ProPublica’s investigation “The Prescribers: Inside the Government’s Drug Data
” has provoked a swift response from the federal government. Winner of the 2013 Philip Meyer Award
, it exposed the Medicare system’s failure to provide oversight for thousands of physicians who have written prescriptions that in some cases put patients at risk, in others cost the federal government far more than necessary, and sometimes were simply fraudulent. Charles Ornstein, who has specialized in healthcare investigations for years now, was joined on the project by ProPublica’s Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur, Jeff Larson, and Lena Groeger. Nieman Reports spoke by phone with Ornstein as he prepared to travel to Baltimore to accept the award.