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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

With Drug Reps Kept At Bay, Doctors Prescribe More Judiciously

A new study shows that doctors prescribed fewer marketed brand-name drugs when teaching hospitals restricted access to pharmaceutical sales representatives.

New Jersey Seeks to Sanction Psychologist for Disclosing Patients’ Diagnoses in Court Filings

Lawsuits filed on behalf of a psychologist and his practice had disclosed details of patients’ mental health diagnoses and treatments, including those of children. Psychologist Barry Helfmann denies wrongdoing.

Secret Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last

The federal government has proposed requiring that accreditors release reports on the problems they find during hospital inspections. Right now, the reports are secret.

Heritage Foundation Alum Critical of Transgender Rights to Lead HHS Civil Rights Office

Roger Severino, the new head of the Office for Civil Rights within Health and Human Services, has opposed transgender patients’ rights, same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood.

On Health Reform, Democrats and Republicans Don’t Speak the Same Language

We analyzed more than 575 press releases from representatives and senators about the Affordable Care Act and its repeal. Democrats, we found, speak more often and are more united.

We Fact-Checked Lawmakers’ Letters to Constituents on Health Care

They’re full of lies and misinformation.

Fact-Checking Elected Officials on the Affordable Care Act Repeal

ProPublica is working with other news organizations to collect and analyze letters and emails from elected officials to constituents on the ACA, beginning with a misleading missive by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt. Send us more!

How a Simple Fix to Reduce Aberrant Prescribing Became Not So Simple

In 2014, the government said health providers would have to enroll in Medicare in order to prescribe drugs to seniors and disabled beneficiaries. Delay after delay has pushed back the requirement until 2019. It’s been “much more challenging” than anticipated, an official concedes.

After Officials Sign Off, Cleveland Clinic Doctor Secretly Returns Home

Suha Abushamma had been forced to leave the United States after President Donald Trump’s travel ban. She sued, and high-level discussions led to her return yesterday.

Despite Judge’s Order, a Cleveland Clinic Doctor Still Can’t Come Back to U.S.

A federal judge’s order has allowed many people with visas to come to the U.S. But Dr. Suha Abushamma isn’t one of them. She was forced to give up her visa. And now she’s suing.

Cleveland Clinic Medical Trainee Sues to Come Back to U.S.

Dr. Suha Abushamma was denied entry to this country Saturday, hours after President Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning visitors from seven countries.

Trump’s Travel Ban is Wreaking Havoc on Families, Especially Those With Valid Visas

The executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations is separating families who made every effort to follow U.S. immigration law.

Trump’s Executive Order Strands Brooklyn Doctor in Sudan

A second-year resident at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn was blocked when he tried to board a flight back from Sudan. Now, he worries what will happen to his patients.

Hours After Landing in U.S., Cleveland Clinic Doctor Forced to Leave by Trump’s Order

Dr. Suha Abushamma’s flight back to Saudi Arabia took off minutes before a federal judge ordered such forced removals to stop. “She was basically racing against Trump,” a colleague and friend said.

The Breakthrough: Uncovering Danger at the Pharmacy Counter

Podcast: Reporters at the Chicago Tribune set out to learn whether pharmacies in Chicago have been warning patients who’ve been prescribed risky combinations of drugs.

Drug Distributors Penalized For Turning Blind Eye In Opioid Epidemic

The middlemen between drug companies and pharmacies have been hit recently with fines for their role in not calling out suspicious transactions. “They’re like the quarterback. They distribute the ball,” a former DEA supervisor said.

Pharma Money Reaches Guideline Writers, Patient Groups, Even Doctors on Twitter

A series of studies published today documents the vast conflicts of interest in medicine. The way we think about disease “is being subtly distorted” by financial ties, the authors of an editorial write.

Rethinking The Cost of War

What if casualties don’t end on the battlefield, but extend to future generations? Our reporting this year suggests the government may not want to know the answer

The Agent Orange Widows Club

After their husbands died of an aggressive brain cancer, the widows of Vietnam veterans have found one another as they fight the VA for benefits.

Long List of Agent Orange Decisions Awaits VA in 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs must decide whether to add new diseases to its list of conditions presumed to be linked to Agent Orange. It also faces calls to compensate naval veterans and those who served along the Korean demilitarized zone.
Charles Ornstein

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