Essay contest: Cost awareness in medicine

Doc-run group seeks scribes:  


Costs of Care, a physician-run nonprofit based in Boston, has launched its second
annual national healthcare essay contest, with the goal of expanding the public
discourse on the role of doctors, nurses, and other care providers in
controlling healthcare costs. 

BOSTON, MA (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 12, 2011—Last year Costs of Care ( launched an innovative essay contest that elucidated the importance of price transparency in everyday
medicine by gathering more than 100personal stories  from patients, nurses, and doctors across the nation. This year, Costs of Care is looking for more stories, and will award prizes for anecdotes about the importance of price transparency as well as solution-oriented stories that
illustrate ways to reduce harmful healthcare spending and save patients’ money

As the economy struggles to recover, the spiraling costs of healthcare in the
United States have become a contentious political focal point without an
obvious solution. Traditionally, health care providers have been reluctant to
discuss their own role in healthcare spending. However according to Neel Shah,
M.D., Executive Director at Costs of Care, “Ultimately, no amount of
regulating, reorganizing, or otherwise reforming the healthcare system will
successfully contain costs unless healthcare providers are invested in fixing
the problem.”

To help mobilize healthcare providers to examine their own role in spending, Costs
of Care is launching an essay contest that will collect and widely
disseminate stories from the frontlines of medicine. Costs of Care will award
$4000 in prizes to top submissions. Two $1000 prizes will be reserved for
patients, and two $1000 prizes will be reserved for care providers. Preference
will be given to stories that best demonstrate the importance of cost-awareness
in medicine. Examples may include a time a patient tried to find out what a
test or treatment would cost but was unable to do so, a time that caring for a
patient generated an unexpectedly a high medical bill, or a time a patient and
care provider figured out a way to save money while still delivering high-value

To help select the winning entries, Costs of Care has partnered with five health
luminaries who will serve as judges:

  • Peter Orzsag, former Director of the White
    House Office of Management and Budget
  • Dr. C. Everett Koop, former United States Surgeon
  • Hon. Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan
  • Dr. Susan Love, women’s health and cancer
    research advocate
  • Dr. Alan Garber, health economist and Harvard
    University Provost

Anyone looking to learn more about the successful entries from last year’s contest can
find our more at

All submissions will be due on November 15th, 2011. Finalists will be announced on
December 15th, 2011 and the $1,000 prize winners will be announced on January 15th, 2012. All qualifying submissions will be published biweekly at
during the 2012 calendar year, and will be made available to the media. 

The  contest is sponsored in part by through the generosity of Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Massachusetts and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan.


About Costs of Care

Costs of Care is a nonprofit  organization that gives patients and healthcare workers the information they  need to deflate medical bills, while expanding the national discourse on the
role of care providers in responsible resource stewardship. Costs of Care was
founded by a resident physician based at Harvard Medical School who noticed
that even the best physicians sometimes overlook something critical—the bill.

Full contest details are available at


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