Charles Ornstein, ProPublica

Charles Ornstein


New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Charles:

Federal Patient Privacy Law Does Not Cover Most Period-Tracking Apps

A patient privacy law known as HIPAA, passed in 1996, hasn’t kept pace with new technologies and at-home tests. → Read More

New documents reveal how drug companies targeted doctors to increase opioid prescriptions

A trove of documents offers an unvarnished look inside the financial relationship between Big Pharma and doctors. → Read More

Out of View: After Public Outcry, CDC Adds Hospital Data Back to Its Website — for Now —

Hospitalization data is important to understanding the coronavirus’s spread and impact. But after the Trump administration changed its reporting rules, the CDC removed the data from its site, and only added it back after a public outcry. → Read More

Internal Messages Reveal Crisis at Houston Hospitals as Coronavirus Cases Surge —

Texas was one of the first states in the nation to ease social distancing mandates. In Houston, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has quadrupled since Memorial Day. “It’s time to be alarmed,” one expert said. → Read More

State Coronavirus Data Doesn’t Support Trump’s Misleading Testing Claims —

The Trump administration has doubled down on its claims that coronavirus case counts are up because the U.S. has increased testing. However, a closer look at graphs of testing numbers and positive cases shows that this isn’t the case for many states. → Read More

Giving Voice to Alaska’s Unheard Sexual Assault Survivors —

We’re publishing our most ambitious effort yet to give voice to those who have been sexually assaulted in Alaska. We have talked to hundreds of survivors over the past year who have shared their stories. → Read More

How Safe Are Nursing Homes Near Me? This Tool Will Help You Find Out.

Nursing Home Inspect enables you to search through thousands of nursing home inspection reports to find problems and trends. Our latest update includes data on infection control violations, and notations for facilities that have had a coronavirus case. → Read More

Nursing Homes Violated Basic Health Standards, Allowing the…

Our analysis of federal inspection reports found that nine nursing homes put residents in “immediate jeopardy,” including a case where a nursing assistant fed a resident after changing soiled briefs without washing hands. → Read More

We still don’t know how many people are in the hospital with COVID-19

Without consistent information, the U.S. won’t be able to properly respond as new coronavirus hot spots emerge → Read More

Coronavirus Hospitalization Numbers Are Spotty. Journalists, Help Us Fill in the Gaps. —

We don’t know how many COVID-19 patients are hospitalized across the country, because only some states are publishing data. Journalists can join our effort to gather this data from every state. → Read More

Lupus Patients Can’t Get Crucial Medication After President Trump Pushes Unproven Coronavirus Treatment —

Trump’s unproven claim that hydroxychloroquine could be used to treat COVID-19 has led to hoarding, putting Lupus patients and others at even greater risk. As of Saturday afternoon, Anna Valdez had 27 pills left. That number is now down to 25. → Read More

We have to stop comparing this coronavirus to the flu

This coronavirus is unlike anything in our lifetime → Read More

No, President Trump, the Coronavirus Is Nothing Like H1N1 Swine Flu Either —

The president has been comparing his administration’s handling of COVID-19 to the way President Barack Obama’s team dealt with the H1N1 outbreak. He is wrong. → Read More

The Five Questions Reporters Need to Ask Hospitals and Local Officials About Coronavirus —

ProPublica launched a tool that allows you to look up how the number of patients with COVID-19 could affect hospitals in your area under various scenarios. Here’s how to write a local accountability story with the data. → Read More

No Matter What Some Public Officials Say, the Message You Need to Hear Is “Stay Home” —

Mixed messaging from all levels of government is putting Americans at risk and will speed the spread of the coronavirus. No matter what politicians say, public health experts agree. Stay home, even if you feel fine. → Read More

This Coronavirus Is Unlike Anything in Our Lifetime, and We Have to Stop Comparing It to the Flu —

Longtime health reporter Charles Ornstein says that comparing the novel coronavirus to the flu is dangerously inaccurate. Not one public health expert he trusts has called that comparison valid. Here’s why. → Read More

Local Accountability Journalism Still Has a Huge Impact —

Between the Local Reporting Network and ProPublica Illinois, our work shows that state leaders across the country are listening and things can change. → Read More

Memorial Sloan Kettering Curbs Executives’ Ties to Industry After Conflict-of-Interest Scandals

The cancer center will now bar top officials from sitting on outside boards of for-profit companies, and is conducting a wide-scale review of other policies. → Read More

Top Cancer Doctor, Forced Out Over Ties to Drug Makers, Joins Their Ranks

AstraZeneca has hired Dr. José Baselga, the former chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, to lead its cancer research unit. → Read More

When Doctors Serve on Company Boards

Some hospital executives and cancer researchers sit on the boards of publicly traded companies, raising questions about whether their dual roles create a conflict of interest. → Read More