As the dust settles after the nation's protracted battle over health care reform, AAFP members should be pleased to learn just how effective the Academy was in getting its health reform messages out to stakeholders during that battle. And that effectiveness is chronicled in a new report prepared by staff members in the AAFP's Public Relations Department for the AAFP Board of Directors.
The report describes the Academy's contributions to external media coverage of health care reform since President Obama took office in February 2009 through April 1 of this year. It focuses on consumer, business and health care decision-maker media outlets in the "top 100" U.S. media markets and the medical trade media. The report shows that AAFP leaders spoke out strongly and often regarding the importance of health care for all and the urgent need for payment reform and more family physicians, who are the bedrock of a reformed health care system.
According to the report, the AAFP contributed significantly to 829 news pieces in 361 media outlets in the top 100 markets. The AAFP provided Academy leaders for the outlets to interview, coordinated the interviews, and provided extensive background information to media outlets, such as
- CNN Newsroom,
- "FOX Business News,"
- National Public Radio,
- The New York Times,
- USA Today,
- The Washington Post,
- Associated Press,
- "Bloomberg News,"
- "CBS Evening News,"
- Kaiser Health News,
- American Medical News,
- Modern Healthcare and
- Medical Economics.
The Academy also reached out to media markets outside the top 100 and racked up an additional 627 instances of health care reform coverage in 139 media outlets -- for an overall total of 1,456 news pieces in 500 outlets during the time period.
These statistics are, in a word, impressive. They also demonstrate the Academy's commitment to speaking out on issues that family physicians say are important to them. In fact, in the last AAFP Member Satisfaction Survey, respondents said that advocacy should be the AAFP's top strategic objective, and that payment reform, universal coverage and workforce issues should be the AAFP's top three priorities. This was exactly what the AAFP's external media effort was all about.
One other statistic shows how seriously the Academy took its commitment to keeping you, the AAFP member, informed about the health care reform effort. In the months culminating in the passage and signing of the health care reform bill, the AAFP kept you in the loop with 45 articles in AAFP News Now that were directly focused on health care reform. In addition, many other ANN articles dealt with issues related to health care reform, including physician payment and workforce issues.
Rest assured that the AAFP will continue to speak out on issues important to you, and that you'll be kept up-to-date via AAFP News Now.