CCAHS publications received unexpected responses within the consumer movement, the provider community and among federal, state and local government agencies. Many issues explored in Health Perspectives (HP), The Quarterly (Q), Fund Reporter (FR) and the more specialized work done in the Labor Safety and Health Institute (LSHI) fell into a few areas of ongoing media coverage.
The information first disclosed in Health Perspectives led to convulsions accompanied by anger, threats of litigation, and some positive provider responses. The issue disclosing governing body membership and proprietary hospitals’ owners pressured some hospitals to slowly add women and minority; especially at public hospitals. Many voluntary hospitals did nothing as some board members and owners quietly left. The issue of governance became part of the accreditation series found in Health Perspectives and the Quarterly. Later issues spoke to quality or its lack, patient rights and so forth. Depending on the sexiness of the issue the media coverage varied but included articles and series could be found in the newspaper[s] of record; The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and less prominent media as the National Enquirer.
One offshoot of CCAHS’s activities and publications 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. Their efforts are recorded on this site. Nader wrote and spoke often about JCAH accreditation and consumer input. 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 group included the national Health Service Agency (HSA) and its local affiliates across the country which had federal mandates to include consumers. The second group was the members of Congress and their key health staff. Every publication of CCAHS went to every HSA and to each Congressional member and staff for many years.
On occasion, CCAHS received invitations to attend conferences, HSA meetings or private 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 and health on the job. When the CCAHS Labor Safety and Health Institute (LSHI) began producing handbooks, guides and articles, Frank ensured that all OSHA and other agencies related to worker safety and health were recipients.
David Bird of the New York Times (NYT) and David Zinman of Newsday became involved in the ongoing stories found in the CCAHS publications, understood their importance and produced copy which ran 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 of CCAHS should let us know.