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Tracy Weber

Tracy Weber

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Tracy Weber is a senior editor at ProPublica, previously a senior reporter covering health care issues.

In collaboration with Charles Ornstein, Weber 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. Her ProPublica series, with Charles Ornstein, "When Caregivers Harm: California's Unwatched Nurses" was a finalist for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Weber reported for the Los Angeles Times from 1994 to 1999 and again beginning in 2003. Previous to her prize-winning collaborations with Ornstein, Weber spent a year reporting from inside California's juvenile court system, prompting reforms in state law. Earlier in her career she reported for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Orange County Register.

Articles

No Easy Definition for ‘Abusive’ Prescribing

As Medicare considers banning doctors who pose a “threat to the health or safety” of patients, it plans to consider an array of factors.

In A Major Shift, Medicare Wants Power to Ban Harmful Prescribers

Action follows ProPublica’s investigative series detailing inappropriate and wasteful prescribing, fraud in the nation’s biggest prescription drug program.

Caught Up in a Medicare Drug Fraud

The long list of medications on Joyce Heap’s insurance forms didn’t look right. It turns out they weren’t — and Medicare didn’t seem to care.

Medicare Moves to Tighten Oversight of Prescribers

Action comes after ProPublica uses the government’s own data to find patterns of dangerous prescribing, waste and potential fraud in Medicare Part D.

Senators Press Medicare for Answers on Drug Program

They ask federal officials to take a hard look at Medicare’s popular prescription drug program after ProPublica reports about fraud and waste that have cost taxpayers billions.

‘Let the Crime Spree Begin’: How Fraud Flourishes in Medicare’s Drug Plan

The federal government does little to stop schemers from stealing from Medicare Part D, the program that provides prescription drugs to more than 36 million seniors and disabled people.

Generic or Name-Brand? 10 Docs Talk About Picking Drugs

With billions in potential savings for Medicare at stake, we asked drug experts and practitioners alike why more doctors don’t recommend generics when they can.

Medicare’s Failure to Track Doctors Wastes Billions on Name-Brand Drugs

The failure to track doctors who shun cheaper generics racks up huge costs for taxpayers in Medicare Part D, which fills one of every four U.S. prescriptions.

Huge Differences by Region in Prescribing to Elderly, Study Finds

Researchers find that a higher proportion of seniors are prescribed antidepressants, dementia drugs and other medications in some parts of the country than others.

Why You Should Care About the Drugs Your Doctor Prescribes

Patients currently have to rely on trust that their doctors prescribe them the right drugs. Our new tool, Prescriber Checkup, for the first time allows patients to see how health care providers stack up with peers.

A Rap Sheet For Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program

An update on the new events since we published our Prescriber Checkup investigation.

Senator Asks States If They Alert Medicare to Problem Physicians

Citing a ProPublica investigation, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley said that if Medicaid and Medicare don’t share information on bad doctors, patients could be at risk.

Top Medicare Official: ‘We Can and Should Do More’ to Oversee Drug Plan

Under pressure, Medicare's director tells a Senate panel the agency will intensify the search for abusive prescribing patterns and undertake other reforms.

Top Medicare Prescribers Rake In Speaking Fees From Drugmakers

Pay-to-prescribe is illegal, but doctors say they haven’t been influenced by the money they get for promoting drugs they also prescribe to large numbers of their patients.

Not Authorized to Prescribe Drugs? Medicare Pays Anyway.

Massage therapists, athletic trainers, interpreters and others who aren’t allowed to write prescriptions apparently issued at least 417,000 under Medicare.

Inspector General Faults Medicare for Not Tracking ‘Extreme’ Prescribers

Echoing a ProPublica investigation, a report finds hundreds of doctors with questionable and potentially dangerous prescribing patterns. In a response, Medicare says it will step up monitoring and review the list for fraud or abuse.

How We Analyzed Medicare’s Drug Data

ProPublica obtained Medicare Part D data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Freedom of Information Act. Here follows more information about the data and how we analyzed it.

Prescriber Checkup

Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program now serves more than 35 million people, but the names of prescribers and the drugs they choose have never previously been public. Use this tool to find and compare doctors and other top prescribers in 2010.

Medicare Drug Program Fails to Monitor Prescribers, Putting Seniors and Disabled at Risk

Prescription data obtained by ProPublica show wide use of antipsychotics, narcotics and other drugs dangerous for older adults, but Medicare officials say it's not their job to look for unsafe prescribing or weed out doctors with troubled backgrounds.

Eight Ways to Strengthen Medicare’s Drug Benefit

Former government officials, analysts and researchers say Medicare could improve oversight of its Part D drug benefit with these steps.
Tracy Weber

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