Patient Rights Group Targets Medical Debtors, Elected Officials

Patient Rights Advocate (PRA), a nonprofit group, has launched a paid ad campaign -- said to be in the “six-figure” range -- telling stories of Americans in deep medical debt while urging viewers to “tell Congress to enforce price transparency now.”

The Hospital Price Transparency Rule, which took effect January 1, 2021, requires hospitals to publicly reveal prices of the items and services that they provide. But a PRA study released in February found that over 75% of the 2,000 hospitals reviewed were not complying with the rule. Furthermore, PRA stated, “the federal government has only penalized two hospitals for noncompliance.”

A :30 spot debuting during cable news in Washington, D.C., states that “the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical debt,” and features five patients, including one who holds up a bill for $420,000, and another who has been charged $64,000 for a hysterectomy.



In addition to the TV ads, PRA’s “Patient Voices” campaign includes digital ads initially running in Washington, DC, Washington state, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

The group is also using organic social media and has sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and members of the House’s Health Subcommittee.

Other materials include a longer video spot and videos focusing on individual cases.

“The list of targets will expand as the series grows and new legislation to codify federal transparency rules is introduced,” PRA tells Marketing Daily. “The digital campaign will run indefinitely and evolve and expand as we tell the stories of more patients across the country.”

“By sharing their stories, can motivate policymakers to enforce healthcare price transparency and encourage the public to demand upfront prices,” PRA founder and chairman Cynthia Fisher said in a statement. “Actual prices will empower patients and all American consumers to reduce their healthcare costs, protect themselves from overcharges, and avoid financial devastation."

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