Contest Entries

The Partners Effect

Entrants: Spotlight Team

Affiliation: The Boston Globe

Large Newspapers (over 250,000 circ.) & wire services

Year: 2008

Place: Third Place

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

This series focuses on an out-of balance health care finance system that rewards a few big hospitals, paying them far more for work even when there is no evidence that the higher-priced care produces healthier patients. The stories detail how New England's biggest health care network, Partners HealthCare, is increasingly using its marketplace clout to export its expensive brand of medicine to the suburbs, imperiling community hospitals, and how its cozy relationship with the state's largest insurer has helped to trigger a health care cost crisis.

Judges' comments: Until this series, only the parties involved knew about a handshake agreement between New England's biggest healthcare system and Massachusetts' biggest health insurer that has helped bring about a cost crisis in the state. Classic investigative shoe-leather reporting that paid big dividends. Original and written with the verve of a detective story.

Read "The Partners Effect."

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.