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Discussion: Why Medicare Wastes Billions on Name-Brand Drugs

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What’s Your Obamacare Story? Help ProPublica Cover the Affordable Care Act

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Meet the Reporters

A.C. Thompson
Blair Hickman
Olga Pierce
Marshall Allen
Charles Ornstein

Community Spotlight

Do you know what’s really in your medicine cabinet?

Use our app to look up your over-the-counter drugs, and find out how much acetaminophen they contain. And read our investigation into the unknown risks of Tylenol, one of America’s most popular pain relievers.

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For the first time ever, the public can see Medicare Part D data on who’s doing all this prescribing – and how your doctor compares to others – in our new Prescriber Checkup. 

Click here to search: http://projects.propublica.org/checkup/

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Nearly 1/2 a million New Yorkers suffer from heart disease. How many heart attack victims could you save? 

Our news apps team has a new experimental game, that demonstrates how where you live could impact your chances of surviving a heart attack.

Play the game. Then find out how we made it.

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Stay Informed

Chicago’s Cook County Hospital has one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation, treating about 2,000 patients a year for gunshots, stabbings and other violent injuries. So when researchers started screening patients there for post-traumatic stress disorder in 2011, they assumed they would find cases.

They just didn’t know how many: Fully 43 percent of the patients they examined – and more than half of gunshot-wound victims – had signs of PTSD.

So why aren’t more trauma centers screening patients for PTSD? Surgeons say hospitals can’t afford it.

Does your local trauma center screen for PTSD? Check it out.

Before you go to the hospital, make sure you check its track record.

The Association of Health Care Journalists (ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein is on the board of directors) just released a news app that lets you search inspection reports state-by-state. The reports date back to January 2011, and previously were available only through FOIA requests. Thanks to the AHCJ for this resource. 

Should Being a Doctor Have a Cut-Off Age?

Interesting discussion going on in ProPublica’s patient harm Facebook group about whether or not doctors should be “cutoff” after a certain age. Weigh in with your thoughts. 

A couple thoughts from the community:

"It would be difficult to set a firm age, but I also think it’s important for doctors, particularly surgeons to be encouraged to recognize when it’s time to step down. My father-in-law is an ophthalmologist who recently decided to stop doing surgery at 75 – not because he couldn’t physically do it anymore, but because at his age he didn’t want the extra stress. He’s also part of a large practice with  many young(er) surgeons, so he will continue to see patients but refer the surgical cases. I wish all doctors were so self aware." - Christian John Lillis

"Age is not the issue: competency is. A physician’s license should be bestowed as a privilege, not an entitlement and sham peer medical boards will continue to be exposed by patient harm." – Joleen Chambers.

"I agree that age should not be an issue for competent doctors, and many of the older ones who are old school are much more compassionate and willing to work the old fashioned way: putting the interests of the patient first! Some even do housecalls yet!" – Veronica James

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