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Marshall Allen

Reporter

Photo of Marshall Allen

Marshall Allen investigates why we pay so much for health care in the United States and get so little in return. He is one of the creators of ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard, which published the complication rates for about 17,000 surgeons who perform eight common elective procedures. He also moderates the ProPublica Patient Safety Facebook group, a vibrant online forum about the quality of care. Allen’s work has been honored with several journalism awards, including the Harvard Kennedy School’s 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and coming in as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for work at the Las Vegas Sun, where he worked before coming to ProPublica in 2011. Before he was in journalism, Allen spent five years in full-time ministry, including three years in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a master’s degree in Theology.

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer.

How Two Common Medications Became One $455 Million Specialty Pill

After I was prescribed a brand-name drug I didn’t need and given a coupon to cover the out-of-pocket costs, I discovered another reason Americans pay too much for health care.

America’s Other Drug Problem

Every year nursing homes nationwide flush, burn or throw out tons of valuable prescription drugs. Iowa collects them and gives them to needy patients for free. Most other states don’t.

What Hospitals Waste

The nation’s health care tab is sky-high. We’re tracking down the reasons. First stop: A look at all the perfectly good stuff hospitals throw away.

Will Trump’s Ban Cause Foreign-Born Doctors to Look Elsewhere?

The U.S. has long depended on foreign-born physicians to shore up its ranks and work in rural and blighted urban areas. Now Trump’s ban makes coming to America a risk.

HHS Nominee Tom Price Targeted Panel That Urged Fewer Cancer Screenings

After a task force of experts said evidence didn’t support some cancer screenings, it became the target of lawmakers, including Price and others with health industry ties. Now the critics are in power.

Doctor Confesses: I Lied to Protect Colleague in Malpractice Suit

A surgeon who lied about his partner’s skills on the witness stand has been haunted by the deception for nearly two decades.

The Hidden Toll of Drug-Resistant Superbugs

New Report: Problem Care Harms Almost One-Third of Rehab Hospital Patients

Many patients sent to rehab facilities to recover from medical crises or procedures sometimes suffer additional harm from the care itself, a government study concludes.

Study Urges CDC to Revise Count of Deaths from Medical Error

If not for flawed tracking, medical mistakes would be the third-leading cause of death, researchers at Johns Hopkins say.

When a Brain Surgeon Becomes a Malpractice Lawyer

Lawrence Schlachter has seen medicine from inside the operating room and the courtroom. Lots of doctors care about patient safety, he says. “They’re just afraid to come out.”

How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety

In the U.S., patients harmed during medical care have few avenues for redress. The Danes chose to forget about fault and focus on what’s fair.

Patient Safety Voices Reporting Recipe

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year in U.S. health care facilities. Often, their harm isn’t acknowledged even as they live with the consequences. ProPublica set out to capture their stories. Here is what we learned.

The Voices of Patient Harm

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year in U.S. health care facilities. Often, their harm isn’t acknowledged even as they live with the consequences. ProPublica set out to capture their stories. Here is what we learned.

A Trail of Medical Errors Ends in Grief, But No Answers

Paula Schulte couldn't survive a cascade of medical mistakes. After that, her family couldn't get accountability.

Patient Safety Voices Advice

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year in U.S. health care facilities. Often, their harm isn’t acknowledged even as they live with the consequences. ProPublica set out to capture their stories. Here is what we learned.

Orthopedic Board Hasn’t Adopted Surgeon Scorecard After All

A new statement by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says its executive director “miscommunicated” his own preference without getting necessary approval.

Orthopedic Board Will Use Surgeon Scorecard to Help Re-certify Docs

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery says ProPublica’s analysis can help identify surgeons with a high rate of complications.

For a Surgeon With a History of Complications, a Felony Past

As a medical student, Florida spine surgeon Constantine Toumbis stabbed a friend outside a bar. Documents show he omitted or misrepresented his record in regulatory filings.

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