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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.

What a Failed Vegas Sex Pill and The Meningitis Outbreak Have In Common

Drugs produced at ‘compounding’ pharmacies — like the steroids suspected of 15 meningitis deaths — are exempt from the safety checks that mass-produced pharmaceuticals receive.

Have You Been Harmed in a Medical Facility?

Why Patients Don’t Report Medical Errors

Patient safety flaws remain hidden if no one finds out about them. Now, a federal health care quality agency is planning a new effort to encourage disclosure of medical mistakes.

How You Can Help ProPublica Investigate Health Care Quality

Be part of the patient safety conversation, get regular updates and share stories or views.

A Costly Equation: Medical Dollars Wasted Are Greater Than the U.S. Defense Budget

New report analyzes the cost of medical waste in America.

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.

Join ProPublica's Patient Harm Community

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.

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