Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton economic professor who often writes about health care for the New York Times’ Economix blog, earns more than $500,000 a year working for a number of health care companies. He also holds more than $5 million worth of related stock.Reinhardt’s NYT bio does not mention these financial relationships.
As the NYTPicker points out, Reinhardt’s various incomes break the New York Times rules, which ban anyone who writes for the paper from having any financial interest “in a company, enterprise or industry that figures or is likely to figure in coverage that he or she provides, edits, packages or supervises regularly.”
We asked the New York Times for comment. They sent us this email:
“Professor Reinhardt is a leading expert on the economics of health care, and has provided valuable and independent insights in his blog posts. He has mentioned his service on corporate boards in the blog, but we are reviewing how to more fully describe his activities for readers of Economix.”
We also asked Reinhardt for comment. He is working on one for us and we will post it here as soon as possible.
Here’s the breakdown of what he owns, according to NYTPicker:
- Reinhardt either earns an income or stock options from the five different private health care companies for which he sits on the board of directors/serves as a trustee.
- He has sat on the board of health care company, Amerigroup, since 2003. This tenure has resulted in Reinhardt’s accumulation of 144,558 shares in the company and $226,531 in cash-and-stock compensation. These shares are currently valued around $4.8 million.
- Reinhardt also holds 75,625 shares of Boston Scientific (worth more than $500,000 in value) and earned $213,132 from the company in 2009. He has sat on the board of this medical device manufacturing company since 2005.
- Reinhardt serves as a trustee for H&Q Healthcare Investors and H&Q Life Science Investors. His 2008 income from the companies included $43,000 in income and between $1 and $10,000 worth of securities.
- He also made $2.3 million from the 2007, $5.1 billion sale of Triad Hospitals to Community Health Systems.
The disclosure of conflicts of interest will likely become an increasingly bigger issue for the Times and other news organisations who are forced to rely on freelance writers to supplement a leaner staff and to produce more content on the Web.
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