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Daily Briefing: Mad Cows, Medicaid Woes, and Juking the Stats in Mental Health

Daily Briefing: Mad Cows, Medicaid Woes, and Juking the Stats in Mental Health

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daily briefing, reporting on health, health journalism, mad cow disease

Mad Cow:

A case of mad cow disease has been detected in a dairy cow in Central California, but government officials downplayed any risk to humans, the Associated Press reports. Some food safety experts say too few cows are being randomly tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which is rare but can be fatal to humans who eat meat from infected cows.

Medical Debt: Accretive Health, a medical debt collection agency based in Minnesota is drawing criticism for its aggressive practices, including stationing employees in hospital emergency rooms, Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports for the New York Times.

Veterans' Health: An investigation of the V.A. mental health system finds officials "juking the stats" to make it appear as if veterans are getting more timely mental treatment than they actually are, NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

HIV/AIDS: AIDS activists are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, because the health reform law would remove a longstanding Catch-22 for HIV-positive patients who can't qualify for Medicaid health benefits until they are too sick to benefit from antiretroviral treatments that could keep them healthy, David Crary reports for the Associated Press.

Medicaid: Policymakers' efforts to curb emergency room use by Medicaid patients could end up costing taxpayers even more, Carla Johnson reports for the Associated Press.

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Soaring out-of-pocket costs, rising premiums, and shaky insurance exchanges raise urgent questions this election season. What policies might address these problems, and how do the presidential candidates’ health plans differ? This webinar will give an overview of each candidates’ policy prescriptions and provide reporters with crucial context for covering one of the election’s most important but overlooked issues.

The 2017 California Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, will be held March 5-9, 2017 in Los Angeles. This Fellowship will focus on vulnerable populations and access to care and health care reform and innovation. We also take an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health. Each Fellow receives a $1,000 stipend to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project on a California health issue, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow. Deadline to apply is Dec. 1.  For more information, go here.


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