Winners of the 25th Annual NIHCM Research and Journalism Awards
Zack Cooper, Stuart V. Craig, Martin Gaynor, John Van Reenen, "The Price Ain't Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, September 2018
This paper used private insurance claims to study the variation in health spending and the pricing of hospital services in the United States, finding that hospital prices increased significantly when merging hospitals were geographically close, and that hospitals in concentrated markets had higher prices and were able to negotiate more favorable contractual terms with insurers. The judges were impressed with the national reach of this work and its impact in transforming perceptions and raising public policy questions regarding antitrust enforcement.
Digital Media Award
This series examined the impact of particulate air pollution on the lives of everyday people and uncovered government action (or lack thereof) to address the problem, which kills millions of people each year. The judges were blown away by the "spectacular" use of digital media and its success in making data accessible to the public in a way that has driven dialogue around air pollution as a health issue in the United States and beyond.
General Circulation Print Journalism Award
Marty Schladen, Catherine Candisky, Lucas Sullivan, Darrel Rowland and Rachel Kilroy, “Side Effects,” The Columbus Dispatch, Landing Page, 3/13/2018, 3/25/2018, 4/15/2018, 5/20/2018, 6/3/2018, 6/17/2018, 6/24/2018, 8/14/2018, 12/23/2018
This series explored rising prescription drug costs in the Ohio Medicaid program and uncovered how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) routinely billed the state for prices much higher than the payment passed on to pharmacies, which led to independent pharmacy closures. As a result of this investigation, the state of Ohio revamped their Medicaid contracts with PBMs. The judges were impressed by the scope and depth of this ambitious year-long investigation from a regional newspaper and praised the quality of the reporting as well as the clear impact in Ohio and beyond.
Trade Journalism Award
Jon Cohen, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, “The Sunshine State's Dark Cloud,” Science
This article is part of a package called “Far From Over” and highlights how Florida's fractured health care system is a significant barrier to the delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services—and to the state’s efforts to end its epidemic. The judges were struck by the new insights generated by this story and the original approach to examining a longstanding public health issue.
Television and Radio Journalism Award
Lesley Stahl, Richard Bonin, Ayesha Siddiqi, Richard Buddenhagen, Jeff Fager, Bill Owens, "The Rockford File," CBS News, 60 Minutes
This investigation examined how one prescription drug placed financial strain on an entire city as the price of the drug rose from $40 a vial to $40,000. The judges commended the clear portrayal of our country's opaque drug pricing system and the high production quality of the piece.