Charles Ornstein

Charles Ornstein appears in the following:

What Feds' Push To Share Health Data Means For Patients

Monday, May 09, 2016

ProPublica's Charles Ornstein spoke with Niall Brennan about making health data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services more widely available outside the government.


Drug-Company Payments Mirror Doctors' Brand-Name Prescribing

Thursday, March 17, 2016

An analysis of Medicare data shows that the more money a doctor gets from pharmaceutical companies, the more likely he or she is to prescribe brand-name medications. And that influences cost.


Supreme Court Strikes At States' Efforts On Health Care Transparency

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow Tuesday to nascent efforts to track the quality and cost of health care, ruling that a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database.

The arguments were arcane, but the ...


Privacy Violations Rising At Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

When Anthony McCann opened a thick manila envelope from the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, he expected to find his own medical records inside.

Instead, he found over 250 pages of deeply revealing personal information on another veteran's mental health.

"It had everything about him, and I could ...


Repeat Violators Of Health Privacy Laws Often Go Unpunished

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Regulators have logged dozens, even hundreds of complaints against some health providers for violating federal patient privacy law. Warnings are doled out privately, and sanctions are rarely imposed.


Celebrities' Medical Records Tempt Hospital Workers To Snoop

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Improper access to the medical information of celebrities and people in the news has been a bane of health systems around the country for years. The proliferation of electronic medical records systems has made it easier to track and punish those who peek in records for no legitimate reason.

Below ...


Small Violations Of Medical Privacy Can Hurt Patients And Erode Trust

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Breaches that expose the health details of just a patient or two are proliferating nationwide. Regulators focus on larger privacy breaches and rarely take action on small ones, despite their harm.


Brand-Name Drugs Can Raise Costs Without Boosting Patient Satisfaction

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In recent days, presidential candidates and even the American Medical Association have griped about rising drug prices, pointing to brand-name blockbusters with splashy ad campaigns.

When it comes to patient satisfaction, however, there isn't much difference between brands and generics, according to data collected by the website Iodine, ...


Bill Would Add Nurses, Physician Assistants To Pharma Disclosure Database

Thursday, October 08, 2015

A bill proposed Wednesday by two U.S. senators would require drugmakers and medical device manufacturers to publicly disclose their payments to nurse practitioners and physician assistants for promotional talks, consulting, meals and other interactions.

The legislation would close a loophole in the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which requires companies ...


Abortion Foes Scour Clinics' Trash For Discarded Records

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The scene in front of clinics where abortions are performed is often tense, with clinic workers escorting patients past activists waving signs and taking photographs.

But increasingly, another drama is unfolding out back. There, abortion opponents dig through the trash in search of patient information.

Using garbage as their ammunition, ...


On Yelp, Doctors Get Reviewed Like Restaurants — And It Rankles

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Doctors hate online rankings, saying patients don't get the nuances of medicine. But health care reviews on Yelp are more positive overall than they are for restaurants and other services.


Industry Payments To Nurses Go Unreported In Federal Database

Monday, July 06, 2015

A nurse practitioner in Connecticut pleaded guilty in June to taking $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing its high-priced drug to treat cancer pain. In some cases, she delivered promotional talks attended only by herself and a company sales representative.

But when the federal ...


Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn't receive a payment from a drug company.

All told, 29 different pharmaceutical companies paid her $594,363 in 2014, mostly for promotional speaking and consulting, but also for travel expenses and meals, according to data released Tuesday ...


Fraud Still Plagues Medicare's Prescription Drug Program

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fraud and abuse continue to dog Medicare's popular prescription drug program, despite a bevy of initiatives launched to prevent them, according to two new reports by the inspector general of Health and Human Services.

Their release follows the arrests of 44 pharmacy owners, doctors and others, who last week ...


'Kiss Everybody': Voice Mails Live On After Parents Are Gone

Monday, May 25, 2015

Writer Charles Ornstein's parents endure in many forms, he says. Most of those, he doesn't carry in his pocket. But the voice mails — those unscripted moments of everyday life — he does.


Tracking Your Own Health Data Too Closely Can Make You Sick

Monday, April 06, 2015

Last week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused quite a stir on Twitter by suggesting that people, if they could afford it, get quarterly bloodwork to establish a baseline of their own health. A big failing of medicine, he wrote, is that "we wait till we are sick to have ...


Despite A Wave Of Data Breaches, Fed Says Patient Privacy Isn't Dead

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's hard to keep track of even the biggest health data breaches, given how frequently they seem to be happening.

Just Tuesday, health insurer Premera Blue Cross disclosed that hackers broke into its system and may have accessed the financial and medical records of some 11 million people. Premera's ...


Fines Remain Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Multiply

Friday, February 27, 2015

In a string of meetings and press releases, the federal government's health watchdogs have delivered a stern message: They are cracking down on insurers, hospitals and doctors offices that don't adequately protect the security and privacy of medical records.

"We've now moved into an area of more assertive enforcement," Leon ...


Prolific Prescribers Of Controlled Substances Face Medicare Scrutiny

Monday, December 15, 2014

In the face of abuse concerns, Medicare covered more prescriptions for potent controlled substances in 2012 than in 2011. Top prescribers often have faced disciplinary action or criminal charges.


5 Things We Learned From New Database Of Payments To Doctors

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The launch of the so-called Open Payments website, mandated under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, was far from glitch-free: Some users encountered long delays and ...