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Small practices receive $20 million from the CMS to help with MACRA

The awards will go to community-based organizations to provide hands-on training and education to small practices, especially those in underserved areas.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Rockers X Japan Crossover Stateside With Help From Famous Fans And New Album

‘X Japan’ is considered the biggest band in Japan, yet their music remains relatively unknown to American music lovers. This is about to change as the rockers, who have sold over 30 million albums and singles, make their name known in the states with help from famous fans and a new English album. Most popular stories

Food and Drug Administration final guidance protects medical devices from hacks

Device makers should develop “a structured and comprehensive program to manage cybersecurity risks” even after their products are sold. The FDA has been criticized for making suggestions instead of strongly regulating medical devices.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Views from the Street: What are your hopes and fears for the Trump presidency?

Source: – Thursday, December 15, 2016

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9 communications lessons from Bob Dylan

Forget some literary soothsayers’ predictions that an American novelist such as Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon or Ursula K. Le Guin would win this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature.

Pay up if you bet on an international writer—Albanian poet Ismail Kadare, Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai or Israeli author Amos Oz.

This year’s laureate in literature—the award that eluded Lev Tolstoy and Mark Twain—goes to the iconic American singer/songwriter, Bob Dylan. Yet amid the celebrations by fans and expressions of surprise among critics, PR pros and communicators can glean lessons from a rebranding wizard whose songs inspired a pivotal generation—and many thereafter.

Few keepers of shortlists were betting on Dylan in advance. The New Republic’s survey of authors in the running as of last week was headlined with the worst literary prediction of the year. (But hey, at least they thought to include him.)

“Who Will Win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature?” the magazine stated. “Not Bob Dylan, that’s for sure.”

The writer, Alex Shephard, scurried to reassure us (and perhaps himself) today, “Bob Dylan is a fine Nobel Laureate.”

Which is great, because we’ve rounded up advice from PR pros and other communicators inspired by Dylan:

1. Trust your gut.

Cameron Craig, senior director of global corporate communications at Polycom, cites the Dylan song, “Don’t think twice, it’s all right.”

Recently, he was helping an executive prepare a speech, and the exec drew a point from a deeply personal matter, the death of his father and how it affected his leadership capabilities. Craig says he went with his gut.

“His words were moving to me, and I’m sure they will be moving to the audience hearing his keynote,” he says.

2. Boldly innovate.

Dylan has always been at the forefront of innovation in folk, says Katie McGraw-Paul, vice president of Shift Communications’ health care practice and the Boston agency’s resident Dylan fan.

Proof point: Dylan’s decision in 1965 to go electric at the Newport Folk Festival, McGraw-Paul says. The move from folk to rock ‘n’ roll both shocked and inspired fans and critics.

“His willingness to take change head on and go against the grain is something PR professionals can and must learn from,” McGraw-Paul says. “While we must maintain our media relations creds, we also need to ensure we’re taking intelligent chances and innovating ahead of the data-driven, integrated communications world that we are living in today.”

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3. Rebrand.

It wasn’t just through music that Dylan embraced change. Though his name is now iconic, he was a master of rebranding, says Jonathan Rick of The Jonathan Rick Group. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, he found a new name that was not only appropriate—he was influenced by the poetry of Dylan Thomas—but also permanent.

“What’s more, when [Dylan] tried to change his tune/brand, via the Bob Dylan Gospel Tour in 1979-1980, his exposure paled in comparison to his original persona,” Rick says.

4. Embrace your idiosyncrasies.

Dylan has often been criticized for his rough voice, notes James Richter senior content strategist at Walker Sands Communications. He could have taken this to heart and found a vocalist such as Mavis Staples or Johnny Cash to sing his songs, Richter notes. But rather than trying to please everyone, he won a devoted fan base.

Lesson? Organizations should embrace what makes them different, Richter says. For internal communications, a unique style helps everyone feel they’re part of something that outsiders might not understand.

In PR, “if your brand story travels along its own frequency, so to speak, it will likely resonate with an audience that appreciates your company’s unique point of view,” Richter says.

5. Be ye perfect.

“Dylan is a perfectionist—but not in the humblebrag way that most PR pros today claim they are,” says Rick.

America’s newest Nobelist went through 40 pages in rewriting the song “Dignity,” which he then ended up cutting from his album, “Oh Mercy,” Rick says.

“Note to junior account execs: How many drafts did you go through in writing your last press release?” he adds.

6. Don’t fear failure.

Employers, employees and managers alike can’t be content with failure, but can learn lessons from failed projects, Patrick Fiorenza writes in an article for, “Leadership lessons from the curious case of Bob Dylan.”

Fiorenza cites the Dylan song “Love Minus Zero, No Limit,” in which America’s newest laureate wrote, “There is no success like failure, but failure’s no success at all.”

7. Know your organizational culture.

Knowing the organizational culture and lay of the land is crucial to excelling and leading an organization, Fiorenza writes. He cites Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man,” which offers a cautionary counterpoint: “Because something is happening here/ But you don’t know what it is/ Do you, Mister Jones?”

The goal, then is not just knowing what is happening, but “knowing the right way to inspire and empower employees,” Fiorenza states.

8. Find your strategy.

Tracy Pound, program coordinator with an adult literacy nonprofit, sees wisdom in the lyrics, “Some people feel the rain; others just get wet.”

“It speaks to having a well-devised PR strategy so that your audience connects to your message,” Pound says.

9. Never say die.

“When your media outreach feels futile, keep on moving—just like a rolling stone,” says Sarah Erickson, a media relations specialist at Walker Sands.


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Holocaust Memorial Museum and Auschwitz Memorial ask to be excluded from ‘Pokemon Go’

Pokemon Go has completely taken over the mobile gaming space, but we’re quickly finding out that some places aren’t exactly appropriate locations to “catch them all.”

The game, which uses augmented reality technology that enables users to catch Pokemon characters in public areas, called “Pokestops,” has even crept into hallowed ground.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Auschwitz Memorial, for example, have asked Niantic—Pokémon Go’s creator—to remove them from the list of Pokestops.

“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Holocaust Museum communications director Andrew Hollinger told The Washington Post . “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”

To make matters worse, disputed reports have surfaced that a poisonous gas-emitting Pokemon character called Koffing can be found in the museum.

RELATED: Keep your cool in a crisis with these tips.

The Auschwitz Memorial posted the following tweet urging Niantic to disallow the game to use its site:


Niantic should know better. Previously the company, which spun out of Google, had to apologize for including concentration camp sites in its previous augmented reality offering, Ingreess.

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Last July, Niantic’s chief executive, John Hanke, said in a statement:

After we were made aware that a number of historical markers on the grounds of former concentration camps in Germany had been added, we determined that they did not meet the spirit of our guidelines and began the process of removing them in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. We apologize that this happened.

Niantic has yet to issue a response to press inquiries about its latest incidents.

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Whole Foods under fire from FDA for ‘serious violations’

Think twice before purchasing pre-made meals and snacks at Whole Foods if you live in the northeastern United States.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the high-end grocery chain until the end of the month to correct “serious violations” at a Massachusetts plant.

The FDA released the letter it sent to Whole Foods—and if you’re at all germaphobic, I suggest that you not read it.

I’ll summarize: The FDA alleged that the Whole Foods plant in question has lax standards when it comes to keeping its food safe from contaminates, including an alarming amount of condensation from pipes gets into the food and employees who don’t do a great job of keeping themselves or their utensils sanitary.

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That means the chain’s consumers should steer clear of the quinoa cakes.

After contacting the plant in February about violations, Whole Foods apparently didn’t make enough changes. The letter states:

FDA has serious concerns that our investigators found your firm operating under these conditions. Further, your response includes retraining of employees as a corrective action for most of the observed violations but you failed to mention adequate supervision over your specialized food processing operations and how retraining will ensure sustained compliance. We do not consider your response acceptable because you failed to provide documentation for our review, which demonstrates that all your noted corrective actions have been effectively implemented.

In a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, Whole Foods’ executive vice president of operations, Ken Meyer, said:

We’ve been in close contact with the FDA, opened our doors to inspectors regularly since February and worked with them to address every issue brought to our attention.

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Meet The Entrepreneur Who Launched A WhatsApp Rival From A Colombian Prison

Mayer Mizrachi, CEO of encryption software company Criptext, is in a maximum security Colombian prison, all because an alleged contract breach with Panama’s government. Most popular stories

HCA prepares $750 million stock repurchase from KKR

HCA Holdings has agreed to spend $ 750 million to buy back 9.4 million of its common shares from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., one of the main investment groups that took HCA private in 2006, then public again in a 2011 initial public offering.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Inside The Secret Group For Gun Owners Banned From Facebook

Facebook’s ban on unregulated gun sales hasn’t stopped them from happening. An employee of the company recently took matters into his own hands, leading a secret coalition of gun enthusiast group owners in an effort to get their pages reinstated after being temporarily banned from the site. Most popular stories