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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.

More States Hatch Plans to Recycle Drugs Being Wasted in Nursing Homes

After reading ProPublica’s story, lawmakers in Florida and New Hampshire say they plan to follow the example of an Iowa nonprofit that redistributes leftover medications to needy patients.

Seven Ways Patients Can Protect Themselves From Outrageous Medical Bills

Experts in reducing charges for medical services say patients need to push for detailed answers up front about the true costs of their care.

A Hospital Charged $1,877 to Pierce a 5-Year-Old’s Ears. This Is Why Health Care Costs So Much.

An epidemic of unnecessary treatment is wasting billions of health care dollars a year. Patients and taxpayers are paying for it.

Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce ‘Colossal and Completely Preventable Waste’

The senators cited a ProPublica story that found that drug companies have been making patients pay for oversized eyedrops and more liquid cancer medications than they need.

Drug Companies Make Eyedrops Too Big — And You Pay for the Waste

The makers of cancer drugs also make vials with too much medication for many patients. The excess drugs are tossed in the trash — another reason health care costs are so high.

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.

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