAT’S IN IT?
Current with reports received by the FDA through June 28, 2013, the data include nearly 3 million records of problems involving medical devices. These problems include injuries, deaths and product malfunctions. 

The dataset has a unique MDR report number for each incident and contact detail for the manufacturers and distributors. The age and expiration date for devices are also available in some instances. A memo field includes narratives that describe how problems occurred ...

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LaCrosse Tribune reporter turns IRE training into data-driven stories for community

In March, LaCrosse Tribune reporter Chris Hubbuch attended an IRE training event in Wisconsin, where introductions to Excel and data-driven journalism were on the agenda. Since then, he’s produced data-driven stories on foreclosures, property values, crime and waste. He even revelaed that the LaCrosse mayor's pet license was out of date. Using federal data, the LaCrosse Tribune turned a story on deadline showing disparities in hospital charges, complete with an interactive data visualization. Here’s a look at some of the LaCrosse Tribune stories that IRE training helped make possible:

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