Winner 2009

60 Minutes: The Co$t of Dying

CBS News 60 Minutes

Misconception and misinformation, including dire warnings of “death panels,” swirled around the health-care reform bill that finally passed in March 2010. In that context, serious, sober information about the costly realities of the United States’ unsustainable system was frequently lost. 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft, however, with producer Andy Cort and associate producer Maria Gavrilovic, found much needed information. The Co$t of Dying, a brave, stunning report presented November 22, 2009, meticulously documented the huge percentage of spending devoted to end-of-life care. 60 Minutes learned that in 2008, $50 billion had gone to treating patients in the final two months of their lives, with as much as 30 percent of the money estimated to have had no meaningful impact. 60 Minutes also learned that most patients and families aren’t fully aware of end-of-life options, such as hospice care, and that many doctors are hesitant to broach the topic. “Death is the last taboo,” one physician said. For frank, fearless reporting about hard choices that we all will have to make, a Peabody Award goes to 60 Minutes: The Co$t of Dying.


Executive Producer: Jeff Fager. Executive Editor: Bill Owens. Producer: Andy Cort. Associate Producer: Maria Gavrilovic. Story Editor: Claudia Weinstein. Correspondent: Steve Kroft. Editor: Stephanie Palewski.