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CMS shuts down industry concerns over Medicare Advantage vetting

As the CMS seeks to crack down on the accuracy of Medicare Advantage provider networks, plans worry they don’t have the guidance they need to avoid being penalized.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

On nutrition: Debate raging over what constitutes ‘healthy’ food

It’s hard to know whom to trust—even about food labels.

Every day, Americans sift through contrary opinions on politics and cultural issues; now they are questioning which foods deserve the label “healthy.”

A recent survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation suggests that conflicting information about the nutritional value of foods has consumers second-guessing their choices. 

CNN reports:

About eight in 10 survey respondents said they have found conflicting information about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid — and more than half of them said the conflicting information has them second-guessing the choices they make[…]

This poses a problem for communicators looking to influence dietary choices. Offering valuable guidance requires a firm knowledge of how Americans make judgments about nutrition and how they get the data that inform their opinions.

CNN wrote:

Many respondents said they turn to their friends and family for guidance on food choices, even though they see dietitians and health care professionals as the most trusted sources for guidance.

The term “healthy” may have a limited effect on consumers as well. Consumers regularly base purchases on taste and price before considering the nutritional value of their foodstuffs.

Liz Sanders, a co-author of the survey remarked:

“Our biggest trend over time has to do with purchasing factors, and we know that taste and price have always been the top two factors that have driven purchasing, with healthfulness following behind in the third spot[…] In terms of what is healthy, we know that it doesn’t always beat out what tastes the best or what has the best price, in terms of impacting a food purchase.”

The Food and Drug Administration recently launched efforts to redefine the word “healthy” for use in marketing food products. Some, like Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Roxanne Sukol, contend that the word healthy should be scrapped entirely and replaced with a more appropriate term, such as “nutritious.”

To command authority on the subject, use credible sources. The government annually publishes dietary guidelines, which can be used to substantiate a campaign. 

Other messaging can target two key factors that drive food purchasing: taste and price. 

  • Advocate Health publishes healthy recipes on its brand journalism platform.
  • Mayo Clinic uses Pinterest to share healthy recipes.
  • Veggie cheat sheets and other infographics can help make food prep easy.

Communicators, how do you go about earning public trust on nutrition issues? 

Free Download: 8 ways to boost trust and transparency in your organization.

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MDLive sued over patient privacy concerns

MDLive has been hit with a class-action lawsuit accusing the telehealth provider of violating patients’ privacy rights and sharing confidential information with third-party contractors.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Ayoo KD on Crying Video, Secret Service Coming to Grandma’s House Over Trump Tweet

Source: – Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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Missouri PDMP fight reignites debate over national program

The ongoing fight to establish a program to track opioid prescribing in Missouri has once again raised discussion on whether the country would be best served by a national monitoring system.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Trump vows ‘no amnesty’ over illegal immigration ID | FT World

Source: – Thursday, September 01, 2016

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FBI interviews Hillary Clinton over her email use while secretary of State

Hillary Clinton submitted to more than three hours of questioning at FBI headquarters Saturday morning about her “email arrangements” while she served as secretary of State, according to an aide, a sign that the probe is reaching a conclusion.

The interview marks the first time that Clinton — now… – Los Angeles Times

State investigates KentuckyOne hospital over staff layoffs

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has begun an investigation of the hospital after several of its physicians claimed that layoffs among nurses and other staff have caused major patient-safety concerns.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Feds head to Flint, as Snyder faces RICO lawsuit over tainted water

The tainted floodwaters seem to be rising around Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Snyder has been hit with a federal racketeering lawsuit for his alleged role in the water contamination in Flint.

At a press conference on Wednesday, attorneys outlined allegations against Snyder and several other local and state leaders. Reuters reported:

The class action, filed in U.S. District Court in Flint, charged that Snyder and other officials enacted a “wrongful scheme to solve Flint’s fiscal problem by selling Flint residents poisoned drinking water” in order to balance the city’s financial books.

Attorney Chet Kern pulled no punches. “They created a catastrophe,” he told reporters.

The 17-count racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations (RICO) complaint “requests a jury and seeks compensatory damages for future medical costs, legal fees and treble damages for property damages, loss of business and financial loss.”

Snyder spokesman Ari Adler declined to comment on the litigation. 

[Utilities communicators: Inspire trust in your community with quick and effective crisis management plans.]

The weekend may not hold much respite for Adler, Snyder and others. The New York Times reported Thursday that investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be in Flint on Saturday:

[They] will hold invitation-only meetings with residents on Saturday to determine how the EPA responded to early requests for help. The interviews will be closed to the media and public. That office is investigating the EPA’s response to the lead-contamination crisis in Flint.

The ‘other water’

News about these latest developments spread quickly on social media. Interestingly, some expressed bewilderment about the unhealthful water in Flint and its juxtaposition with a new seasonal marketing initiative, Pure Michigan.

The state’s $ 33 million Pure Michigan marketing campaign to bolster summer tourism is in its 10th year. Numerous sleek images and sharp videos promote “fresh enchanting rivers, lakes and waters” and invite travelers to hotels and campsites in the state.


A little lead contamination hasn’t stopped David Lorenz, vice president of the state’s tourism department, from offering his own take on the matter. He recently told a reporter from

People seem to be seeing Pure Michigan as separate from the Flint issue and actually, that’s a great indicator of a strong brand. People will give you some slack, they understand that nothing is perfect and they know everything won’t go perfectly well all the time.

Questionable sources?

Lorenz also told reporter Brandon Champion that he and his staff have initiated multiple surveys on the issue. Lorenz said although most people understand the Flint contamination “is a serious issue and real challenge for that community, it doesn’t seem to have much effect on the perception of Michigan on a statewide level,” Champion wrote.

Lorenz went so far as to compare the Flint public health and PR crisis to Coca-Cola’s 1985 “New Coke” branding debacle. All great brands deal with challenges, he said.

Champion’s interview sparked a wave of unflattering comments about Lorenz and the sources and studies he cited:


Folks on Twitter weren’t impressed, either, as tweets about the irony of “fresh water” were interspersed with posts about various investigations against Lorenz’ boss.


What, if anything, could Lorenz and the tourism marketing professionals in Michigan have done to respond to critics of the Pure Michigan campaign? How should the governor’s office be responding? And how might health care professionals address issues of water purity inside and beyond Michigan?

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Tenet in settlement talks over kickback allegations

Tenet Healthcare is in settlement talks with the government over allegations that four of its hospitals paid kickbacks for maternity referrals, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this past week.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News