Press Releases / June 02, 2015

Winners Named in 21st Annual NIHCM Foundation Awards

Washington, DC – June 2, 2015 - The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 21st Annual Health Care Journalism and Research Awards. The winners are selected by panels of highly esteemed journalists and researchers.

General Circulation Print Journalism Award

Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Paying Till It Hurts," The New York Times.

This series investigates the convoluted and often astonishing story of the American medical bill. The judges called the series "deeply reported," "comprehensive" and "very powerful," noting Rosenthal's consistency in "clearly articulating real, fundamental problems in the health system."

Honorable Mention:
Sarah Varney, Margaret Slattery, Diane Webber, “Mississippi Burned,” POLITICO Magazine.

This report examines the complex, systemic government failures in the first year of the Affordable Care Act in Mississippi. The judges called the report "well-crafted," "authoritative" and "compelling," noting that this is the kind of journalism that has the capacity to shape health policy.

Trade Journalism Award

Cheryl Clark, “Sepsis Success,” HealthLeaders.

This report explores the problem of sepsis—a potentially fatal, expensive and preventable illness—in U.S. hospitals, digging into practical solutions hospitals can use to improve rapid diagnosis and treatment. The judges commended Clark for bringing attention to a fixable problem, calling the story "most likely to save a life."

Television and Radio Journalism Award

Sanjay Gupta, Roni Selig, Melissa Dunst, “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness” Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports, CNN.

This report delves into the politics of medical marijuana—and its impact on patients. The judges called the story "comprehensive" and "compelling" and said CNN's reporting "is having a major impact on how we think about medical marijuana."

Sebastian Walker, Sam Black, Joel Van Haren, Lindy Jankura, Abdulai Bah, Shannon Stanley, Dana Merwin, Nikhil Swaminathan, Carrie Lozano, Mathieu Skene, “Opioid Wars” Fault Lines, Al Jazeera America.

This investigation reveals the systemic causes of the epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose in the U.S. The judges called the problem "staggering" and praised the Fault Lines team for their "engaging" coverage of this "pressing" health crisis.

Digital Media Award

Aaron Carroll, Mark Olsen, Stan Muller, "Healthcare Triage—Using Evidence to Inform Policy,” Healthcare Triage.

This YouTube series explores widely misunderstood policy issues through the lens of scientific evidence. The judges called the series "illuminating" and "innovative" in its use of "high quality videos to translate research to a broad audience."

Research Award

Laura Dague, "The Effect of Medicaid Premiums on Enrollment: A Regression Discontinuity Approach,” Journal of Health Economics.

This paper shows that charging even modest premiums for Medicaid can cause people to drop coverage. The judges praised the paper as a strong investigation of a "key policy question" and said it could help inform state decisions on alternative approaches to Medicaid expansion.

About the Awards

Established in 1993, the awards program recognizes the talented journalists and researchers who serve as catalysts for positive change by advancing and informing public and private policy making. 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 over 500 entries. The winners were honored at NIHCM's 21st Annual Awards Dinner on June 1st in Washington, DC.


The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the U.S. health care system. The Foundation funds and conducts research and educational activities and fosters dialogue between public and private stakeholders on a range of health care issues.


NIHCM Foundation
(202) 296-4426