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

Dell Buys EMC In One Of The Biggest Tech Deals In U.S. History

October 13, 2015
Dell is buying data storage company EMC in a deal valued at approximately $67 billion, the companies announced, Monday. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

Dell, known for personal computers, is buying Hopkinton-based EMC in a sale valued at $67 billion.

First Step In Better Care For LGBT Patients? Find Out Who They Are

October 09, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week that electronic health records must include options for collecting information about gender identity and sexual orientation.

Medical Marijuana Sales Climb As More Dispensaries Open

October 08, 2015

Patients purchased 1,676 ounces of medical marijuana in September, as the state’s second dispensary opened. That’s a big jump from the 1,488 ounces sold in the slightly more than two months prior, when only one dispensary was open in the state.

More Evidence Points To Big Differences In C-Section Rates At Mass. Hospitals

October 07, 2015
Source: Leapfrog (Click to enlarge)

A new examination of C-section data ranks Massachusetts 19th among all states, with an average C-section rate of 26.2 percent — but that rate can vary widely depending on the hospital where you give birth.

In Visit To Boston, Clinton Pushes For Stronger Federal Regulation Of Opioids

October 02, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, is joined by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at the Boston Community Forum on Substance Abuse on Thursday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Hillary Clinton says the federal government must do a better job of regulating opiate painkillers during a forum on substance abuse in Boston Thursday.

After 7 Overdoses, Joey Searches For A Reason Why He’s Still Here

September 25, 2015
Joey feeding the birds in the morning in Bellingham Square. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

It’s the first few minutes of the early morning that are really hard for Joey. For about nine years, until just a few months ago, he’d wake up — in a bed or on a park bench or under the Tobin Bridge — and immediately put a needle in his arm.

AG Says State Must Do More To Control Health Care Costs

September 18, 2015
Attorney General Maura Healey says Massachusetts will miss a self-imposed health care spending target this year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The office of Attorney General Maura Healey issued a report saying Massachusetts will likely miss a self-imposed health care spending target again this year.

As State Agency Fails To Keep Premiums Flat, What’s Ahead For Cost Control In Mass.

September 17, 2015
The attorney general's report finds that some of the most expensive hospitals in the state are also the busiest, a pattern that drives up health care spending. (Courtesy Attorney General's Office)

The failure to keep premiums flat becomes the third warning that the health care “cost monster” may continue to loom in Massachusetts.

Tensions Build Amid Resignations At Kennedy Library

September 16, 2015
The resignation of Thomas Putnam, pictured here demonstrating the JFK Digital Archive in 2011, is the latest in a string of departures that coincide with the tenure of Heather Campion, the CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The library’s long-time and widely respected director, Tom Putnam, is the latest in a string of departures that coincide with the tenure of Heather Campion, the CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

No Blame, No Shame: Treating Heroin Addiction As A Chronic Condition

September 09, 2015
Some medical professionals express frustration that patients struggling with addiction are not always treated as though they suffer from a chronic illness. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

A man battling heroin addiction describes how understanding his dependency on the drug as a chronic condition has helped him feel less ashamed, get better treatment and ultimately, stay sober longer.

Mass. 2014 Health Care Spending Rises Faster Than State Goal

September 02, 2015
CLICK TO ENLARGE: The CHIA report's key findings

Massachusetts spent $632 million more on health care last year than it was supposed to, according to a new report. The big jump was at MassHealth.

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.

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.

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