Jake Harper

Reporter, WFYI

Jake Harper started his job at Side Effects shortly before the 2015 announcement of an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana, and since then has focused his reporting on addiction, Medicaid and access to health care. His investigations have covered medical industry influence in state and national government, a clinical trial that skirted federal regulations and various barriers to evidence-based addiction treatment. His stories have been broadcast at stations across the midwest and nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Latino USA and Here & Now.

Harper also co-hosts the podcast, Sick, with Lauren Bavis. Visit sickpodcast.org for more information. 

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High-deductible health plans, which have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs, help reduce health care spending, according to a new study from Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis. But the researchers also found that people on HDHPs are using fewer preventive services such as cancer screenings, perhaps because people are worried about getting stuck with the bill. 


Indianapolis, Indiana.
Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.


Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Curtis Hill, has accused the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of manipulating facts in order to push a “pro-needle-exchange agenda.” He made the accusation in a statement released Tuesday.

More people who are addicted to opioids are coming into the Marion County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. The influx has the sheriff calling on Indiana lawmakers to spend more to combat addiction.   

Lieutenant Colonel James Martin, the Marion County Jail commander, says the facility has seen an influx of people going into withdrawals. “The majority of the problems we are dealing with are your first 20 or so hours in custody,” says Martin.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

On a cold morning last winter, Christopher Hinds says he woke up early, sick from withdrawal. He called a friend and they trekked across a highway, walking for more than two miles through the snow on a street without sidewalks to buy heroin. 

“You don’t think about nothing but getting it when you’re sick like that,” he says. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/social-security-disability/

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act could save the government money by causing fewer people to sign up for disability benefits, according to a new study from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.

  

Elliot Englert / for Side Effects Public Media

The public has weighed in on Indiana’s proposal to add a work requirement to its unique Medicaid program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0.  More than 40 people submitted their opinions to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as of July 18, showing overwhelming disapproval of the proposal.

Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPBS

This week, Side Effects Public Media released a report detailing how the president of an Indiana nonprofit is also lobbying for a drug company, Alkermes. The story, produced in collaboration with WFYI and NPR, has some political leaders in Indiana calling for stricter disclosure rules for lobbyists trying to influence policy. 

 

Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana has submitted a proposal to the federal government to to add a work requirement to its Medicaid program, the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. But the state skirted an important step in the approval process: seeking public comment from Indiana residents.

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