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Charles Ornstein

Charles Ornstein

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Charles Ornstein is a senior reporter for ProPublica covering health care and the pharmaceutical industry.

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

Ornstein reported for the Times starting in 2001, in the last five years largely in partnership with Weber. Earlier, Ornstein spent five years as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He is a past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a former Kaiser Family Foundation media fellow.

Articles

Despite Wave of Data Breaches, Official Says Patient Privacy Isn’t Dead

Yet another health insurer reported a massive data breach this week, affecting the financial and medical information of 11 million people. We asked the head of the federal agency tasked with investigating these issues whether the notion of patient privacy was outmoded.

New York Legislation Would Make It a Felony to Film Patients Without Prior Consent

The bill was filed after a ProPublica story about a man whose death was recorded by the real-life medical series “NY Med” without permission. His widow recognized her husband while watching the show on TV.

Ebola-infected Nurse Contends Dallas Hospital Violated Her Privacy

In a lawsuit filed today, nurse Nina Pham says that a colleague videotaped her without her permission and then the hospital released the tape to the media.

Fines Remain Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Multiply

Federal health watchdogs say they are cracking down on organizations that don’t protect the privacy and security of patient records, but data suggests otherwise.

Over 1,100 Health Data Breaches, but Few Fines

Since October 2009, health care organizations and their business partners reported 1,142 large-scale data breaches, each affecting at least 500 people, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, seven breaches have resulted in fines.

Huge Prescriber of Risky Antipsychotic Drug to Plead Guilty to Taking Kickbacks

Dr. Michael Reinstein has been the subject of two ProPublica investigations. For years, even while under federal investigation, he prescribed more of the drug clozapine than any other doctor in the United States.

Why Pharma Payments to Doctors Were So Hard to Parse

Flaws in information submitted to Open Payments, a government database of financial relationships in the medical field, complicated our analysis.

Vying for Market Share, Companies Heavily Promote ‘Me Too’ Drugs

Our comprehensive analysis of drug company spending on doctors in the last five months of 2013 shows the most-promoted products typically were not cures, breakthroughs or top sellers.

Methodology for Calculating Company Payments to Doctors

Even with new federal data, it's not easy to track drug, device company spending on their products

Open Payments Explorer: How Much Industry Money Goes to Doctors and Teaching Hospitals

Beginning in 2014, the federal government mandated that pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers publicly report payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals. The first report covered the last five months of 2013. Use this tool to search for a company, drug or device.

When a Patient’s Death is Broadcast Without Permission

The ABC television show "NY Med" filmed Mark Chanko's final moments without the approval of his family. Even though his face was blurred, his wife recognized him. "I saw my husband die before my eyes."

As Controlled Substance Use Rises in Medicare, Prolific Prescribers Face More Scrutiny

Despite warnings about abuse, Medicare covered more prescriptions for potent controlled substances in 2012 than it did in 2011. The program's top prescribers often have faced disciplinary action or criminal charges related to their medical practices.

Using Prescriber Checkup: A Quick Guide

Will My Obamacare Health Plan Costs Go Up?

The open enrollment season for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act is open until Feb. 15, 2015. Our interactive tool lets you compare plans before you renew your insurance through the federal exchange.

Big Changes in Fine Print of Some 2015 Obamacare Plans

A ProPublica analysis found that many health insurance plans offered in the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace are changing their benefits heading into 2015. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to switch plans before they are automatically re-enrolled.

Dollars for Dudes: Almost No Women Among Medical Industry’s Top-Paid Speakers, Consultants

The causes are not clear, but men account for more than 90 percent of the 300 doctors who received the most money from drug and medical device companies, according to new federal data.

$1.1 Billion in Drug, Device Payments to Doctors Not Included in New Federal Database

The new Open Payments database of industry payments to doctors and teaching hospitals is more incomplete than previously known.

Analysis: Government’s New Doctor Payments Website Worthy of a Recall

Our health reporter Charles Ornstein takes a test drive using the federal government's new website for drug and device payments. He finds it virtually unusable.

Our First Dive Into the New Open Payments System

The government's data on payments to doctors and hospitals by drug and device makers is incomplete and hard to penetrate – but here's a first look.

What to be Wary of in the Govt’s New Site Detailing Industry Money to Docs

The government's new website on drug and device company ties to doctors will be incomplete and may be misleading — for now.
Charles Ornstein

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