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The Communication Toolkit Blog


Helping Pregnant Women Make Informed Choices

When you become pregnant, you quickly learn that a tremendous amount of information and advice is available: everything from what to eat and drink to what care to get and when. Not only are there mountains of books and websites specifically targeted to pregnant women, but everyone seems to want to tell you what to do, whether you want to hear it or not.

Needless to say, it can be really overwhelming and challenging to sift through all that information read more


Look to the Young to Take the Lead in Using Health Care Quality Information

For years, many have bemoaned consumers’ lack of uptake of comparative health care quality information. Despite efforts to make the information easier to access, understand, and use, surveys have found little change over time in the overall percent of people aware of and using comparative information on doctors, hospitals, and health plans.

But there’s reason to be hopeful.  Sometimes it helps to look at data from another perspective – like use of information by different age groups.

In a 2011 read more


Engaged Employers Need Engaged Employees

In “Bullish on Business: Engaging Employers in Health Care,” the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation makes a case for employers to become actively involved in driving changes in their local health care markets. The brief outlines steps employers can take to push for improved health care quality and lower costs.

One of these steps includes collaborating with other purchasers to exert real pressure on the marketplace. This collaboration takes on particular urgency as public health care purchasers move away read more


A Big Step Toward Making Health Plan Information More Usable

In the midst of open enrollment season, millions of employees are trying to figure out how benefits and costs compare under different health plans. Deciphering pages and pages of insurance information – with each company presenting the information however it likes – poses a huge challenge, even for the most health care-savvy among us. As a result, many of us end up selecting plans for the wrong reasons, not picking the plan that would actually be best for us (e.g., read more


“Buying Value” – Once You Buy It, How Do You Explain It?

The idea of paying for health care “value”— known as value-based purchasing—has taken on new life. A growing number of employers and other health care purchasers and payers are taking steps to identify and reward health care providers that offer the best quality of care at the most reasonable prices (i.e., the best value).

 To help employers adopt value-based purchasing strategies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a new Web site called Buying Value where you can learn about read more

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