Tale note: State health care laws don’t apply to all Minnesotans
More than 2 million people covered by Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans are not subject to health plan regulations passed by the Minnesota Legislature. Why? Most health care coverage offered by large employers is “self-funded.” The federal government regulates self-funded plans under the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA.) About 40 percent of Minnesotans receive coverage through self-funded plans.
Covering Health Issues Sourcebook
Alliance for Health Reform has published its seventh edition of the Covering Health Issues Sourcebook. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this is a fantastic guide for reporters who cover the beat day-to-day or are assigned to do a quick piece on a specific topic ranging from health care costs and quality to children’s health issues.
Association of Health Care Journalists
The Association of Health Care Journalists works to improve public understanding of health and health care. The organization offers resources and tip sheets on covering many topics.
New Reporter’s Toolkit — Health Care Costs
This toolkit helps reporters understand trends in U.S. health spending, and some of the reasons why spending is going up. It also covers some ideas for restraining health care costs. In addition, this resource offers story ideas, selected experts with contact information, selected websites and a glossary.
Another resource on health care costs is Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., who was president of the Center for Studying Health System Change. He delivered a presentation titled “Health Care Costs 101” at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Here are the slides from his presentation.
Health News Review
HealthNewsReview.org works improve the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests and procedures, as well as help consumers evaluate the evidence on many health care topics. A team of professionals (journalism, medicine, health services research and public health) judge the quality of recent news stories using a standardized rating system. Stories reviewed make a therapeutic claim about specific treatments, procedures, investigational drugs or devices, vitamins or nutritional supplements and diagnostic and screening tests. Stories are graded and critiques are published on this website. The award-winning site also includes a section titled, “Things you should know about research stories.”
Minnesota Council of Health Plans