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Ava Kofman Wins Hillman Prize for “Endgame”

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced Tuesday that ProPublica reporter Ava Kofman is the winner of the 2023 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism for “Endgame: How the Visionary Hospice Movement Became a For-Profit Hustle,” a collaboration with The New Yorker. The Hillman Prizes honor journalists who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.

Half of all Americans die in hospice, and Kofman’s groundbreaking investigation prompted a national conversation on the American way of death — along with demands to reform an industry that has long been ignored. Kofman packed deep reporting and data analysis into an arresting legal thriller that exposed the way easy money and lax regulation have transformed a charity movement into a $22 billion juggernaut rife with exploitation.

Less than three weeks after the exposé was published, bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services requesting the agency “immediately investigate the situation.” In January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reformed how they inspect hospice providers. In hearings this March, the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee pressed HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to stop the hospice profiteering uncovered by the article. Regulators are now auditing some of the hospices identified by the story, with a report expected this summer.

“Investigative journalism is a pillar of our democracy that exposes injustice and calls for greater accountability from our institutions,” said Sidney Hillman Foundation President Bruce Raynor. “This year’s Hillman honorees have done exemplary work demonstrating the importance of investigative reporting in spurring public discourse and holding those in positions of authority to account.”

Learn more about the Hillman Prizes here.

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