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Charles Ornstein is a senior reporter for ProPublica covering health care and the pharmaceutical industry.
In collaboration with Tracy Weber, Ornstein was a lead reporter on a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times titled "The Troubles at King/Drew" hospital that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service in 2005. His ProPublica series, with Tracy Weber, "When Caregivers Harm: California's Unwatched Nurses" was a finalist for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Ornstein reported for the Times starting in 2001, in the last five years largely in partnership with Weber. Earlier, Ornstein spent five years as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He is a past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a former Kaiser Family Foundation media fellow.
Yesterday, 11 a.m.By charging higher prices for generic drugs that treat certain illness, health insurers may be violating the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which bans discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions.
Aug. 29, 6:59 a.m.$15 or $30? Health reporter Charles Ornstein is charged two different prices for the same drug. Which one is right? His effort to find out illustrates consumer frustrations with the health care system.
Aug. 28, 3:16 p.m.The federal government won’t release data next month on some research payments to doctors. Health officials had acknowledged previously that the database wouldn’t include one-third of payments made by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Aug. 15, 4:01 p.m.Many payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical and medical device companies will not be included in the public release of the database next month. Federal officials cite data inconsistencies, say records will be posted next June.
Aug. 11, 1:01 p.m.For years, Dr. Michael Reinstein prescribed the powerful drug clozapine more than any other doctor in Medicare or Medicaid. His patterns were the subject of two ProPublica articles and he faces a federal civil lawsuit alleging health care fraud.
Aug. 6, 12:01 a.m.The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds Medicare spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 for HIV drugs there’s little evidence patients needed. A 77-year-old woman with no record of HIV got $33,500 of medication.
Aug. 4, 11 a.m.Experts question the effectiveness of H.P. Acthar Gel, a drug made from pigs’ pituitary glands. Yet it cost Medicare more than $141 million in 2012, up from $7 million in 2008.
Aug. 4, 11 a.m.The top four prescribers of the drug were promotional speakers, researchers or consultants.
Aug. 4, 10:16 a.m.The government had to take offline its system for doctors to verify payments from drug companies after at least one doctor had payments attributed to him that actually went to someone else.
July 24, 11:30 a.m.A 1996 law known as HIPAA has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital, to keep information away from police investigating a possible rape at a nursing home, and to threaten VA whistleblowers.
July 23, 4:50 p.m.New federal data, obtained by ProPublica under the Freedom of Information Act, shows nearly 1 million insurance transactions since mid-April.
July 21, 7 a.m.Doctors checking a soon-to-be-unveiled federal website that will publicly list drug company payments are encountering error messages if they have not accepted industry money.
July 13, 10:59 p.m.Illinois leads the country in group psychotherapy sessions in Medicare, and some top billers aren’t mental health specialists. The state’s Medicaid program has cracked down, but federal officials have not.
July 11, 7:59 a.m.Two secretaries in a doctor’s office have pleaded guilty and a pharmacy owner faces charges in a scam that Medicare allowed to thrive for more than two years.
June 20, 7 a.m.As news organizations analyze data on Medicare payments, doctors with disciplinary records keep popping up.
June 12, 11 a.m.The Garden State costs Medicare more than any other state for ambulance rides per kidney dialysis patient. A new crackdown is set to start, but at one big dialysis center, ambulances remain everywhere.
May 29, 12:01 a.m.The findings by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complement a recent ProPublica review that found many doctors bill for services very differently than their peers.
May 20, 8:03 a.m.Medicare gives itself the power to ban physicians if they prescribe medications in abusive ways. The action follows a series of articles by ProPublica documenting inappropriate prescribing, waste and fraud in its popular drug program.
May 15, 11:45 a.m.We found some doctors who billed for the most costly, most complex visits almost exclusively and charged top rates far more than their peers.
May 15, 11:45 a.m.Use this tool to find and compare providers.
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