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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.

Why Patient Harm Is One of the Leading Causes of Death in America

In his new book, surgeon Marty Makary gives his thoughts on why patient harm persists, and what to do about it. He sat down with us for a Q&A.

Author: Health Care Reform Is No Solution to Patient Harm

Patient safety advocate Rosemary Gibson thinks the too-big-to-fail health care industry lacks accountability and a forceful mandate to improve.

To Stent Or Not To Stent, That Is In Question

As Hospital Corporation of America comes under scrutiny, experts say unnecessary heart procedures are common, costing taxpayers, driving insurance premiums and putting patients at risk.

Why Can't Medicine Seem to Fix Simple Mistakes?

The death of 12-year-old Rory Staunton from septic shock prompted NYU's Langone Medical Center to revamp its emergency room procedures to address a startling lapse. History shows that the profession is unlikely to learn from this mistake.

Cardiac Arrest: Hospital Refuses to Give Widow her Husband's Heart

After eight years, the hospital that performed Jerry Carswell's autopsy acknowledges it has his heart, but still won't give it to his wife.

Could The Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling Kill Patient Safety Reforms?

In all the talk about the Supreme Court’s impending health care reform ruling, one question is often overlooked: What might happen to the many patient safety and quality of care provisions sprinkled through the Affordable Care Act?

Chatting With the Reporters Behind Dollars for Docs

Charlie Ornstein and Tracy Weber talk about the money docs get from drug companies, and why it matters.

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Why Can't Linda Carswell Get Her Husband's Heart Back?

For almost eight years, Linda Carswell has been trying to find out how her husband died. Her quest has led to a fraud judgment against a hospital as well as autopsy reform in Texas. But she’s still seeking answers — and the return of his heart.

Without Autopsies, Hospitals Bury Their Mistakes

Hospital autopsies have become a rarity. As a result, experts say, diagnostic errors are missed, opportunities to improve medical treatment are lost, and health-care statistics are skewed.

Health-Care Reform Rules Would Restrict Public Reporting

Last year’s health-care reform law promised to use Medicare billing data to increase public reporting about the performance of doctors and health-care facilities. Now, proposed government rules could prevent consumer groups from getting the data and would give medical providers the right to review any quality findings in advance.

Doctor's Lawsuit Targets Parents of Patient Who Overdosed

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stripped Dr. Kevin Buckwalter of his ability to prescribe narcotics, citing the death of eight patients. Now Buckwalter claims a malpractice suit filed by the parents of Andrea Duncan, who died in 2005, is an abuse of the legal process.

Colorado Hits Body-Imaging Chain With a Hefty Fine

Heart Check America, which marketed controversial body scans to consumers, treated patients without doctors’ orders and may have exposed patients unnecessarily to radiation, regulators say.

Illinois Regulators Sue Heart Scan Company, Alleging Deceptive Practices

After a ProPublica investigation, Illinois officials file suit against a company that markets long-term contracts for body and organ screenings that some medical experts say are unnecessary and could put patients at risk.

Body Imaging Business Pushes Scans Many Don’t Need — Including Me

A reporter gets an unusual offer from Heart Check America, a chain of scanning clinics that bypasses doctors and is drawing increased consumer complaints and heightened scrutiny from regulators.

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