September 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the September issue of the Consumer Reports Health Impact newsletter, our means of staying in touch with the growing community of partners, funders, allies, colleagues, and others who share our passion for improving the health-care marketplace.

Many people have contributed to our recent work, but the impact of two of them has been especially remarkable. Jim Guest retired as President and CEO of Consumer Reports this week, with a long record of championing the needs of health consumers. Our outgoing Medical Director, Dr. John Santa, relentlessly built the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center and led a unique program of Ratings, partnerships, and campaigns.

We now begin a new and exciting era of health at Consumer Reports as we welcome our new President and CEO Marta Tellado. Meanwhile on the Health Impact team, we will soon welcome a new Medical Director and add staff expertise in health quality data, prescription drug education, digital health, and product development.

In coming months you will hear about our latest resources to help consumers choose health insurance; pilot projects to help employers provide better health information and benefits for employees; experiments to develop tools to help consumers comparison-shop for the right care; enhanced Health Ratings; articles about issues like health-care costs and patient safety; and new partnerships to reach diverse audiences with Choosing Wisely and Best Buy Drugs.

Thank you for your continuing support. Our Health Impact team, overseen by Chris Meyer, our Vice President for External Affairs, looks forward to continuing the legacy of Jim and John by confronting powerful interests and collaborating with all of you on behalf of America's health consumers. 

Tara Montgomery
Senior Director, Health Impact

Does your child really have ADHD?

Many common conditions are overdiagnosed, and our Best Buy Drugs team is part of an international campaign to fight that. One powerful example: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, for which some children are needlessly labeled and medicated. How can parents get an accurate diagnosis?



Physical therapists list 'Five Things' 

Useless applications of heat treatments, whirlpool baths and strength training are among the "Five Things Physical Therapists and Patients Should Question." It's the first Choosing Wisely list from a non-physician group,  the American Physical Therapy Association.  For consumers, we've created a free, plain-English summary of the APTA advice.



We welcome three new partners

It requires a concerted effort to make sure consumers have the tools they need to make smart choices in the healthcare marketplace.


The Society for Participatory Medicine, a non-profit founded in 2007, promotes the idea that patients should become "responsible drivers of their health," and that providers should encourage and value them as full partners. The goals: improved outcomes, fewer medical errors, greater patient satisfaction, and improved costs of care.


Ceridian LifeWorks supports more than 48,000 organizations through employee assistance, work-life and wellness programs. Offerings include financial and legal counseling, manager support, critical incident stress debriefings, and health coaching.


Baby Boomers for Balanced Health Care challenges the cultural belief that more healthcare is better healthcare. It calls instead for citizen groups to promote a new "Goldilocks" mind set: not too much, not too little, but just right.


Support our work
Knowing that you're a fan of Consumer Reports Health, we'd like to invite you to make a charitable contribution. 

Your contribution will help us remain a leading voice in championing consumers' access to high-quality health care. We hope you'll find it's a cause worthy of your support.

You can easily donate online or email us at healthimpact@cr.consumer.org if
you have questions.

In the news
NPR: Farewell to the heating pad? Physical therapists say it doesn't work

Register-Herald.com:  West Virginia health care initiative encourages patients to make better medical decisions

Minnesota Health Action Group:  Blog: Bringing 'Choosing Wisely' to life


Washington Post: Here are questions to ask about walk-in clinics at retail stores


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