News Release

KFF Health News, NPR, and CBS News Win Loeb Award for Series on Medical Debt in America

KFF Health News won the 2023 Loeb Award in the personal finance and consumer reporting category for its in-depth coverage of consumer medical debt in its “Diagnosis: Debt” series.

In partnership with NPR and CBS News, KFF Health News examined the stories behind the more than 100 million people in America who have been pushed into debt by the nation’s health care system, revealing the epidemic of medical debt that has become a defining feature of the American system. In personal stories, “Diagnosis: Debt” documented the suffering and sacrifices this burden forces on patients and their families.

“This series is a great example of our people-focused health policy journalism, and part of our long-standing focus on how health care costs impact people’s lives which we continue to pursue across our research, polling, and journalism programs.” said KFF President and CEO Dr. Drew Altman, who is founding Publisher of KFF Health News.

“Diagnosis: Debt” was a project led by Noam N. Levey, a senior correspondent at KFF Health News, and his editor, Kelly Johnson, and included work by Aneri Pattani, a correspondent at KFF Health News; Yuki Noguchi, a correspondent on the Science Desk at NPR; Anna Werner, a consumer investigative national correspondent for CBS News; Juweek Adolphe, a web developer and designer; Bram Sable-Smith, a Midwest correspondent at KFF Health News; Megan Kalata, a writer at KFF Health News; Terry Byrne, copy chief at KFF Health News; and Lydia Zuraw, a producer at KFF Health News.

KFF’s recent work in this area include its “Survey of Consumer Experiences with Health Insurance,” which found that four-in-10 insured adults say they skipped or delayed some type of care in the past year due to cost. Other analyses include “The Burden of Medical Debt in the United States,” which found that roughly 23 million people owe more than $250 in health costs – as well as “Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs” and “Could Consumer Assistance Be Helpful to People Facing Medical Debt?” The ongoing Bill of the Month series by KFF Health News conducted with NPR and CBS also highlights consumers’ experiences with medical bills. 

The Loeb Awards, established in 1957 and considered the most prestigious honor in business and financial journalism, are administered by The G. and R. Loeb Foundation Inc. and the University of California at Los Angeles’s Anderson School of Management. This is KFF Health News’ fourth Loeb Award.

KFF Health News was also recognized earlier this year by the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation in its 2023 Awards in Journalism and Research for the series. “Diagnosis: Debt” won first place in the digital media category, which included more than 70 entries from news organizations, including The Washington Post, ProPublica, and NBC News. 

About KFF and KFF Health News
KFF is the independent source for health policy research, polling, and journalism. Our mission is to serve as a nonpartisan source of information for policymakers, the media, the health policy community, and the public.

KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF. Other major KFF programs include Policy Analysis; KFF Polling and Survey Research; and KFF Social Impact Media, which conducts specialized public health information campaigns. A new program on health Misinformation and Trust is under development. 

About KFF Health News’ Partnership with NPR and CBS News
The reporting in “Diagnosis: Debt” was done in partnership with NPR and CBS News to explore the scale, impact, and causes of medical debt in America. Reporters from KFF Health News and NPR conducted hundreds of interviews with patients, physicians, health industry leaders, consumer advocates, and others.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.