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Contest Entries

Fresh pain for the uninsured

Entrants: Brian Grow and Robert Berner

Affiliation: BusinessWeek

General Interest Magazines below 1 million circ.

Year: 2007

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

In an effort to maximize revenue, hospitals and doctors are increasingly transforming medical bills Into consumer debts, which are easier to collect and often carry high interest rates and fees. The hospitals and doctors get their cash faster; finance companies, including giants like General Electric and Citigroup, obtain high-interest, high-fee accounts; and patients with little or no insurance end up paying much more for medical care. This new form of medical finance is quietly sweeping through the health care Industry, especially among non-profit hospitals that have had difficulty collecting bills from working poor patients.

Judges' Comments: A fresh concept, exploring the trend of hospitals and doctors forcing people into unwanted, high-interest financing for health care. The use of narrative to illustrate this issue was strong, and the writing was logical, tight and crisp. 

Read "Fresh pain for the uninsured" By Brian Grow and Robert Berner.

See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.