HEALTH2.0: PR slop busted, but not really!

Over at NDDB.net, which is in the physician rating game, there’s a rather grumpy post about Steve Case from RevolutionHealth on Good Morning America. Other that they’re competitors, I’m not quite so sure why NDDB is so grumpy. I think that Revolution’s helping to define the Health2.0 rating, community, tools et al market and that’s very helpful for all the companies involved. A rising tide will potentially lift all boats.

But they do have one fun “gotcha”. Seems that Revolution’s PR guys/gals have left an old press release draft out on the web that they should have sent to the trash. and it contains this quote:

“While there are many sites that offer health information, none is as exhaustive and user friendly as RevolutionHealh.com,” said XYZ Expert. “The site offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to research a recent diagnosis, lose weight or connect with others who share similar health issues, you can find it all on RevolutionHealth.com.”

Now we all know that press release quotes aren’t actual quotes. So playing gotcha is a little unfair. But I went the extra step to see what happened in the actual press release. And here’s what it said:

"Reliable and useful information about health is a precious commodity. RevolutionHealth.com can help consumers take greater control of their health," said David A. Kessler, M.D., former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; Kessler consulted with Revolution Health on the development of the site.

See, they got an XYZExpert (David Kessler) and he made up his own quote! If he’d used the one the PR firm gave him, then it wouldn’t have been so clever (and it would have been rather more fun!). But PR guys, you should take the old one off the web, already.

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  1. Sure, it’s just copy, don’t focus too hard on the small things. The PR firm leaving up some unused copy is funny, but it wasn’t the main point.
    There are three main issues with RevolutionHealth.
    First of all, they are selling insurance. No doubt about it, they say on their site that is how they intend to make money. How is that “revolutionary?” To us, that is just upholding the status quo in a system that does not work.
    Secondly, they keep making outrageous claims, like they are the first to allow rating of doctors online. They made that claim in several PR firm released videos, as well as their Good Morning America appearance. RateMDs was here in 2003, yet they never mention them; they just keep claiming they are the first. And Diane Sawyer just keeps on nodding, Case continues to say he was the first, and his PR firm continues to let him. Like I said, $100 million will buy a lot of PR, unfortunately when a company is lying right out of the gate, you wonder how honest they will be in the future.
    Thirdly, all they have done, is taken RateMDs, WebMD, and an insurance salesman and rolled them into a business plan.
    “Other that they’re competitors, I’m not quite so sure why NDDB is so grumpy.”
    Please don’t play this off as a competition squabble. Like I said, NDDB is not the only site out there, RateMDs and many others are as well, and I think they all do a great job. I’ve not see one I had a problem with. They do what they say they are doing, they don’t make outrageous claims, and they don’t claim to be “revolutionary,” even though some of them could.
    RH is not the first, and they certainly won’t be the last to enter the doctor rating field.
    Plus, to be honest, the idea that American health care is revolutionized when people diagnose themselves and see the doctor when a website tells them to and buy their insurance through that same website… is a little distasteful. That is no revolution, that would require some kind of change.
    I’m sure that out of the 45 million people who can’t even afford basic insurance, some go to WebMD now and try to decide if their symptoms warrant that $500 ER bill. But what would someone who can dump $100 million into a website understand about that?

    So, you aren’t sure why we are “grumpy?” We don’t like being lied to, and we don’t like to see a site selling itself as the answer to the health care crisis when it’s real goal is to turn a profit.
    This country needs a real change, not just another salesman with a shiny pitch selling insurance.