WBUR Staff

Martha Bebinger

Reporter, WBUR

Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR. She also created and frequently contributes to HealthCareSavvy, WBUR’s community of patients starting to shop for health care.  She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, class of 2010.

Recent stories

How Much Is That Eye Exam? Study Probes The Elusive Quest For Health Care Prices

August 12, 2015

The state requires that patients are provided the cost of a service within two business days of a request. However, a new study from the Pioneer Institute shows that prices are rarely provided readily.

State-Funded Lab At Harvard Medical Aims To Reinvent Drug Discovery

August 10, 2015
Jerry Lin and Sharon Wang at the not yet one-year-old Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. The two are studying the effects of cancer treatment drugs on the heart. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Scientists at the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology aim to reinvent the drug development process as they work to find treatments for diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Everett Families, Doctors And First Responders Work To Combat Spike In Overdose Deaths

August 04, 2015
Struggling to find resource for her son as he battled his heroin addiction, Patti Scalesse decided to start the group Everett Overcoming Addiction. It brings together parents and patients who are learning to manage substance abuse disorder. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

There were 23 opioid overdose deaths recorded for Everett in 2014. That number, based on the residence of the deceased, is more than four times higher than the five overdose deaths recorded for Everett in 2013.

Mass. Revises Up The Number Of Opioid-Related Deaths In 2014

August 04, 2015
OxyContin pills are arranged at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. in this 2013 file photo. Opioid drugs include OxyContin. (Toby Talbot/AP)

The initially reported number was 1,008 overdose deaths. Now, it’s 1,256. That’s nearly four people a day statewide.

In Boston, Celebration And Reflection As The Americans With Disabilities Act Turns 25

July 22, 2015
Marchers walk down Tremont Street near Boston Common to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Now at the 25 year mark, disability advocates are celebrating and mapping their next steps. In Boston, about 2,000 people walked or rolled to Boston Common for a parade, speeches, music, dancing and crafts.

A Warehouse Full Of Legal Weed: Medical Marijuana Takes Root In Brockton

July 13, 2015
Marijuana plants at In Good Health Inc., in Brockton (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Inside a 13,000-square-foot warehouse, more than a thousand pot plants grow at one of the state’s first legal pot farms.

Self-Diagnosing Online? Study Finds Sites Are Only Accurate About Half Of The Time

July 09, 2015
“Looking at whether these tools are good enough to replace the doctor is the wrong debate,” said Jason Maude, co-founder of Isabel. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Symptom checkers — those tools that let you enter information and then produce a diagnosis — are accurate about half of the time, a Harvard study finds.

Having A Baby? Big Differences In Hospital Quality Across Massachusetts

July 02, 2015

Data we’ve collected from Massachusetts hospitals on C-section rates and four other childbirth quality measures show there are big differences in hospital quality across the state.

Having A Baby? Compare Childbirth At Mass. Hospitals

July 02, 2015

Use this interactive map to compare Massachusetts hospitals that perform deliveries on five childbirth quality measures.

Transgender Patients Create Their Own Networks Of ‘Safe’ Providers

July 01, 2015
RAD Remedy pools and vets referral lists of doctors, nurses, dentists and more from LGBT organizations. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Transgender patients say they need to build their own databases because there is little, if any, medical research to help guide their care.

Where It Began: Mass. Reacts To Supreme Court’s Landmark Gay Marriage Ruling

June 26, 2015
State Attorney General Maura Healey, who is gay, lauds the Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, at a news conference at her Boston office Friday. Former AG Martha Coakley is behind Healey's right shoulder. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

“Now we’ll be able to take our marriage with us,” said David Wilson, one of the couples whose lawsuit led to Massachusetts’ gay marriage law.

Bombing Survivors Share Mixed, Emotional Reactions To Tsarnaev Death Penalty

May 15, 2015
Liz Norden, whose two sons each lost a leg in the attack, speaks to media outside the courthouse and receives support from first responder Mike Ward. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

BOSTON Death, “that’s the easy way out for him,” says Carol Downing. “I was hoping that he would go away and never be heard from again,” continues Downing, “and suffer the rest of his life like everybody is going to suffer that’s been involved in this.” Downing’s two daughters spent months in the hospital after […]

Community Rocked By ‘Unprovoked’ Shooting Leaving Boston Cop In Coma

March 29, 2015

Officer John Moynihan, 34, is in a medically induced coma after being shot in the face by a suspect getting out of his car. The suspect was later killed in a police shootout.

Pine Street Inn Transitions To Permanent Housing

March 09, 2015
Mark Mack, 36, had been homeless, on and off, for 26 years. Here he is in his new apartment in Dorchester -- the first lease he'd ever signed. (Courtesy of Laura Hajar via Pine Street Inn)

With the opening of new apartments, Pine Street Inn — a roof of last resort for more than 40 years — now manages more permanent than temporary beds.

Many In Mass. Await The Next Blizzard With No Heat

February 13, 2015
An oil tank in Robbin Taylor’s basement is empty and she has no money to fill it. The $900 in oil assistance she received at the beginning of winter is long gone. (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

Roughly 200,000 Massachusetts households qualify for federal home energy assistance. And about half of those who receive aid have already exhausted that benefit.

14 Charged In Deadly 2012 Meningitis Outbreak

December 17, 2014

Fourteen former employees or associates of the New England Compounding Center were arrested Wednesday on charges related to tainted steroids the Framingham pharmacy produced in 2012 that killed 64 people across the country and injured 751, some permanently.

After Loss, Coakley’s Political Future Uncertain

November 05, 2014
Martha Coakley speaks to supporters after her governor's race loss. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Coakley is not saying what kind of work she’ll pursue when her term as attorney general ends in January. “I want to find a way to continue working for the people of Massachusetts. What form that takes, I don’t know yet,” she told supporters Wednesday morning.

In Hyde Park, Everyone Has A Menino Story To Tell

October 30, 2014
Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s imprint is all over Hyde Park, where he grew up and raised his family. Pictured here, Menino's wife Angela applauds as he is introduced at a 2013 ceremony held to name the Hyde Park YMCA after him. (AP)

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s imprint is on dozens of multi-million dollar initiatives around the city. But it’s also everywhere in Readville, the section of Hyde Park where Menino, who passed away Thursday at 71, was born, raised his own children, and was called Tommy as often as he was called mayor.

What We Know About Menino’s Health

October 24, 2014

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has decided to stop his cancer treatment.

Harvard Gets Largest-Ever Gift: $350M For School Of Public Health

September 08, 2014
Gerald Chan (Courtesy Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications)

Harvard University is outlining details of the largest donation in the school’s 378-year history. The $350 million gift, in memory of a Hong Kong businessman, is to the Harvard School of Public Health.

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