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5th Annual Essay Contest Winners Announced

July 01, 2015

Patients and frontline clinicians are uniquely positioned to recognize inefficiencies in the healthcare system, but are seldom empowered with the information needed to reduce harmful spending. With sponsorship from the Association of American Medical Colleges, Costs of Care launched its 5th annual essay contest aimed at highlighting challenges and opportunities to control healthcare costs with routine, cost-conscious medical decision-making.

“Five years after passing the Affordable Care Act, many hard-working, middle-class Americans continue to struggle to afford care. Having health insurance doesn’t necessarily protect patients from financial harm,” said Jordan Harmon, Director of Advocacy at Costs of Care. Costs of Care Founder Neel Shah, MD, added, “As these stories illustrate, patients and clinicians routinely see actionable opportunities to improve healthcare value.”

From March until May of this year, Costs of Care gathered compelling stories from patients and clinicians from across the nation. The following winning patient submission and provider submission were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges: Leah Binder, President and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, Mark McClellan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Sandra Hernandez, President and CEO of the California Healthcare Foundation:

  •  Tom Peteet, MD (Massachusetts), contemplates the price of certainty in terms of diagnostic testing
  • Holly Woodcock (Idaho), a nurse diagnosed with cancer, discusses the high costs of cancer treatment and the detrimental affect the costs of care can have in every aspect of a patient’s life.

During the month of August, Costs of Care will host an audience vote to determine two additional winners from the remaining top ranked essays.

All qualifying submissions to the contest will be published biweekly at during the 2015 calendar year and be made available to the media.

Thanks to Our Judges

Leah Binder, President and CEO of the Leapfrog Group

Mark McClellan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution

Sandra Hernandez, President and CEO of the California Healthcare foundation


The Costs of Care Essay Contest is sponsored in part by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Costs of Care Board of Directors.