government

GAO exonerates HHS for funding Andy Griffith ads

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 1, 2010

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The Dept. of Health and Human Services did not violate any rules when it produced and aired three, 30-second television advertisements earlier this year featuring actor Andy Griffith touting the benefits of the health system reform law, an Oct. 19 report from the Government Accountability Project concluded. It also concluded that there was no violation when the agency contracted with an economist.

Reps. Darrel Issa (R, Calif.) and Dave Camp (R, Mich.) asked the congressional watchdog agency to investigate whether HHS violated policy that bans them from using public money for publicity or propaganda purposes when it awarded economist Jonathan Gruber a contract on March 25, 2009, for technical assistance, and when it used money to produce and air the television ads.

HHS asked Gruber to help them analyze various health reform proposals and identify cost and coverage implications. GAO stated that "although the economist made public statements and authored opinion pieces on health care policy, HHS did not contract for these services and had no involvement with these activities." After the health system reform law was enacted, HHS contracted with a public relations firm to produce the Griffith spots. The ads also did not violate the publicity or propaganda prohibition "because they clearly identified their source, were not self-aggrandizing and were not a purely partisan activity," GAO said. The agency did say, however, that two of the advertisements overstated one of the laws benefits when it said beneficiaries will "have guaranteed benefits."

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/11/01/gvbf1101.htm.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn