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Comms Key to Success of Affordable Care Act


This article was originally published on 

The Affordable Care Act is at a critical juncture. [[wysiwyg_imageupload:167:]]
Solidified by President Barack Obama's re-election and the earlier Supreme Court decision, the legislation is moving toward full implementation by January 2014. In October, state exchanges will be open for enrollment.

Like nervous backers of a Broadway production, people are saying, “Is the Affordable Care Act ready for prime time?” Even supporters of the healthcare law have a case of the jitters, and for good reasons. The state exchanges vary in their readiness to meet the enrollment deadline. Many states, such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina have not accepted the Medicaid expansion, a central piece of the law that was made optional by the Supreme Court.

And, there is still active opposition to the law on legal and political fronts. Republican leaders have voted to repeal what they call “Obamacare” 37 times now. Read full post »

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Creativity In Healthcare


This article first appeared on For more thought leadership on creativity, please visit  

The title seems oxymoronic, yet creativity can
live in the regulated land of [[wysiwyg_imageupload:164:]]healthcare. The challenges are significant and inherent in the culture of the industry.

FDA regulation puts many restrictions on what you can say about healthcare products. Off-label claims, or claims of efficacy prior to approval are forbidden and communicators traverse this landscape with the caution of an explorer avoiding grenades in unfriendly territory. Both pharma and device companies have incurred fines or worse from the government for marketing offenses in this arena. Read full post »

In: Creativity  /   filed under: creativity | healthcare communications
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Healthcare Not Immune to PC Language

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“Politically correct” has become a powerful cultural meme that transforms our language and the way we communicate.  It can signal a level of respect for a group of people – “garbage collectors” became “sanitation engineers”, and Whole Foods calls their employees “team members”.  Marketers have been quick to inflate the value of their products with new terminology.  The downscale “used car” became “pre-owned”, and so much more appealing.

One would think that healthcare language, anchored in the solid world of science, would be immune to PC terminology.  While no one has found a better way to say “lipids” which is already an improvement over “fats”, the language of healthcare continues to  morph in response to public sensibilities and scientific insights. Read full post »

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Fallen Idol in Sports Still Stands Tall in Healthcare World


The news was devastating.  Lance Armstrong, [[wysiwyg_imageupload:138:]]
one of the greatest athletes of our age, had just announced that he would no longer contest the USADA investigation on doping charges.  Although he did not admit to using performance enhancing drugs, and many believe he is innocent, the decision not to fight the charges was a stunning development.  As a result, Armstrong will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and will be permanently banned from cycling.

But while perceptions of Armstrong’s role as an athlete may be altered by this development, what about his role as a philanthropist?  With Livestrong, his cancer advocacy group, Lance Armstrong has become as prominent in the world of health as he is in the world of cycling. Read full post »

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Money Does Not Buy the Best Healthcare


The old adage, “you get what you pay for” does[[wysiwyg_imageupload:126:]]
not apply to healthcare.  As noted in a Commonwealth Fund study recently released, the United States spends more on healthcare than 12 other industrialized countries – and it doesn’t seem that our care is any better.

The cost gap is substantial.  The U.S. spends nearly $8,000 per person on health services while the next most expensive countries – Norway and Switzerland – spend a little more than $5,000 per person. Read full post »