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Is February Heart-Marketing Month?

Heart disease and February: What relationship could be more cozy? From the scary risks of shoveling snow (yep, you could die, so be sure to lift a little at a time), Mercedes-sponsored red dress parades and government-sponsored National Wear Red Day®, to tips for identifying heart attacks in women (men, you need a different month I guess), February has all the important stories to improve your awareness. Such a polite term “awareness.”

But I wonder, now that the Internet is upon us and people are seeing their insurance rates and co-pays skyrocket, if maybe we’re shooting ourselves in the foot with all this heart-month marketing hype. People are sick and tired of testing “just to be sure.” It’s starting to directly cost them a fortune, and people are frustrated at having to pay a fortune for healthcare, let alone heart care.

I know, I know — I should be at the forefront of working with patients to stomp out heart disease. And goodness, people DO need to be attuned to diet, exercise, and weight loss. But the reality is, if we’re giving you the 10 latest tips on how to detect a heart attack, we’re probably a bit too late.

That’s the problem with all these press releases: While there’s a need to raise “awareness” of heart health, there’s also a very real need for people to take us — heart disease professionals — seriously to help cut costs in healthcare here. The last thing our healthcare system needs is more frivolous testing. Yet this is exactly what all this marketing does for our healthcare system — and it helps those with the largest PR budgets most of all. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Cleveland Clinic Targets The “Heart” Of Chicago

All I can say is, best of luck. From the Chicago Tribune:

In a move likely to shake up the market for heart care in the Chicago area, the well-known Cleveland Clinic’s cardiac surgery program said Thursday that it has signed an affiliation agreement with Central DuPage Hospital in the western Chicago suburbs.

The internationally known Cleveland Clinic draws patients from more than 85 countries around the world for everything from open-heart surgery and valve replacement to heart transplants. Its deal with Central DuPage, in Winfield, is designed to enhance the heart care provided at the 313-bed community hospital and potentially bring Cleveland Clinic patient referrals at a time heart surgeries are less needed than they were a decade ago.

This won’t shake up the market in Chicago. After all, when you have a bunch of Cadillacs in the garage, why go after a Ford? Unless, of course, it costs a whole lot less to buy a Ford.

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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