Saturday, September 25, 2010

Costs of Care Essay Contest!

On September 7, 2010 Costs of Care launched a national essay contest, with $1000 prizes for the best anecdotes from patients and clinicians illustrating the importance of cost-awareness in medical decision-making. We have a great line-up of high-profile judges. Details available at

Gov. Michael Dukakis, former Democratic nominee for President of the United States
Tim Johnson, Chief Medical Correspondent of ABC News
Atul Gawande, surgeon and New Yorker staff writer
Jeffrey Flier, Dean of Harvard Medical School
Gov. Michael Leavitt, former United States Secretary of Health and Human services

Entries must be no longer than 750 words, and should be typed and double-spaced. Students strongly encouraged to submit an anecdote. E-mail submissions to are preferred, however entries may also be mailed to

Costs of Care
21 Father Gilday Street, Suite 115
Boston, MA 02118

Deadline: November 1st, 2010

Additional submission information available here


  1. This is a GREAT idea! Here's my cost story / beef: I have an annoying, common condition called seborrheic dermatitis -- blotchy, scaly red stuff on my face and lumpy scaly stuff on my scalp. Not pretty, but not life-threatening. My health plan started posting on its member website the full cost of the two medications I was using -- I could see they cost about $100 each, and my co-pay was around $20 for each, every month. Not breaking the bank, but I was shocked at the total cost. That was more than was being paid in premium. So I researched the meds a bit -- they were described as "anti-fungal," so I looked up other things with anti-fungal properties and found two common things to use. OTC cortisone cream for face; salycilic acid solution for face and scalp; and vinegar works on the scalp, too. Together these cost less than one of my co-pays, and I no longer incur unneeded cost to my health plan. When I told my doctor about this, and suggested she recommend them to other patients with seb.derm., she was puzzled: "But your insurance covers it." THAT'S the kind of thinking that will keep running up our health care tab. Plus, I was really kind of annoyed that she had no idea these alternative existed, she (and numerous doctors I saw before her) just whipped out the prescription pad for Nizoral products. In five years, I've saved my health plan more than $12,000 -- a drop in the bucket, but it represents a different way of thinking about costs and treatments and relative value. It will take all of us and a lot more of this thinking to make a difference.
    Glad to see Mass. taking this approach. For more of this thinking, check out:
    Susan at Regence

  2. Hi there fellas. nice site. I am having research right now to complete my dessertation.
    Thank you for the wonderful topic you got there.

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