Contest Entries

2008 Body of Work

Entrants: Clark Kauffman

Affiliation: Des Moines Register

Beat Reporting

Year: 2008

Place: First Place

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

Clark Kauffman's work included stories that showed the state and federal government were paying $8.1 million per year to Iowa nursing homes in the form of Medicaid bonuses; that found that doctors at a state-run home for profoundly disabled weren't licensed in Iowa; that no one in Iowa has ever been prosecuted for violating the privacy provisions of HIPAA; and that the head of the Iowa nursing home industry's lobbying organization owned a home where a woman recently died after a leg amputation caused by gangrene.

Judges' comments: Clark Kauffman's work exemplifies tough, aggressive beat reporting at the local level. These stories combine smart data-digging with old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting to uncover abuses in nursing home financing; the gangrene death of a patient in a nursing home owned by an industry leader lobbying the legislature for lighter regulation; unlicensed providers caring for the mentally disabled; and lax enforcement of HIPAA rules. The fact that three of the four stories produced measurable results - including the end of bonus payments for nursing homes with recent patient safety violations - is a testament to Kauffman's fine work.

Read Kauffman's work.

See the contest questionnaire about how these stories were reported.