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Flaws in the U.S. health care system, federal health programs and with individual medical providers and patients
America's Worst Charities

Part 2: A failure of regulation

Four years ago, charity regulators in 38 states banded together to take down one of the most deceptive charity solicitors in America. In an unusual show of force, they marshaled resources from across the country and targeted Community Support Inc. An investigator in Iowa posed as a donor and secretly recorded calls coming from boiler

Jun 7, 2013
Health Care

How we identified the nation’s worst charities

The United States is home to roughly 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations. That’s far too many to examine closely. So the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting used data collected by the nonprofit charity tracker GuideStar USA to narrow the pool to the 5,800 charities nationwide that report paying professional solicitation companies to

Jun 6, 2013
America's Worst Charities

Don’t get fooled by bad charities

Before you give: Find out exactly who’s calling. Ask if the caller is a paid telemarketer. Get the exact name and location of the charity he or she represents. Beware of charities that mimic the names of well-established groups and of claims that you’ve given before to a charity you’ve never heard of. Find out

Jun 6, 2013
America's Worst Charities

Part 1: Dirty secrets of the worst charities

The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday, Fla. Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids. Most of the rest gets

Jun 6, 2013
Health Care

Hole in California law allows sex offenders to become addiction counselors

California State CapitolAndy Z./Shutterstock “Sexual psychopath.” That was the diagnosis a court-ordered psychiatrist gave Donald Robert Hoffman after he was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 1965. Hoffman, the psychiatrist determined, was a danger to others. But that history didn’t stop Hoffman from becoming a state-registered drug and alcohol counselor decades later, even though

May 13, 2013
Health Care

In Kern County, Latinas shake off stress, shimmy to better health

Marciela Sanchez leads the “Sexy Moms Club” in a Zumba workout based on bailoterapia, dance therapy, near Bakersfield. “They get rid of tiredness, relax their minds,” said Sanchez, one of 80 certified instructors, or “promotores.”Michael Fagans / The Bakersfield Californian LAMONT, Calif. – Like many women in the Central Valley, Elizabeth Sanchez spends her days

May 6, 2013
Health Care

Car is king in street design, to detriment of pedestrians

Jose Flores Miguel, in a family photograph, crossed Clayton Road nearly every day to catch the bus or pick up groceries – as he was doing the evening he was killed in 2010.Courtesy of Flores’ family After Jose Flores Miguel, 65, was killed in 2010 crossing a busy Concord boulevard, city officials took action: They

Apr 30, 2013
Criminal Justice

Calif. disability center staff weighs in on patient abuse claims

Patrick Leslie, a chaplain at the Sonoma Developmental Center, speaks about the facility's need for good publicity at a public forum hosted by California Watch and the Sonoma Index-Tribune. Anna Vignet/California Watch SONOMA, Calif. – California’s largest full-time care center for the severely disabled needs more staff and accountability to correct major internal breakdowns that led

Jan 31, 2013
Health Care

Researchers pinpoint antibody critical to fighting flu

Researchers have discovered an antibody (in red) that neutralizes the flu (in blue).Wilson Lab/ Scripps Research Institute Sifting through thousands of proteins, researchers have identified an antibody that not only prevents the influenza virus from taking hold of its victims' cells, but also cures already infected animals. And by examining the cell and virus in

Sep 17, 2012
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