The information disclosed in the first and third issues of Health Perspectives led to a convulsion in the industry and consumer gratitude whose reaction was very positive. The provider community and government health and regulatory agencies reacted with anger and litigation threats were common. A few provider administrators quietly contacted Don or Ed and said it was about time that so-called proprietary information kept out of view under the guise of protecting patients privacy was now seeing the light of day. The issue disclosing governing body membership and proprietary hospitals’ owners pressured some hospitals to slowly add women and minority; especially at public hospitals. This issue of governance became part of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) accreditation series found in later Health Perspectives and the The CCAHS Quarterly. These publications were followed by others which spoke of quality or its lack, patient rights, reimbursement rates and other sensitive topics.
But the first publications were very news worthy and after scrutiny were found to be accurate and well reasoned. CCAHS had been vetted, threatened and continued to receive an even wider audience. Depending on the sexiness of the topic, the media coverage varied; including articles in the paper of record, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsday and even the National Enquirer.
One offshoot of CCAHS was its interconnection with various consumer groups and government agencies which wanted to change the health and medical landscape by encouraging, supporting, requiring and legislating “consumerism”. In Pennsylvania, Commissioner Denenberg, took a commanding lead at the state level of using the tools available to him to advance consumer participation in health and medical matters. His Department of Insurance published ‘A Shopper’s Guide to Surgery’ and other documents to encourage consumers. Ralph Nader, a formerly known automobile critic guru expanded to other areas where consumerism was advancing in the face of danger and retribution. He wrote and spoke often about JCAH accreditation and consumer input. At the same point, the Public Citizen’s Research Group led by Sidney Wolfe, was also publishing expense and quality guidelines and information once kept from the public. CCAHS also worked with two other influential bodies. The first were the Health Service Agencies across the country which had federal mandates to include consumers. The second were the Congressional legislators and their key health staff. Every publication of CCAHS went to every HSA and to each Congressional member and staff.
On occasion CCAHS received invitations to attend conferences, HSA meetings or time with legislators or their staff about particular health issues. Don, Ed and Judy most often went as did Frank Goldsmith when the issue related to OSHA and safety on the job. When the CCAHS LSHI publications began, Frank ensured that all OSHA and other agencies related to worker health and safety were recipients.
David Bird of the NYT and David Zinman of Newsday became involved in the CCAHS publications, understood their import and ran their stories over several years. Don and David became good friends for a while. With these few comments, we provide a list of articles, editorials and commentary still extant so that the coverage can more easily be connected to the publications of CCAHS. Any persons with additional media coverage should let us know.