California Watch has won the prestigious George Polk Award in the “Medical Reporting” category for its investigative series “Decoding Prime.” The series looked into the hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services and its habit of diagnosing an exceptionally large number of rare medical conditions which happen to garner lucrative bonus payments from Medicare. The stories were published in the in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Orange County Register, The Redding Record Searchlight and The Sacramento Bee.
“It’s a truly remarkable accomplishment to win a Polk award when you consider that California Watch didn’t even exist three years ago,” says California Watch’s editorial director Mark Katches. “It’s a tribute to the credible brand of reporting we produce here.”
Lance Williams, Christina Jewett and computer-assisted reporting specialist Stephen K. Doig were the lead journos on the story. Congrats to all!