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Health Care

Series

Lost Mothers

Maternal Care and Preventable Deaths

Wasted Medicine

Squandered Health Care Dollars

Policing Patient Privacy

Patient Privacy and Medical Care

Examining Medicare

A Closer Look at Medicare Part B

Obamacare and You

The Rollout of the Affordable Care Act

Overdose

Acetaminophen and Accidental Overdoses

Patient Safety

Exploring Quality of Care in the U.S.

Dialysis

High Costs and Hidden Perils of a Treatment Guaranteed to All

Dollars for Doctors

How Industry Money Reaches Physicians

Omniscan

Specter of MRI Disease Haunts General Electric

When Caregivers Harm

America’s Unwatched Nurses

Stories

Some U.S. Hospitals Don’t Put Americans First for Liver Transplants

At a time when there aren’t enough livers for ailing Americans, wealthy foreigners fly here for transplants.

New Jersey Bill Would Create Commission Empowered to Probe Deaths Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Spurred by ProPublica and NPR’s reporting, New Jersey lawmakers are moving to tighten requirements to report maternal deaths, investigate their causes and identify ways to prevent them.

New York City Launches Committee to Review Maternal Deaths

Amid intensifying concerns about deaths and near-deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, New York City will review cases in depth to protect mothers and improve data collection.

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.

How Many American Women Die From Causes Related to Pregnancy or Childbirth? No One Knows.

Data collection on maternal deaths is so flawed and under-funded that the federal government no longer even publishes an official death rate.

The Breakthrough: Curiosity Drove Her to Call 1,000 People

BuzzFeed’s Rosalind Adams set out to learn why America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain was under investigation. Source by source, she built a case that Universal Health Services was locking up people for profit.

Pressure Mounts on Insurance Companies to Consider Their Role in Opioid Epidemic

Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing.

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.

State Audit Slams New York’s Oversight of Nurses

Echoing the findings of a 2016 ProPublica investigation, New York’s comptroller says the state does not investigate complaints swiftly and lets nurses with criminal records retain their licenses.

Senator Calls on Insurers to Improve Access to Non-Opioid Pain Treatments

The move follows a story by ProPublica and The New York Times detailing how insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers have made it easier to get opioid painkillers than less risky alternatives.

Attorneys General in 37 States Urge Insurance Industry to Do More to Curb Opioid Epidemic

They want insurers to re-examine coverage policies that, as ProPublica and The New York Times reported Sunday, may be driving patients toward addictive painkillers.

Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

Drug companies and doctors have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis, but some question whether insurers have played a role, too.

Why Are Drug Prices So High? We’re Curious, Too.

The New York Times and ProPublica have teamed up to investigate who is to blame for skyrocketing drug prices — and have turned up some surprising answers.

Why Giving Birth Is Safer in Britain Than in the U.S.

The U.S. and the U.K. used to have the same rate of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth. Now, Britain’s is almost three times lower. Here’s what they’re doing right.

Risky, Overused Medications Prescribed Far Less Often in the Aloha State

Medicare patients in Hawaii take fewer opioid painkillers and fewer antibiotics, on average, than those in any other state. Physicians and health policy experts cite demographics and healthier lifestyles as possible reasons why.

We’ve Updated Prescriber Checkup

Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program serves more than 42 million people and pays for more than one of every four prescriptions written nationwide. Use this tool to find and compare doctors and other providers in Part D in 2015.

Many Nurses Lack Knowledge of Health Risks for New Mothers, Study Finds

A nationwide survey shows that postpartum nurses often fail to warn mothers about potentially life-threatening complications, mainly because they need more education themselves.

Generic Drug Prices Are Declining, But Many Consumers Aren’t Benefiting

Outcry has been building over the rising cost of brand-name medications, but the price of generic drugs has been moving in the opposite direction. The stock prices of generic manufacturers have tumbled, but many consumers aren’t paying less at the pharmacy counter.

Take the Generic Drug, Patients Are Told — Unless Insurers Say No

Faced with competition, some pharmaceutical companies are cutting deals with insurance companies to favor their brand-name products over cheaper generics. Insurers pay less, but sometimes consumers pay more.

Accreditors Can Keep Their Hospital Inspection Reports Secret, Feds Decide

Reversing course, federal health officials withdrew a proposal that would have required private accrediting organizations to publicly release reports of problems they found in health care facilities. Accreditors and hospitals had panned the idea; consumer advocates and business groups supported it.

‘If You Hemorrhage, Don’t Clean Up’: Advice From Mothers Who Almost Died

We’ve heard from 3,100 women who survived life-threatening complications of pregnancy or childbirth. They told us what they wish they had known — and what they would say to other new and expectant mothers.

The Breakthrough: Reporting on Life and Death in the Delivery Room

ProPublica reporter Nina Martin and her team used social media and old-fashioned shoe leather to show how the U.S. has the worst maternal death rate in the developed world.

McCain’s Brain Cancer Draws Renewed Attention to Possible Agent Orange Connection

For years, Vietnam vets and their widows have been pushing the VA to extend benefits to those exposed to the toxic herbicide and later stricken with glioblastoma. The VA has said no, but advocates hope the agency will now revisit the issue.

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.

Lost Mothers

An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 120 of them so far.

‘Extreme’ Use of Painkillers and Doctor Shopping Plague Medicare, New Report Says

Some Medicare beneficiaries are being prescribed opioids by 10 or more doctors, or are filling prescriptions for more than 1,000 pills a month. Hundreds of doctors appear to be prescribing indiscriminately, says the inspector general of Health and Human Services.

Drugmakers’ Money-Back Guarantees: an Answer to Rising Prices or a ‘Carnival Game’

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly agreeing to refund money if patients don't respond to medications as expected. The Trump administration is intrigued, but critics say the deals are unlikely to reduce consumers’ bills.

The Medicaid Threat That Isn’t Getting Much Attention

As Republicans in Congress work to roll back the Affordable Care Act, they and some states are proposing major changes to the Medicaid program. Researchers say these changes would cost millions their health coverage.

Medicare Halts Release of Much-Anticipated Data

The government had planned to share data with researchers on patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage health plans. Then, suddenly, it didn’t.

Is Trump Administration’s Visa Push a Way to Win Health Care Votes?

In directing staffers at the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to draft a rule increasing the number of guest-worker visas, senior political officials specifically highlighted businesses in Maine and Alaska, home to senators who hold crucial health care votes.

Inappropriate Social Media Posts by Nursing Home Workers, Detailed

Below are details of 65 incidents since 2012 in which workers at nursing homes and assisted-living centers shared photos or videos of residents on social media networks. The details come from government inspection reports, court cases and media reports.

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.

Tom Price Bought Drug Stocks. Then He Pushed Pharma’s Agenda in Australia.

Before he was named Trump’s health secretary, Price took a congressional trip to Australia and pressed officials to extend protections for drug companies in an international trade agreement.

Three Strategies to Defend GOP Health Bill: Euphemisms, False Statements and Deleted Comments

Since the passage of the American Health Care Act, Republican members of Congress have tried to swing public opinion to their side. ProPublica has been tracking what they’re saying.

What We’ve Learned So Far About Maternal Mortality From You, Our Readers

Our first maternal health story started with unusual sources, an ask and lots of collaboration. We’re just getting started.

The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth

The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: the health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.

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.

Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Drug Profits, the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock

While in Congress, HHS Secretary Tom Price acted to help kill a rule that would hurt drug company profits shortly after his broker bought him up to $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stock.

Introducing the Vital Signs API

We made one tool for patients — and another one for computers.

Is Your Member of Congress Telling It Straight on the ACA? Help Us Fact-Check Them.

We’re looking for civically engaged people to help us fact-check what members of Congress are sending to their constituents.

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.

When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes

Years after research contradicts common practices, patients continue to demand them and doctors continue to deliver. The result is an epidemic of unnecessary and unhelpful treatment.

The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene

How a woman whose muscles disappeared discovered she shared a disease with a muscle-bound Olympic medalist.

Making the Cut: Why Choosing the Right Surgeon Matters Even More Than You Know

A ProPublica analysis of nearly 17,000 surgeons finds stark differences in complications rates for some of the most routine elective procedures.

FAQ: What You Need to Know About Prescriber Checkup

Frequently asked questions about our Prescriber Checkup news application.

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