The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the Seventeenth Annual Health Care Research and Journalism Awards. The contests are judged by independent panels of experts.
The 2011 winners are:
Television and Radio Journalism
Producer/Writer/Director: Jon Palfreman, Co-producer: Kate McMahon, Director of Photography: Mark Rublee, Editor: Raoul Rosenberg, "FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War," PBS.
This piece examines the heated debate over vaccination, showing viewers the real fear behind the arguments and conveying the charisma of the anti-vaccine movement, while also pointing to study after study debunking the myth that vaccinations trigger autism. The judges concluded that it "took the debate to a new and deeper level" and that it "does what television is well-positioned to do--preserve the voices of the parties interviewed." The judges deemed this report "the definitive story of the vaccine debate."
General Circulation Print Journalism
Marshall Allen, Alex Richards, the Las Vegas Sun staff, "Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas," Las Vegas Sun.
This series, the result of a two-year investigation that reviewed 2.9 million hospital billings records and more than 250 interviews with patients and hospital insiders, reveals the preventable infections and injuries taking place in Las Vegas hospitals and shows the fundamental causes of the hospitals' shortcomings. It was lauded by the judges as "incredible, dogged, entrepreneurial writing." Noting resistance from the hospital industry and the lethargic response of the state, the judges called this investigation "long overdue."
Trade Publication Print Journalism
Joe Carlson, "Bad for business," Modern Healthcare.
This article on hospital finance reveals that hospitals have been losing money on patient care for the last 25 years, and that they are mainly surviving on alternate revenue sources like investment income. The judges called the article "very surprising," saying it covers new ground and is extremely thorough in its analysis of 25 years of American Hospital Association data. They also remarked that they appreciate Carlson's knack for turning complicated health care issues into readable stories.
Mark Duggan, Fiona Scott-Morton, "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," American Economic Review 100(1): 590-607.
This study shows that private prescription drug plans were able to extract lower prices for branded drugs in the first year after Medicare Part D took effect, noting that beneficiaries who did not have insurance coverage for drugs prior to enrolling in Medicare Part D were largely responsible for the price declines. The judges praised the paper's technical strength and direct relevance to policy debates over how to encourage competition in the purchase of health care services.
About the Awards
Established in 1993, the awards program recognizes the talented researchers and journalists who serve as catalysts for positive change by advancing and informing the health care policy debate. NIHCM's President and CEO, Nancy Chockley, explains "NIHCM was founded with a mission to provoke new thinking and ideas. Through our awards, we recognize the tremendous contributions made by those in the fields of health care journalism and research who bring these new ideas to light and communicate them to the public." This year's competition brought in nearly 300 entries. The winners were honored at NIHCM's Seventeenth Annual Journalism and Research Awards Dinner on May 16 in Washington, DC.