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Dr. John Santa

The biggest news in healthcare right now is the rollout of the state and federal marketplaces provided by the Affordable Care Act. To help consumers determine how the new insurance options affect them, Consumer Reports now offers a powerful online tool, the Health Law Helper. I've asked my colleague Kara Kelber to describe what it offers the public, and how you might help distribute it. 
Here's her summary: 


With the October 1st opening of the new health insurance marketplaces, consumers naturally have questions about the new health law and what may be changing for them. To help answer these questions about the Affordable Care Act and new marketplace experience, Consumer Reports created the Health Law Helper. The free, confidential online tool 

provides a personalized explanation of your responsibilities and next steps just by answering a few simple questions. Available at and in Spanish at, the Health Law Helper offers 

clear, unbiased advice and links to additional resources 

from Consumer Reports.

We've made it simple for you to share the tool with 

your networks by making an embeddable version of 

the Health Law Helper available to anyone. Visit the Health Law Helper and click on the "Who We Are" section and you can then find out how to download it under "How You Can Help." By clinking on the link, you will be able to download a snippet of code which you can use with your website. The embedded content is offered in multiple sizes and provides users the same comprehensive information and functionality. You can see an example of how we embedded the Health Law Helper on a Consumers Union page here.  


John Santa, M.D

Director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center

November 2013 Newsletter
In this Issue
What's New
Partner Update
Campaign Update
In the News
Support Our Work
Quick Links

What's New

New tools from Best Buy Drugs


Best Buy Drugs recently introduced two new tools to help consumers 
and doctors get the best evidenced based information about safe, affordable 
and effective prescription drugs.
The first, a poster based on the popular Choosing Wisely 5 Questions
Poster, is the "5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor before You Start Taking
a New Drug." The poster is available for download here or for FREE bulk 
printing and shipping. If you're interested in bulk printing, please contact
Lisa Luca at [email protected].

The second is a new app for iOs devices. The new Best Drugs for Less app 
will help consumers find the best and safest prescription and over-the-counter 

drugs for common ailments and save. The app was created to help people talk 

to their doctors about the most effective treatments for their condition. The FREE 

app lists drugs based on effectiveness, safety, side effects and price.

Available on iTunes for iOs devices, it includes:  
  How patient's can get the best medication for what ails them
  6 Ways to save on the drugs most needed
  Price comparisons for common conditions
  2 Rx drug tips every consumer must know

  How to read a prescription drug label


Download the FREE app here


Partner Update

Do you need one of our free microsites? 


Many of our partners want to share selected Consumer Reports health resources 

with their members, employees or affiliates -- but don't have a place to host and 

display those materials. We offer them a handy solution, a "microsite" that we 

create and host, where we display just the materials that our partner wants to focus 

on. Then the partner promotes the microsite -- via email, newsletters, websites -- among 

their intended audience. We have set up microsites for some of our original 

Choosing Wisely communications partners, such as The Leapfrog Group and 

Union Plus, and for several of the ABIM Foundation grantees, such as statewide 

groups in Oregon, Minnesota and Michigan.

David Ansley, who creates and manages the microsites, says that partners appreciate 

the simple setup process, having a single destination for all these materials, and having 

someone else keeping the brochure lists up to dates.

For more information on microsites, 

contact us at [email protected] .


Campaign Update

Choosing Wisely Outreach Efforts  


Consumer Reports just launched a new Public Service Announcement for the 

Choosing Wisely campaign. The 30-second animated PSA models three questions 

that patients - or healthcare consumers - can ask their doctors to make sure they're 

getting the right care at the right time. These questions, abbreviated and modeled 

off of Choosing Wisely's popular poster called 

"5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before You Get Any Test, Treatment, or Procedure," 

encourage patients to ask:

1. What are the risks?
2. Are there other options?
3. What happens if I don't do anything?

There are 21 grantee organizations spread throughout the country working on 

implementing Choosing Wisely in their regions and networks. Each of them has 

a personalized and localized version of the PSA. Watch and listen closely, and 

perhaps you'll see it on TV or hear it on the radio where you live!   

Choosing Wisely PSA
Choosing Wisely PSA

In the News

Recent coverage of our work  


Below is a listing of select media outlets talking and writing about Choosing Wisely 

in the last several weeks. We'll continue to publish new selected links on a monthly basis. 


JAMA: Consumers Gaining Ground in Health Care


The Today Show: John Santa


Minnesota Star Tribune: 11 Tests and Procedures You Don't Want


NPR: Some Health Screenings May Harm More Than Help


NY Times: Doctors' Bad Habits


NPR:  What to Avoid at the Orthopedist's Office


NY Times:  Controversy Over Statins for Older Patients


Forbes:  ACEP's Campaign To Reduce Unnecessary Testing in the Emergency Department


Support Our Work

Consumer Education and Outreach


Since 2012 Consumer Reports has invested in the development and distribution 

of FREE educational materials to support the Choosing WiselyŽ campaign. Through 

our efforts, we've built a network of partners to communicate with consumers about 

appropriate use of medical tests, treatments and procedures and educate them on 

the need for better communication with their doctors. In less than a year, we collaborated 

with more than nine medical specialty societies to publish dozens of consumer pamphlets 

and videos, in English and Spanish to spread the message. These communication activities 

had the potential to reach tens of millions of consumers.

In February 2013, the number of medical specialty societies taking part in the 

Choosing Wisely campaign expanded from nine to over 25. Now, Consumer Reports 

is seeking help to sustain, improve and grow our communications efforts through at 

least March 2015 and introduce new and more innovative approaches to our existing 

consumer communications efforts.

Consumer Reports is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization. We do not accept 

advertising or corporate support of any kind. By making a tax-deductible donation in 

general support of this consumer campaign you will be providing support to a project 

that will empower consumers to make better health decisions and help them lead healthier 

lives. Donate today.


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