Star Tribune reporters Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt have won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism, for a series of stories about fraud and mismanagement in Minnesota’s publicly supported home health care system.
The series, “Unchecked Care,” documented millions of dollars in fraudulent billing by home health care providers and limited prosecution and recovery of stolen funds by the state.
It portrayed the pressure that some of the state’s 100,000 home health care workers experience to perform complex medical tasks, sometimes in life-or-death situations. And it chronicled the demise of Crystal Care, one of the largest home health care companies in Minnesota, and the effect of its failure on patients and employees.
The Gerald Loeb Awards, named for a founding partner of E.F. Hutton & Co., are administered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and were presented Tuesday night at a banquet in New York.
The Star Tribune team was honored for local reporting and was one of two recipients in that category. The other was the Kansas City Star, for stories about exaggerations and misstatements aimed at enhancing the reputation of a local business school.
Other winners included the Wall Street Journal for investigative reporting and breaking news coverage; the New York Times for beat reporting and images/visuals; and the Los Angeles Times for international reporting.
This was the Star Tribune’s third Loeb Award in five years. Serres and Howatt also won in 2011 for “Hounded,” a series of articles on abuses in the debt collection industry, and a team of reporters won in 2013 for coverage of Best Buy.