Like us on Facebook

Dr. John Santa 
Consumer Reports Wins Health App Challenge

I'm pleased to share that Consumer Reports was named the first-prize winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hospital Price Transparency Challenge and awarded $50,000. The award was given for the CR Hospital Adviser: Hip & Knee web tool. CR Hip & Knee is a personalized application for healthcare consumers searching for the best hospital for hip or knee surgery. Designed for use on tablets and desktop computers, the app includes Consumer Reports Hospital Quality Ratings, Medicare cost data, and an overall recommendation based on a High Value Rating. It allows users to compile all their research in one place, including reports of other people's experiences.

The Consumer Reports team was led by our Technology Innovation Center staff, including Chris Baily as project manager, Patricia Ju, Shane Shelley and support from Rahul Belani. Doris Peter, Kathy Person, Kristina Mycek, and Paige Amidon from the Health Ratings Center and Impact Team provided data expertise and participated in the concept development, product definition, and testing of the tool by collecting input from dozens of patients who had experienced or were planning joint replacement.  

Chris Baily demoed the app at the National Summit on Health Care Price, Cost and Quality Transparency in Washington DC on December 3 and was joined by Paige Amidon during the session. Dr. Jean-Luc Neptune of Health 2.0, who organized the challenge and moderated the session, announced that there had been a record number of entries for this challenge. Chris Power, CMS Director of the Information Products Group and one of the contest judges, said Consumer Reports' app stood out due to the "focused approach, uniqueness, and tying cost data into quality."

If you're interested in reviewing the app, please contact Dom Lorusso at [email protected] 


John Santa, M.D

Director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center   

December 2013 Newsletter
In this issue:
Campaign Updates
Partner Spotlight
Support Our Work
In the News
Quick Links

Campaign Updates
The latest on Choosing Wisely Phase Three 


Choosing Wisely Phase Three continues to move along, with several societies 
releasing lists this fall. One of the most interesting topics come from the 
Society of General Internal Medicine, which released their list on September 12, 2013. 
This society is stating that routine health checks are not necessary for patients with
no symptoms. As most people 
are aware, an annual physical consists of routine
screenings and blood tests. These tests 
are often unnecessary for patients who 
are not sick. They can increase the 
risk of a false positive and then, additional
tests. Consumer Reports will be creating a two-page consumer pamphlet detailing this
recommendation and highlighting the risks and what people 
should do. Additional topics
of note include the recommendation from the
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
that doctors should not use glucosasmine and chondroitin to treat 
patients with symptomatic
arthritis of the knee and from the American Academy of Family Physicians who state that
is it not necessary to routinely screen for prostate cancer using 
a PSA test or digital
rectal exam. Look for Consumer Reports coverage of these two items as 
well as many others
in the coming months.

Partner Spotlight 

Announcing a NEW Partnership  


Consumer Reports Health is proud to announce the addition of a new communication partner
joining our campaign, the Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus.  They are a non-profit, public-private partnership and serve as a catalyst, convener, and coordinator of healthcare transformation & learning in Greater Columbus.  They build collaborations with providers, 
purchasers, and consumers; catalyze best practices; convene diverse stakeholders; coordinate projects that transform healthcare delivery and value; measure actionable results; and apply collaborative learning.  You can learn more about their work here.


Support Our Work

Consumer Education and Outreach 


As you know, Consumer Reports is the only major independent consumer organization 
working for transparency in medical costs, effectiveness, and safety. And because we're 
free of any commercial influence, we always call it like we see it - never pulling any punches.

This year, our work on health care helped consumers identify and choose high-quality, 
appropriate, cost-effective preventative care, screening/testing, medicines, treatments, 
hospitals, and health insurance. We create hundreds of patient-friendly resources 
addressing medical costs, effectiveness, and safety. But there is much more work to 
be done and we can't do it without your help.

Knowing that you're a fan of Consumer Reports Health, we'd like to invite you to make 
a year-end charitable contribution. Your contribution will help us remain a leading voice in championing consumers' access to sustainable, safe, high-quality, and affordable health 
care and physical, mental, and community well being. We hope you'll find it's a cause 
worthy of your support.

Please consider a year-end contribution to Consumer Reports' health-care initiative. 
You can easily donate online today or email us at [email protected] if 
you have questions. 


In the News

Recent Coverage of Our Work   


Dr Ed Dismuke of the Tennessee Medical Association, a Choosing Wisely grantee did an 

excellent interview on Live at Nine on the local CBS affiliate in Memphis. Stressing the 

importance of the patients and providers engaging in conversation, he shared the five 

questions from the Choosing Wisely poster for a patient to ask a doctor. You can 

view the segment here

The ABC affiliate station in Cleveland aired a special 5 On Your Side segment about Choosing Wisely. It featured physicians from Consumer Reports and Choosing Wisely grantee Better 

Health Greater Cleveland. The segment, which was filmed in October but held to air during 

November Sweeps has a strong closing, stating that patients should "have a conversation" 

with their doctor and not "be afraid of asking questions." The unique perspective of an attorney 

was also included in this four minute segment, which can be seen here.

The New York Times published an opinion piece by Peter Ubel, MD, called "Doctor, First Tell me What It Costs." It ties in well with the campaign's Choosing Wisely 5 Questions Poster .


Explore Discover Join